Quinsam River

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Rivers, Pacific Northwest

The Quinsam River is a small river with its headwaters at middle quinsam lake. It then flows through  lower quinsam lake before entering the Campbell River approximately 2.5 km upstream from its mouth near the town of Campbell River on the east coast of central Vancouver Island.

Quinsam River
Quinsam River, Photo By Robert Logan

The Quinsam River is mostly fished in its lower reaches, with access from good trails leading off numerous roads. But the upper parts are incredible to fish and the lakes themselves are full of nice fish. Fishing pressure on the lower quinsam river is heavy, but catch success is maintained by a productive hatchery program. The fishing pressure is almost nil on the upper reaches. Hiking down for a mile or two from the middle quinsam lake will get you some nice trout. Winter steelhead, cutthroat trout and fall coho and pinks account for the popularity of the quinsam river. I have been fishing middle Quinsam Lake for over 50 years and i don’t think i ever went home skunked.

There is a small waterfall that has a nice pool below it about a mile down from Middle Quinsam Lake, its a nice hike with several pools along the way to try your luck in, the pool below the falls has always been productive. There is camping at all the lakes as well as at the Elk Falls Provincial Campsite on the lower reaches.

There is a small dam on the upper Quinsam/wokas lakes area where water is diverted to gooseneck lake and from there into lower campbell lake where it is used for power production at the Ladore power station. This water used to flow into middle Quinsam Lake.

This is an area where you can see lots of wildlife, you could see black bears, black tail deer, elk, cougars, wolves and many other smaller animals and birds, so bring your camera when you head this way.

 

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