Monday, 14 September 2015

Swimming with salmon in the Puntledge River, Courtenay, B.C.

by Keith and Heather Nicol
On Saturday, September 12 we headed to Puntledge Park in Courtenay to see if any salmon were in the river. The day was sunny and warm for early September with temperatures hitting close to the mid 20 C.  Even so we donned our wet suits but there were several people snorkeling with just their bathing suits. We headed for the pool just off the gravel beach and in no time at all we were blown away by the quantity of fish in the slower water just below the rapids. There must have been hundreds of pink salmon in this area alone! The current is strong in places and the rocks are slippery so you need to pay attention but by swimming to the other side of the river where the current is slower you can stay in one place abit more easily. We had an underwater camera that we were testing for the first time and these photos and video were taken with it.

Some of the 100`s of salmon in the river
   We had so much fun on Saturday that we returned on Sunday, September 13 as well but there were far fewer people snorkeling , likely due to the chillier temperatures. This is an amazing experience and we plan to go back. Click  for a short video on what we saw.
Salmon swimming upstream

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