Swallowfield Farm Estuary

Swallowfield Farm is a unique and very special Ducks Unlimited conservation property on the East Coast of Vancouver Island.

The Chemainus River and Bonsal Creek form a large estuary as they flow to meet the Salish Sea – formerly known as Georgia Strait. The estuary provides valuable habitat to three salmon species, rainbow, cutthroat and steelhead trout, along with a diversity of birds and mammals including ducks, geese, swans, heron, eagle, hawks, deer, river otter and bear.

Local First Nations have used this estuary for thousands of years and continue to harvest salmon, deer, ducks, black berries and wild asparagus from the land and water.

The area was named Swallowfield Farm in the 1860s when pioneers raised dairy and beef cattle on the estuary’s rich salt grass meadows the pioneers had diked and fenced. Currently Ducks Unlimited leases two of the original, remaining hay fields to a local dairy farmer. In an effort to restore the natural salt water estuarine habitats, Ducks Unlimited breached the dikes and removed the fences.

The Working Certificate land tests will be located in salt grass meadows or hay fields; the water tests will be on the Chemainus River, estuarine channels or ponds; all are influenced by the tides.