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. A growing population of people reside around the lake. 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 anymore; 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 ( Cottus aleuticus ), 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.