The Millstone River flows from Brannen Lake, through Bowen Park and the City of Nanaimo before entering the sea. You can fish this river but you must be under 16 or over 65 years old to fish here.
The river has had a stream enhancement program going for some time now, the program is called salmon in the city and this program has had great results. The millstone river has good returns of coho, chum, steelhead and cutthroat trout, the trout here are beginning to get quite large and fun to catch.
There is a birding conservation area called the Buttertubs marsh, This marsh is a man-made estuary on the Millstone River. There are some wonderful walking trails, leading to viewing platforms, sitting benches, picnic tables and at over 2.4 km of trails, it’s a great place to get some exercise while enjoying nature. The Buttertubs marsh trail circles a section of the marsh. Part of the trail runs through a quiet treed area. There are boardwalk areas that have some rare and beautiful plants and grasses to view.
Being central to downtown, the marsh gets used a great deal, but for all that, it always has a very peaceful feel to it, the birdlife here is incredible, you could see any number of ducks and geese as well as bitterns, herons, owls, eagles and many kinds of songbirds.
The park is a sensitive conservation area for feeding and nesting of birds. Dogs are not permitted in the park. Not even on a leash. To get to the park, travel down Jingle Pot Road until you reach Bird Sanctuary Drive, turn onto this road and follow it to the parking lot of the park. This an awesome park, worthy of a visit for sure.