Finlay Lake is one of Galiano’s largest wetlands. The 6.73 hectare property property features nearly 2 hectares of shallow water wetland, and nearly five hectares of endangered riparian and upland Coastal Douglas-fir forest. The lake is man-made, created when a small dam was built at the north end of the lake in the early 1900s.
The dam at Finlay Lake created a wetland ecosystem with key habitat for a variety of plant and animal life, as well as providing water for residential purposes. The riparian area is extensive, and the lake itself holds numerous snags and woody debris. The upland Coastal Douglas-fir forest has stands of trees of multiple ages and there is abundant understory including sword ferns, salal, and stinging nettles.
The ecosystems at Finlay Lake provide significant habitat for a wide range of species. Protection of the property contributes to foraging and breeding habitat for at least 54 species of birds, including at least 14 non-waterfowl migratory species, and several provincially and federally listed species. Additionally, the habitat supports mammals, amphibian, and insect species including beaver, red-legged frog, pacific sideband snail, and blue dasher dragonfly.
A conservation covenant was placed on the property by the Galiano Conservation Association and the Land Conservancy of BC in 2001. Finlay Lake was then donated to the Galiano Conservancy Association in 2014 with the intention of maintaining and enhancing the ecological integrity as a nature reserve. Galiano Conservancy Association asked the Islands Trust Conservancy to hold a conservation covenant on Finlay Lake, adding an additional layer of ecological protection to the property. For more information visit Galiano Conservancy Association.