Estuaries, Pacific Northwest
The Conuma River Estuary has lots of wildlife viewing opportunities, you might see black bears, roosevelt elk, deer, and plenty of sea life, birds & little shoreline creatures, like mink and marten.
The best time to view salmon is from late September through October. Chinook salmon spawn in late September; coho & chum in October and November. Up above the hatchery, the road travels quite close to the river, giving you plenty of opportunities to see the salmon runs.
The Conuma Hatchery is open daily from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm; visits need to be pre-arranged.
To reach the Conuma River Estuary from Campbell River, take Highway 28 through Strathcona Provincial Park, and on to Gold River. From there, take the Woss road north from Gold River, and then turn onto the Tahsis road. Note that this is an active logging road – gravel road with patchy paved spots. There are some long, steep hills along this road, with grades of up to 18%. Drive slowly, and watch for logging trucks. It is approximately an hour drive from Gold River, one way.
You can fish for big chinook or coho salmon, halibut, lingcod, or rockfish in the prolific waters of Head Bay & the Nootka Sound area. You could also fly fish for salmon, trout or steelhead in the Conuma River estuary, or any number of other small bays & estuaries that dot the shoreline.
These waters can provide great opportunities for the fishing enthusiast, whale watcher, or photographer!
At the mouth of the Conuma River you will find the Moutcha Bay Resort. This awesome place offers great fishing (both salt water & fresh), along with incredible accommodations. Abundant wildlife and adventure lie around every corner of the bay! You can camp in a tent or in your RV, book a room in the lodge, or moor your boat at one of their marina slips. The lodge has Nootka Sound’s only restaurant, plus retail & grocery store for boaters. Take in their nightly specials, seafood specialties, live entertainment, and so much more.