Newsletter - May 2011

Vancouver Island enjoyed the deepest snowpack ever recorded this winter compliments of El Nina. As a result the snow levels are currently at 160% of average – which will result in great water levels for the 2011 season. A cool spring means that the melt hasn’t started yet – so late May through end of July should have great levels for our Nimpkish tours.

Book your tour now and mention the record snow pack level to get 5% off your tour! Use the secure on-line reservation form comments box or call us.

Puntledge Paddlefest Weekend May 28 and 29

Once again we are offering two trips per day during the Puntledge River Paddlefest Weekend in Courtenay. This annual event is possible due to BC Hydro releasing extra water from the reservoir on one scheduled weekend per year. The normally placid Puntledge River increases from the usual 10 – 12 m3/second to 80 m3/second on Saturday morning, ramping up as high as 120 m3/second by Sunday afternoon.

Check out a video from the 2010 Paddlefest here.

Saturday morning is almost full already, call to book for this great splashy tour. $75 per person per run or $125 for a double run, taxes included.

Dinosaurs, Rivers and Fossils

Vancouver Island is composed largely of shale and sandstone with a top layer of sedimentary and bedrock. Along the Vancouver Island Highway you will see outcroppings of sedimentary rock where the road has cut into the ground and exposed the rock underneath. This shale and sandstone layer was deposited during the upper Cretaceous period. It is rich in fossils that tell a detailed story of a warm shallow sea that existed some 65-90 million years ago during the age when Tyrannosaurus ruled on land.

Rivers flowing towards an ocean naturally expose the underlying sedimentary, bedrock, shale and sandstone layers. Vancouver Island rivers are relatively young – only 10,000 years ago there was a mile deep of ice moving across the land. These rivers are still eroding the layers of rock and exposing fossils. From the Nanaimo River north to the Salmon River, amateur palaeontologists discover prehistoric treasures.

Nearby on the Puntledge River an Elasmosaurus was discovered in 1988. You can find Linuparus Vancouverensis, (spiny lobster) near Campbell River along with hundreds of crabs, a species that is found nowhere else in the world. And in the Sayward Valley, you can discover bivalves ranging in size from the tiny clam to the gigantic Inoceramus Vancouverensis, one of the most common fossils you will find.

Raft & Snorkel with the Salmon Tours – July 20 to Sept. 30 each year

We once again had record returns of salmon in 2010 in the Campbell River with great viewing opportunities. Half a million pinks in 2010 and almost 900,000 in 2009 bode well for continued big runs on our river. This tour was recommended by American Way magazine in July as one of the four top marine wildlife viewing tours in the world for their guests.

Read more here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011