Stay informed about what’s new and changing on the coast in British Columbia.
Our newsletters and wildlife reports are from first hand knowledge of this area gained from our wildlife, whale watching and grizzly bear tours. Our adventure tours cover a large area of coastal BC, Knights Inlet and the surrounding waters.
Greetings from Knight Inlet BC Whale and Grizzly Bear Watching country!
Well, the lodge is all put away for the winter and the wet weather has arrived. We would like to thank all of our wonderful guests and staff that visited us in 2023. Its been so nice to get back to some sort of normal after covid.
We had an awesome season with some great sightings. The weather was overall quite good. We had a very dry start, but were lucky to get some rain in August and more near the end of our season, which is what the spawning salmon need.
Our early season Grizzly Bear viewing was amazing with great sightings in the estuaries and beaches. Last year we had a strong run of salmon and it showed this spring with many new cubs out. The viewing stayed strong throughout the summer and we were happy to see good numbers of pink and coho salmon on the river trip. This made for some amazing viewing. The salmon run in Glendale Cove was slower then we had hoped, but still managed some sightings on the river and lots of good viewing in the estuary. We are hopeful for the fish next year, as the fry (young salmon) counts this spring were spectacular. The pink salmon are on a two year cycle so we are excited to see what next fall brings.
Whale watching was excellent with some of the best Humpback viewing I have ever seen this fall. The whales were around in good numbers and we witnessed some amazing behaviour. The Northern Resident Orca were late arriving, but we were fortunate to have many Biggs (mammal feeding Orca) sightings throughout the season.
The caretaker is back at the lodge and everything is just about put away. Likely be another couple trips back for me before everything is in its place. I look forward to getting up a few times over the winter and then Ill be back up full time in the Spring. We still have some great dates available for next year so please don’t delay. Looking forward to seeing some of you in 2024
2022 was a wonderful season, after being more or less shut down by covid. It was wonderful to welcome guests and staff back to the lodge and enjoy some great wildlife sightings.
Bear viewing was great right from the start of our season in late May until the end in mid October. In the spring we were able to view the bears feeding on sedge grass in the estuary and various marine creatures such as shore crab, mussels and barnacles. Our steady viewing continued, but the real treat was starting to see good numbers of salmon entering the river systems by late July. After a few years of mediocre runs this was great news. We took guests to the viewing platforms starting on August 25th and had some great sightings of bears actively feeding on salmon. During mid September we had some very dry weather. This led to many of the fish holding in the deeper pools and although our sightings remained good they did become a bit more sporadic. Thankfully we received some rain later in the month and had some great viewing into early October. We are hopeful with some well fed bears this season we should be seeing more cubs emerging next spring..
On the Kakweiken River trip we had some great Grizzly Bear viewing, particularly from late July through August. The salmon were early here as well and so were the bears. Pink numbers were decent and we also saw good number of Coho Salmon. There was some phenomenal viewing at the falls with “Moira” staging in the chute area. Later on in the season we saw a lot of “Andy” and a few other bears that we are not familiar with. After a couple years of not being out consistently it was very rewarding to see some bears that we haven’t come across in a couple of years. The bears in this system looked to be in excellent condition by the season end, which is great news moving forward.
It was also a great year for marine mammals in both Knight Inlet and Johnstone Strait. The resident (fish eating) Orca showed up in mid July and were around until late September feasting on salmon. The transient (mammal feeding orca) were around quite a bit this year and we were lucky to see them hunting both harbour seals and white sided dolphins on several occasions . The Humpback Whales were amazing once again and were very abundant throughout the entire season. As usual there were large numbers of humpbacks in Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound. On several occasions we had Humpbacks right in front of the lodge, as well as Humpbacks in the Inlet, particularly in late September. In addition White Sided Dolphins, Stellar Sea Lions and Porpoise were common sightings. Big news this year were the rafts of Sea Otters we viewed near Queen Charlotte Strait. In the past Sea Otters have been an occasional sighting, but as their numbers improve it seems like we are starting to have more “resident otters” in the area. This is great news as they are a key species in preserving kelp forests. For the avid birders there was plenty to view as well. Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, Storm Petrels, Surf Scoters, and Osprey to name a few.
Melinda, Molly, Felix and myself are all looking forward to 2023. Looking forward to getting some projects completed around the lodge in the spring. We are working on some trails around the lodge, as well as some added dock space and room upgrades. Hope to see you guys in 2023
The last 3 years we have been starting to view sea otters in our area more regularly. They are still often a distance away, but the sightings are increasing with some “rafts” of them developing in areas near the western portion of our whale watching trips. These animals were hunted heavily for their fur and were completely wiped out of British Columbia waters. Re-introduction occurred from Alaskan otters in the 1960’s. They have long been protected and their numbers have been steadily increasing along the exposed BC coast and are now moving back into inside waters. They are unique in that they don’t have the insulating blubber that other marine mammals use to keep warm. As a result they have dense (over 1 million hairs per square inch) fur and feed heavily. They are important in balancing the eco-system. They eat a lot of sea urchins, which eat a lot of kelp. Kelp is extremely important as it provides cover for juvenile fish and is where the herring spawn in the early spring. With the increase in these otters we are seeing a greater abundance and healthier kelp forests.