Wildlife Report 2022 In Review

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

Angus Reid (owner)