Harrison River

[kodex_post_like_buttons][kodex_post_like_count] Harrison River
November 21, 2015
by Dave WesteII

The mid November Fish 'n Fowl paddle has become an annual event. This year, we had 15 or so people in various tandem boats and one big voyageur. When some kayakers asked what club we were with, we had to answer “several”: there were Beavers: some dragon boaters from Fort Langley and Cultus Lake, outrigger paddlers from Pitt Meadows, and a few independent souls.

Photo: Lee McGovern

For November, the conditions couldn’t have been better—sunny, warmish with a following breeze. The water was a little high, and that was good because it meant the 25-foot voyageur canoe could slip down the smaller left channel, where there are more fish, more eagles, and more time to see them.

The lunch spot was almost entirely submerged, except for a small beach occupied by the above mentioned kayakers, who readily shared their space, food and fire. That was good because my BBQ had failed and I needed it to cook my chicken. If “tandoori” means barbecue, is it still tandoori when it is burnt? Or is there another work for that?

The take out at Kilby was a little concerning. Somehow, the free day-use parking lot has become smaller, and the money making trailer lot and camp grounds have become larger. Some of us parked our cars a block or two away at the museum.

This year we saw hundreds of eagles, maybe a thousand. Not as many as the 4,000 we saw a few years ago. We got about as close as one can, perched in trees, or standing on the beach picking at salmon. We also saw hundreds of salmon, swimming below our boats, resting in eddies, or just flipping in the shallows looking for somewhere to lay their eggs.

photo by Lee McGovern 2 (2)

Photo: Lee McGovern

The annual eagle spectacle is a real treasure—I’d like to think it is unique to our part of the world and can’t wait to see it again next year. I hope we can all return to it year after year as reliably as do the birds and the fish.

photo by Lee McGovern 1

Photo: Lee McGovern

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