Little Squalicum Creek is a small, independent stream located on the western edge of the City of Bellingham in Little Squalicum Park.
Due to past land uses, much of the original stream no longer exists. Instead, the channel currently originates from two separate stormwater culverts located at the north perimeter of Little Squalicum Park fed primarily by stormwater pipes flowing from the Birchwood and Cedarwood communities, Bellingham Technical College and the Oeser Company facility, as well as by seeps, springs and precipitation within the boundaries of Little Squalicum Park. These water sources converge to form an open channel in a narrow, steep ravine that continues approximately 1,500 feet before discharging into Bellingham Bay via a 36-inch culvert.
Little Squalicum Creek is not currently documented by state agencies as containing state Priority or federal listed fish species and the 36-inch culvert at the shoreline is believed to prevent fish passage under most conditions.
Although the stream itself does not currently provide high quality habitat for fish and wildlife, a 2016 study documented juvenile chinook use of Little Squalicum Beach. In addition, forage fish monitoring studies have found that Little Squalicum Beach is a spawning site for surf smelt and sand lance, two species of forage fish. Forage fish are a critical food source for salmon.
The 2010 Little Squalicum Park Master Plan envisioned improving fish and wildlife habitat along Little Squalicum Creek by restoring an estuary at the mouth of the creek. The City continues to work to implement this restoration project. Additional information on the Little Squalicum Estuary project is available in the link below.