Cultus Lake map click to view
The Cultus Lake watershed lies 80 kilometres east of Vancouver, a few kilometres south of Chilliwack, and adjacent to the Canada-US border. The region covers about 70 sq. km., and the lake itself is seven km long and 1.5 km wide, covering about 650 hectares. Cultus drains through Sweltzer Creek into the Vedder Canal, which continues on to the Fraser River, one of the world’s largest free-flowing salmon and sturgeon bearing rivers. About 1,200 people reside around the lake and the population is growing. Since the 1920s, the lake has been popular recreation destination for Lower Mainland visitors for fishing, water skiing, canoeing and hiking. Water quality since that time has degraded and currently the lake is in the process of eutrophication.

Big animals such as grizzly and elk are not seen in the Cultus Lake watershed any more; however, the area still contains a diverse flora and fauna typically seen in Pacific coastal foothills. Black bear, cougar, raccoons, bobcat, beaver, blacktail deer, grey jays and many more are among the residents in the cedar, fir and hemlock forests.

The lake is the rearing ground for the genetically-distinct and endangered Cultus sockeye salmon, and home to the species-at-risk-listed Cultus pygmy sculpin, unique to this lake.

Cultus waters are also a draw for anglers, as the lake is quite productive with a diverse fishery that includes more than half a dozen resident fish species for sport fishing. These include the northern pikeminnow, large scale sucker, peamouth chub, cutthroat trout and bull trout.

Nineteen species other than sockeye salmon are known to occur in Cultus Lake. All species are native to the lake. BC Fisheries Inventory – FISS.


Cultus Sockeye Salmon
Cultus Sockeye salmon : habitat
from Caring For Cultus Lake booklet


Groundwater Conditions : Columbia Valley Aquifer
Groundwater Conditions of the Columbia Valley pdf document
(B.C. Ministry of Environment)
Columbia Valley is a rural-agricultural area south-west of Chilliwack, British Columbia, nestled between two mountain formations south-west of Cultus Lake. Homeowners in the valley rely predominantly upon very abundant good quality groundwater for their drinking water supply and other uses. During the past several years, some residents in the valley have complained of serious deterioration of their groundwater quality due to nitrate contamination and have blamed local agricultural activities. At the request of the Concerned Citizens of Columbia Valley, through their elected MLA, John van Dongen, the Ministry Of Environment, Lands & Parks (Lower Mainland Region) has completed an investigation of the groundwater resources (quantity and quality) and land use activities in the area and completed the following report: