Surrounding yourself with Salmon whilst snorkeling in a Vancouver river is a very special experience!
Locals call this the ‘the salmon capital of the world’ as over one million salmon of five different species make their way back up the river system. They have had an epic journey with some coming all the way from the Bering Strait. This exact river is where they started their lives. They come back to spawn and die.
What Does It Feel Life
The thing to point out it despite the warm air conditions in the summer, the river is still really cold averaging at 14 degrees. Gear is provided to combat this such as a wetsuit. Along with the snorkel, fins and a mask)
As you make your way to first drop off, you will see a great expanse of silver shimmering in the water. The instructor encourages people to take the 2 meter plunge into the water from the rocks or you can opt to get in slowly from the raft.
The first sector takes you gently along, as the current is weak in the initial stages. The second part you need to heed the safety advice provided, as the current is stronger and there are large rocks along the river that protrude ominously out of the river bed.
Our guide said
You need to fly like Superman as you make you way down the river, so you’ll be able to dodge the rocks along the river’s path
In the third and last part of the tour, you make your way to the river mouth. Here the river is saltier and colder. Luckily the guide is on hand to bring us back on the boat. He’s armed with gloves and warm hats to give to us to help us fight the cold.
As the salmon are reaching the end of their lives, some of the fish show signs of degeneration as parts of their bodies rot away.
When To Do It?
Starting in mid July and finishing at the end of September, the window for salmon snorkelling on Vancouver Island is very short, with the beginning of August being the prime time to go; during this time you’re guaranteed to see thousands of salmon whizzing around! The water is bitterly cold, so a wet suit is a must. If you’re lucky you may even spot some black bears and deer in this unforgettable experience.
The trip lasts for three hours and takes place on the Campbell river. The river’s conditions make it perfect for snorkeling with salmon. The river offers crystal clear waters. its depth and visibility, ease of access and consistent flow.
Lots of Other Wildlife To See
There are other tours that you can do in the area. Most notably the black bear one. Here is a list of other wildlife you can see in the area.
Other Information You Need To Know
The trip costs 135$ for adults and 125$ for children.