Archive For The “Skeena” Category
I was in Prince Rupert and Port Edward, BC on Friday, May 29. I was able to pay a brief visit to the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site. I had always wanted to see the site, but in the past my visits to Prince Rupert were either in the winter, when the site is closed, or I was too busy filing to clients to have the time.
So here are some of the photos I took, converted to black and white, appropriate since the North Pacific Cannery was the longest running cannery on the west coast, operating from 1889 to 1981. It was named a National Historic Site in 1987.
The west end of the cannery site. The two small buildings are replicas of the houses that were occupied by workers from local First Nations. The large building to the left is the machine shop and First Nations net loft (Robin Rowland)
A fishing net hangs from the rafters in the First Nations Net Loft. The building was built in Port Essington and moved to the cannery site in 1937. The loft was where First Nations fishers stored, repaired and hung their nets. (Robin Rowland)
Another view of the loft. (Robin Rowland)
The main part of the cannery at low tide. (Robin Rowland)
The cannery’s old fuel dock was separate from the rest of the facility for safety reasons. (Robin Rowland)
Another view of the old fuel dock. (Robin Rowland)
An old rowboat on the cannery grounds. (Robin Rowland)
The west end of Smith Island, Port Edward, BC, captured driving back from the cannery site just as the fog rolled in. (Robin Rowland)
The oolichan, the tiny oil rich fish that sustained the First Nations of British Columbia for millenia come up the rivers in the early spring. At least they come up those rivers where oolichan (Thaleichthys pacificus) still survive. Like the salmon, the oolichan live their adult lives in the ocean and then return to their native streams to spawn and die.
One of the rivers that still sees an oolichan run is the Skeena. Gulls, eagles, ravens, seals all come to feast as the oolichan migrate upstream. The gulls, sensing a feast after a long, harsh winter, are almost in a frenzy, circling and diving over the spot in the river that the oolichan migration has reached.
On Friday, March 8, I was driving to Prince Rupert for an assignment and stopped at the Telegraph Creek rest area. I was lucky, for it was at Telegraph Creek, a great spot for photographs, that the oolichan had reached. There were a few naturalists at Telegraph Creek watching the show. It was an elderly couple who first clued me in to what was going on. Thank you.
Mostly gulls. An eagle flying overhead. Seals or sea lions just upstream.
If I didn’t have that assignment I had to get to in Rupert, I would have stayed at Telegraph Creek most of the day. But as it was, I did manage to get a few shots of the hundreds of gulls circling, wheeling and swimming. I got a couple of not very good shots of an eagle overhead (not very good which is why they’re not here) and the seals or sea lions weren’t anywhere close. So I stayed as long as I could, then it was back in the car for work.