Estuaries, Pacific Northwest
The Zeballos River Estuary is located at the end of Zeballos Inlet. There is a small summer run of steelhead along with coho and chinook in the fall in the estuary. You can catch some very nice resident cutthroat that can get pretty big. The winter run of steelhead is at this time closed to fishing.
At the estuary is the little town of Zeballos which was once one of Vancouver Island’s major gold producing areas, with over 1500 residents, Zeballos is now a small community of about 200 residents at the end of Zeballos Inlet. I lived and worked in Zeballos in the 70s and there were over 500 people there then, both transient loggers and residents. We even had a small theater where they showed movies in those days. It still is a very nice little community.
There is a wildlife viewing platform located in the center of town and the estuary is easily accessed to view birds and sea life.
Fall, winter and spring are best viewing times for waterfowl, which include many kinds of seabirds and ducks. In the fall, back bears come to feed on the spawning salmon and many other birds and animals use the area throughout the year.
There is some great trails running through the estuary full of picnic tables and boardwalks and a great campsite for your stay.
I first came to Zeballos in the early 70s as a logger and then returned in the 80s for 7 years as a forestry worker. I had many opportunities to fish and hike around this area and have always loved it here. Some do not like the winters here because of the wind and rain but those were some of the things that appealed to me. I have seen the Zeballos river running with so much water that it was hard to believe it was the same beautiful little river that you see in the summer months.