Kane`ohe Stream is the outlet for one of the larger drainage systems on Windward O`ahu. This stream is perennial and has numerous branches that arise along the Nu`uanu Pali from the vicinity of the Pali Highway (State Rte. 61) to about central Kaneohe Town. Two prominent peaks mark opposite ends of the south watershed boundary along the Ko`olau ridgeline: Konahuanui and Pu`u Keahiakahoe. Konahuanui, at 960 m (3150 ft), is the tallest peak on the Ko`olau ridge. On the east, the watershed of Kane`ohe Stream abuts that of Kawa Stream and shares boundaries with Kapa`a and Kahanaiki streams in Kailua Ahupua`a as well. To the north is Haiku Valley drained by Kea`ahala and He`eia streams.
Kane`ohe Stream was once known as Hi`ilaniwai1, "....a very long stream, with its origin in the slopes that drain Pu`u Lanihuli, the peak that flanks the northern side of the Nu`uanu Pali road and the southern boundary of Kane`ohe" (Handy, Handy, & Pukui, 1972). The modern name Kane`ohe Stream appears to apply only to that segment below the confluence of Kamo`oali`i and Kapunahala streams. Kamo`oali`i is the major branch, extending southward into the elongated amphitheater valley that comprises the mauka part of the Kane`ohe watershed. Kapunahala Stream drains a small subwatershed on the north flank of Pu`u Keahiakahoe, fed by Kea`ahala Spring. The remainder of the long valley between the Kailua Hills and the Pali can be divided between the Luluku subwatershed (Luluku Stream) and the several subwatersheds that all drain into Ho`omaluhia Reservoir. These upper and middle reach streams flow through mostly forested lands, although roads and highways, golf courses, and a botanical garden comprise significant land uses in the watershed. The State of Hawaii, Department of Health (HDOH) has completed (April 2002) a bioassessment of the Kane`ohe Stream system.
Some of the outflow from the spring is diverted through kalo lo`i used by Windward Community College (Kupono Club at WCC; see Honolulu Advertiser) and the water eventually ends up feeding a sloped wetland (Photo 3) dominated by umbrella sedge (Cyperus laevigatus) and Job's tears (Coix lachryma-jobi) above Pookela St. in Castle Hills subdivision.
For a short ways below Pookela St, Kapunahala Stream remains in a natural state, but further down it is confined entirely to a concrete-lined channel (Photo 4) all the way to its junction with Kamoali`i Stream to form Kane`ohe Stream (see outlet in photo for TMDL Sta. 4a).
Marsh above Pookela Street is dominated by Job's tears and umbrella sedge and surrounded in part by hau and banana.
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