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Spend the day at North Beach and revel in the views from Tow Hill and the Blow Hole - Photo: Talon Gillis

Gray Bay is a popular recreational site known for its beachcombing and camping opportunities - Photo: Flavien Mabit

We've got a selection of camping locations just right for you - forest sites thick with carpets of moss, rustic beach campsites and comfortable campgrounds with showers and hook-ups - Photo: Flavien Mabit

Haida Gwaii's got rainforests, beaches and mountains to explore - let's go! - Photo: Alexander A MacDonald

The Pesuta Shipwreck Trail will lead you along East Beach to the scenic remains of the Pesuta, a log ship that ran aground in 1928 - Photo: Alexander A MacDonald

Visit the award-winning Haida Heritage Centre and Museum at Second Beach in Skidegate - Photo: Guy Kimola

Step into another world as you tour ancient Haida village sites in Gwaii Haanas - Photo: Flavien Mabit

The Rennell Sound area offers exceptional wilderness camping and short trails for accessing remote west coast beaches - Photo: Guy Kimola

 

Eagle Photography at Copper Bay on Moresby Island

By Jack D Waller

With so many excellent blogs and wonderful photos already provided by others, I’ve decided to focus on an area likely under represented - Copper Bay.  Zipping along on the Copper Bay Mainline from Sandspit it’s easy to miss it, since a glance to the east would lead you to believe you’re passing someone’s back yard.  And that’s exactly what happened to us in our 80's vintage 20' class B motorhome.


 

Having passed by Copper Bay and not realizing we should be turning around, my wife and I ended up continuing onto a relatively unused road that would take us to Sheldens Bay (only now do I know that’s where we ended up).  Nice country trail, very pleasant to meander down until it got narrower and narrower and the rather large tree branches scraped harder and harder and I had to swing my mirrors in.  Then, with no place to turn around and larger trees hanging into my path I had to disembark a number of times and cut them down with an axe!  Lesson learned, we eventually made it back to Copper Bay.

Copper Bay is essentially a weekend retreat for Haida folk who enjoy the fishing activity and the socialization.  There are a good number of small cabins that the Haida were allowed to construct on crown land.  Some are in fine shape others essentially abandoned. 

Copper Bay Cabin Flavien Mabit

Flavien Mabit

As I learned, May is the month when the Sockeye Salmon head upstream to spawn and so, as allowed by the laws of the island and enforced by “watchman” George, the Haida string their nets across the bay with the hope of a substantial catch in the morning. 

Jack Douglas Waller

The nets have plastic floats attached and are fastened across the riverbed region, which is not visible when the tide is in.  Anyone who stays up too late and sleeps in will find the eagles feasting on their catch. 

Jack Douglas Waller

The horn sounded at 6PM Friday to start the activity and again at 6PM Sunday to end it.  George’s duties include patrolling the area to ensure there is no poaching and he gave us a friendly welcome midweek when we arrived. Further upstream there is a floating metal structure that restricts the Salmon from passing except for a region where they are constrained to allow counting, which provides information on the viability of the stock.

In talking to the Haida who came to Copper Bay on Friday, fishing here is a long tradition and a much appreciated source of food.  I believe one particular net sourced around 80 good sized Salmon.  Typically, the Salmon are canned for use during the winter months.  The cleaning of the fish often takes place right on the river, attracting eagles and providing more photographic opportunities.

Jack Douglas Waller

Now, the main reason for ending up at Haida Gwaii in the first place was my brain-wave of going to Prince Rupert to photograph eagles; I scarcely remembered the Queen Charlotte Islands existed.  As a child I had been to Prince Rupert with my brother who trucked for ATCO.  What a stroke of luck when checking out Prince Rupert travel information to learn about Haida Gwaii.  Once we had acquired maps and tourist brochures boy did we get excited, and we were not disappointed. I now know what I missed out on and will rectify that next time we visit, perhaps not spending all my time photographing eagles.

It was a blast and I acquired 100's of great photos, mainly of eagles but also of other wildlife too.

Jack Douglas Waller

Jack Douglas Waller

As our time had run out, back we went to Sandspit to catch the ferry at Alliford Bay the next day after visiting the Airport, which incidentally has a very nice display of memorabilia from World War II.  We had arrived on Graham Island on May 7 and we left on May 26.  Beautiful weather the whole time!


Jack Douglas Waller

Jack Douglas Waller
A big thank you to all the friendly folk on Haida Gwaii!  Anyone wishing to view more of my photography: http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/647784/

 

Contact Us

Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre

website: www.queencharlottevisitorcentre.com
email: info@qcinfo.ca | telephone: 250-559-8316

Sandspit Visitor Centre

website: www.lovehaidagwaii.com/businesses/the-sandspit-visitor-centre
email: visitsandspit@gmail.com | telephone: 250.637.5362

Port Clements Visitor Centre

website: www.portclements.ca
email: pcmuseum@qcislands.ca | telephone: 250-557-4576

Masset Visitor Centre

website: www.massetbc.com
email: info@massetbc.com | telephone: 250-626-3982

Haida Gwaii Tourism

Destination Marketing Organization
website: www.gohaidagwaii.ca
email: tourism@gohaidagwaii.ca

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