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Detailed Map    note - this may take some time to load!!
General Information
Brief History
Access and Facilities
Recreation
Viewing Highlights

There is a series of wildlife management area brochures.



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   General Information

The Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area (PAMWMA) contains 4 separate units totalling 2972 hectares (7344 acres). It was officially dedicated on June 11, 1987. PAMWMA is managed by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks to protect the area's habitats for wildlife.

The marsh, wetland, tidal freshwater mudflat and upland forest habitats are important to wildlife populations, including birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects. The wildlife and habitats of PAMWMA can be experienced via the many kilometres of dyke-top trails, some forest trails, five covered viewing towers and three covered hillside viewing platforms.

For additional information on this management area contact the Ministry office in Surrey [(604) 582-5200; 10470 - 152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. V3R 0Y3].



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   Brief History

Pitt Unit

    The Pitt Unit contains 1459 hectares of dyked marsh and wetlands, as well as some upland forests. This unit was originally undyked floodplain. In the early 1900's, following limited farming and wild hay cutting, an extensive network of drainage ditches was established. However, farming continued without much success.

    During the 1940's and early 1950's, the area was used primarily for private waterfowl shooting. In 1951, a large lake dyke was constructed at the southern end of Pitt Lake.

    Through legislation (1958) and through purchase (1973), the provincial government acquired the lands that are now part of the Pitt Unit. The water regimes and dykes are managed through a cooperative agreement with Ducks Unlimited Canada, a private conservation agency. In the 1980's, Ducks Unlimited Canada financed the construction of many of the Pitt Unit's existing dykes and water control structures.

    Grant Narrows Regional Park - A 6.5 hectare portion of the Pitt Unit is leased to the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) for a regional park. The boat launch and paved parking lot are managed by the GVRD Parks Department [(604) 530-4983; 1558 - 200th Street, Langley, B.C. V2Z 1W5].

    Pitt Polder Ecological Reserve - Eighty-eight hectares of the Pitt Unit are formally designated at the Pitt Polder Ecological Reserve (Reserve #99). This reserve was established in 1980 to protect a fragment of rapidly disappearing Fraser Valley boglands.

Addington Marsh Unit

    Prior to 1897, Addington Marsh was part of the Pitt River floodplain. Before dyking, it was subject to the river's daily tidal fluctuation. After dyking, the wetland conditions persisted due to poor drainage, and to the lack of dyke maintenance.

    Between the 1930's and 1977, this marsh was used for private waterfowl shooting. In 1977 The Nature Trust of British Columbia (TNTBC) purchased the marsh to protect its wildlife and habitats. The 283 hectares of Addington Marsh are leased to the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks by TNTBC, and the water regimes are managed cooperatively with Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Pitt Lake Unit

    Located at the southern end of Pitt Lake, this unit contains 1140 hectares of tidal freshwater mudflat. The sediments that form the mudflats are Fraser River silts carried upstream and deposited by the tidal movements of the Pitt River. These mudflats form one of the largest negatively accreting delta in the world, and Pitt Lake is the second largest freshwater tidal lake in the world.

MacIntyre Creek Unit

    Located immediately north of the Addintgon Unit, this 90 ha parcel was added to the management area in March 2001.

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   Access and Facilities

Pitt Unit
    From Lougheed Highway (Highway 7) in Pitt Meadows turn north onto Harris Road and follow the bibolular logo signs. It is 17km from Lougheed Highway to the parking lot in the regional park. There are many looping dyke trails that provide access to three covered viewing towers. A trail along the firested mountainside provides panoramic views of the marshes below. The mountainside trail contains several steep inclines and sturdy foorwear is required.

Addington Marsh Unit

    The main access to Addington Marsh is through the trails of the Greater Vancouver Regional District's Minnekhada Regional Park, also a viewing site. Follow the bonocular logo and regional park signs to the Quarry Road parking lot. Addington Marsh is reached by trail from this parking lot or from the lodge parking area. Be sure to take all valuables with you as vehicle break-ins are common here. It is a 20 to 25 minute walk to the pavillion overlooking the marsh. There is a trail around the marsh with two covered viewing towers. Sturdy foorwear is required for the outter marsh trail may be in poor condition due to uneven ground and to heavy bruish growth. Black Bears have also been seens along this trail so take caution.

Pitt Lake Unit

    This part of the wildlife management area can only be accessed by boat, but it is visible from the viewing tower at the end of the lake. Boaters should take care as low water levels leave many boaters stranded on the flats.

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   Recreation

Recreational activities permitted within the Pitt Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area include walking, wildlife viewing, nature study, hiking, jogging, cycling and hunting (consult the provincial hunting and trapping regulations for details). Cyclists must keep to the Pitt River dykes. The Nature Dyke Trail and other interior dykes are closed to cyclists. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times. The southwestern portion of the Pitt Unit is closed to public access between March 15 and July 15 to prevent disturbance to nesting Sandhill Cranes.

There is boat and canoe access at Grant Narrows Regional Park to Widgeon Marsh, Pitt Lake and to the Pitt River. Waterfowl hunting is permitted within some areas of PAMWMA on certain days during the hunting season. Look for details posted on-site or consult the provincial hunting and trapping regulations.

Caution - At certain times of the year black bears may be encountered along the mountainside trail, particularly during the fall months.



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   Viewing Highlights

The Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area (PAMWMA) is an excellent area to observe a wide range of wildlife species throughout the year. In addition to mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects and fish, 229 bird species have been recorded. A bird checklist is available for the area.

These are just some of the viewing highlights.

  • Great Blue Heron - Herons are visible throughout the year. Several heron rookeries are located nearby.

  • Trumpeter Swan - PAMWMA and other local areas, including Widgeon Slough, are used by wintering swans, primarily Trumpeter Swan but also a few Tundra Swan.

  • Waterfowl - PAMWMA provides year-round habitat for many waterfowl species, including Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard and Gadwall. While some species nest in the area, the best viewing periods are during the spring and fall migrations and during the winter months.

  • Osprey - This species may be viewed from mid April through September. It is particularly visible along the Pitt River where some active nests are located on the top of pilings.

  • Bald Eagle - During the winter months the area is utilized by a few wintering eagles.

  • Hawks - This area is used by many hawk species, including Northern Harrier and Red-tailed Hawk.

  • Bittern and Rails - American Bittern, Virginia Rail and Sora are easily heard throughout the marshes, especially in the spring and summer months.

  • Sandhill Crane - PAMWMA is one of only three known nesting sites in the Lower Mainland. A few Sandhill Crane may be visible from April through September, including in the farming areas south of PAMWMA. The southwest portion of the Pitt Unit is closed to public access during the nesting season. Listen for the crane's low-pitched garoo call.

  • Songbirds - Passerine species may be observed throughout the year, but the greatest diversity of songbirds occurs from mid April through mid September.

  • Frog Choruses- April through June is the best time to hear green and Bullfrog choruses in the wetlands.

  • Beaver and Muskrats - PAMWMA is home to large populations of these mammals. The activities of these species are easily observed throughout the area. Beaver activity is especially visible along the Nature Dyke and from the Nature Dyke viewing tower. Many of the remaining trees on the interior dykes have been protected with wire mesh to prevent Beaver damage.