British Columbia Wildlife Watch - Cariboo Region (Bella Coola - Riske Creek Viewing Sites)
copyright © A.L. Mol  2003
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Within the Bella Coola - Riske Creek area of the Cariboo Region, the following 20 viewing sites are identified.

Viewing site details have been added.  New

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   Anahim Lake

This site includes Anahim Lake and the immediate surrounding lands.

Viewing Highlights - The Lake is used by American White Pelican for feeding from May through early September. Spring and Summer waterfowl species include Red-necked Grebe, Wood Duck, Ring-neck Duck, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal and Barrow's Goldeneye. Also watch for Common Loon, Spruce Grouse, Ring-billed Gull and Black Tern.

In spring and summer look for Muskrat and River Otter. Moose may be seen from mid December to March.

Directions - Located about 4 km northwest of the community of Anahim Lake.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Bella Coola Estuary

The estuary area is situated where the freshwater of the Bella Coola River enters the salt water of Bentinck Arm in Bella Coola.

Viewing Highlights - The estuary is used by waterfowl during migration and for wintering. Look for Trumpeter Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, American Wigeon, Barrow's Goldeneye, Bufflehead and Common Merganser.

Directions - Located in the community of Bella Coola.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Chilanko Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Chilanko Marsh is good for wildlife viewing. Habitat enhancement projects have been completed here.

Viewing Highlights - Viewing is best from May through early September. Waterfowl species include Green-winged, Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck. Edge areas are visited by Sharp-tailed Grouse, Common Snipe, Marsh Wren and Yellow-headed Blackbird.

From May to mid September American Beaver and Muskrat are visible. Moose visit the area in winter from mid Decemeber to March.

Directions - From Williams Lake travel west on Highway 20 for about 185 km. Turn north at the junction identifying the Puntzi Lake airstrip and follow this road for about 6.5 km to the airstrip. The marsh is located south of the road.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Chilco River

This site is located near Ts'y-los Provincial Park.

Viewing Highlights - In May, Steelhead spawn at the river inlet to Chilko Lake.

Directions - Located about 55 km south of Chilanko Forks at the north end of Chilko Lake. There is back road accessa to this area.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Chilcotin Lake

This is a picturesque area of the Cariboo.

Viewing Highlights - American White Pelicans use the lake to feed from May to August. A long list of birds have been recorded at the lake, including many waterfowl species that nest on the lake, Osprey, Bald Eagle, other raptors, Belted Kingfisher, Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, woodpeckers, American Bittern, Sora, gulls, Black Tern, hummingbirds, swallows and a wide range of songbirds.

American Beaver and Muskrat are visible from Late April to mid September. Red Squirrels are observed from May through September.

Directions - Located about 25 km north of Chilanko Forks. From Williams Lake travel Highway 20 west about 185 km to the Puntzi Lake turnoff. Follow this road about 16 km past the west side of Puntzi Lake to the east end of Chilcotin Lake.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Chilcotin Marshes

The Chilcotin Marshes contain lush wetland habitat that is home to many nesting birds.

Viewing Highlights - Spring through early fall are best for viewing. Watch for Eared, Pied-billed and Horned Grebes, Green-winged, Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teals, Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck, Northern Shoveler, White-winged Scoter and Ruddy Duck. Shorebirds include Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper and Wilson's Phalarope. Also look for Yellow-headed Blackbird, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Northern Flicker.

American Beaver are visible from late April to mid September. Moose winter in the area from November to March.

Directions - Located about 50 km northwest of Alexis Creek. From Williams Lake travel west on Highway 20 for about 145 km. There is a bridge crossing the Chilcotin River. Turn right just before the bridge onto Chezacut Road. Follow this road for about 29 km. Park and on the left is a trail. Follow the trail for about 1.5 km to a dead end. The marshes are straight ahead.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Deer Park Wildlife Reserve

This area contains both private and crown land. Visitors should remain on the road corridors.

Viewing Highlights - California Bighorn Sheep live in this area and are most visible from October to March. Mule Deer visit the area from March to May. Coyotes reside year your.

Directions - Located about 26 km southwest of Williams Lake. The road leading to this area is on the ledt several kilometres after crossing the bridge over the Fraser River on Highway 20.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Farwell Canyon

The Farwell Canyon area is spectacular and is situated along the Chilcotin River.

Viewing Highlights - California Bighorn Sheep reside in this area year round.

Directions - Located along the south-facing slopes of the Chilcotin River south of Riske Creek. The bridge over the Chilcotin River is 19 km south of Highway 20.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Itcha Ilgachaz Provincial Park

Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park comprises approximately 110,000 ha of unique landscape in the West Chilcotin Uplands. The landscape is diverse, and contains volcanic landforms, alpine environments, and forest sites scattered with wetlands. The Itcha Range and Ilgachuz Range are examples of isolated shield volcanoes, rising up to 2,400 m above sea level. These ranges are situated in the rain shadow of the Coast Mountains, and support a high diversity of plant and animal species.

Viewing Highlights - California Bighorn Sheep live here year round, primarily in the Ilgachuz Range. Moose may be observed from May to September and Woodland Caribou from June to December.

Directions - Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park is located in the Chilcotin Uplands east of the Rainbow Range of South Tweedsmuir Park. The park is extremely remote and unroaded; the closest communities are Anahim Lake, Alexis Creek, Nimpo Lake, Redstone, and Nazko. The closest major centre is Quesnel, located approximately 200 km east of the park.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Cariboo District
281 - 1st Avenue North, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 1Y7
phone: (250) 398-4414
fax: (250) 398-4686
e-mail

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   Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park

The Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park consists of rolling grasslands and deeply eroded gullies at the confluence of the Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers in central BC. This unique landscape is a place of spectacular scenery, with cliffs and hoodoos breaking the grassland benches. The park was originally part of a Wildlife Management Area managed by BC Environment. The area is protected most notably because of its importance to an internationally significant herd of California Bighorn Sheep.

Viewing Highlights - The Junction area is home to the largest population of non-migratory California Bighorn Sheep in British Columbia. Also watch for Mule Deer and Coyote.

From May to July look in the grassland for Blue Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse and Long-billed Curlwe.

Directions - The Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park is located at the junction of the Fraser and Chilcotin Rivers. The closest major center is Williams Lake. Access to the park is difficult, via rough 4 x 4 dirt roads through private ranchlands. Please refer to the Cariboo Forest Region Recreation Map (East) published by the Ministry of Forests for more information.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Cariboo District
281 - 1st Avenue North, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 1Y7
phone: (250) 398-4414
fax: (250) 398-4686
e-mail

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   Pollywog Marshes

A variety of wildlife has been observed at the marshes.

Viewing Highlights - A number of waterfowl species nest in the marshes, including Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, Lesser Scaup, Barrow's Goldeneye, Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck. Common Snipe are also observed. Viewing is best from May to early September.

American Beaver live in the marshes and are visible from late April through mid September.

Directions - Located along the southern side of Highway 20 about 34 km southwest of Chilanko Forks. From Tatla Lake proceed about 18 km east on Highway 20 to the Pollywog Lake Rest Area overlooking the marshes.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Puntzi Marshes

Puntzi Marshes are situated between Puntzi Lake and Chilanko Creek.

Viewing Highlights - The period from late April through mid September are best for viewing. Watch for a cariety of nesting waterfowl, including Horned Grebe, Green-winged, Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teals, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck and Barrow's Goldeneye. Also seen are Northern Harrier and American Kestrel, Northern Flicker, swallows, Yellow-headed Blackbird and Eastern Kingbird.

Directions - Located about 3 km northeast of Chilanko Forks.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Reidemann Wildlife Sanctuary (Alkaki Lake)

This is one of many locations used by American White Pelicans for feeding.

Viewing Highlights - Watch for pelicans from May to August. Other birds include Common Loon, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail and Barrow's Goldeneye.

Directions - Located about 40 km south of Williams Lake. Access is via Doc Creek Road.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Snootli Creek Hatchery

This facility was established to enhance Chum Salmon and Chinook Salmon in the Bella Coola River system.

Viewing Highlights - Visitors may observe Steelhead in May, Chum Salmon from July to August and Chinook Salmon and Pink Salmon from August through September.

Directions - Located 4 km beyond Hagensborg and 14.5 km from Bella Coola.

For more information contact -

Snootli Creek Hatchery
Box 25, Bella Coola, B.C. Canada V0T 1C0
phone: (250) 982-2522
fax: (250) 982-2971

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   Tatla Lake Marshes

The Tatla Lake Marshes area is situated about half way between Bella Coola and Williams Lake.

Viewing Highlights - From late April through mid September watch for nesting waterfowl species. Also seen are Common Snipe, Red-winged Blackbird and Yellow-headed Blackbird.

Directions - Located along the northern side of Highway 20 stretching the entire length of Tatla Lake from just east of Chilanko Forks to the community of Tatla Lake.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Cariboo Region
#400 - 640 Borland Street, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 4T1
phone: (250) 398-4530
fax: (250) 398-4214

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   Ts'y-los Provincial Park

Ts’yl-os (pronounced "sigh-loss") Provincial Park comprises approximately 233,000 hectares of rugged mountains, clear blue lakes, glaciers, alpine meadows, and waterfalls. It is bordered by the rugged peaks of the Coast Mountains to the west, and the dry Interior Plateau to the east. The diversity and contrast in landscapes and vegetation are a result of a rainshadow effect on the east side of the mountains. While the northern and eastern portions of the park are relatively dry, the south end of Chilko Lake is characterized by moist areas of the coastal western hemlock zone.

Viewing Highlights - The mountainous terrain of Ts’yl-os Provincial Park provides for a diversity of wildlife habitats ranging from Douglas-fir forests at lower elevations to dry alpine areas at higher elevations. Wildlife species include Black Bear, Mule Deer, Moose, Mountain Goat and American Beaver. Ecologically sensitive animal populations found in the area include California Bighorn Sheep, Fisher, Wolverine, Bald Eagle and amphibian species. The adjacent lands are also important habitat for Vaux’s Wwift, Peregrine Falcon and Townsend’s Big-eared Bat.

Directions - Ts'yl-os Provincial Park is located in a relatively undeveloped and isolated part of the Chilcotin. As the crow flies, the park is approximately 160 km southwest of Williams Lake, or 250 km north of Vancouver. There are two main vehicle access routes into the park, from Hanceville on the Nemiak Valley Road and from Tatla Lake on the Tatlayoko/Chilko Lake Road. Both routes take 4 to 6 hours from Williams Lake, though travel time varies considerably depending on weather conditions. Roads are rough, and conditions vary considerably with weather. Drive carefully and with lights on.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Cariboo District
281 - 1st Avenue North, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 1Y7
phone: (250) 398-4414
fax: (250) 398-4686
e-mail

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   Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park (Fisheries Pool)

Tweedsmuir (South) Provincial Park is one of the largest of B.C.'s several hundred parks. Located in the west-central region of the province, 480 km northwest of Vancouver as the crow flies, Tweedsmuir is roughly triangular in shape. It is bounded on the north and northwest by the Ootsa-Whitesail Lakes reservoir, on the west and southwest by the Coast Mountains, and on the east by the Interior Plateau. The Fisheries Pool site is located in the Atnarko River just west of Stuie along Highway 20.

Viewing Highlights - Pink Salmon spawn from August to early September.

Directions - South Tweedsmuir is located on Highway 20, approximately 400 km west of Williams Lake, midway between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola. The highway from Williams Lake consists of both gravel and paved sections and is well maintained. Travel time is between 4.5 and 6 hours depending on your destination within the park and road conditions.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Cariboo District
281 - 1st Avenue North, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 1Y7
phone: (250) 398-4414
fax: (250) 398-4686
e-mail

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   Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park (Lonesome Lake)

Tweedsmuir (South) Provincial Park is one of the largest of B.C.'s several hundred parks. Located in the west-central region of the province, 480 km northwest of Vancouver as the crow flies, Tweedsmuir is roughly triangular in shape. It is bounded on the north and northwest by the Ootsa-Whitesail Lakes reservoir, on the west and southwest by the Coast Mountains, and on the east by the Interior Plateau. Lonesome Lake is located about 40 km southwest of Anahim Lake.

Viewing Highlights - Trumpeter Swans are visible in the open waters from late October to mid April.

Directions - South Tweedsmuir is located on Highway 20, approximately 400 km west of Williams Lake, midway between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola. The highway from Williams Lake consists of both gravel and paved sections and is well maintained. Travel time is between 4.5 and 6 hours depending on your destination within the park and road conditions.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Cariboo District
281 - 1st Avenue North, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 1Y7
phone: (250) 398-4414
fax: (250) 398-4686
e-mail

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   Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park (Rainbow Nature Conservancy Area)

Tweedsmuir (South) Provincial Park is one of the largest of B.C.'s several hundred parks. Located in the west-central region of the province, 480 km northwest of Vancouver as the crow flies, Tweedsmuir is roughly triangular in shape. It is bounded on the north and northwest by the Ootsa-Whitesail Lakes reservoir, on the west and southwest by the Coast Mountains, and on the east by the Interior Plateau. The Rainbow Nature Conservancy Area of the park is located about40 km northwest of Anahim Lake.

Viewing Highlights - Woodland Caribou reside in this area year round.

Directions - South Tweedsmuir is located on Highway 20, approximately 400 km west of Williams Lake, midway between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola. The highway from Williams Lake consists of both gravel and paved sections and is well maintained. Travel time is between 4.5 and 6 hours depending on your destination within the park and road conditions.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Cariboo District
281 - 1st Avenue North, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 1Y7
phone: (250) 398-4414
fax: (250) 398-4686
e-mail

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   Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park (Turner Lake)

Tweedsmuir (South) Provincial Park is one of the largest of B.C.'s several hundred parks. Located in the west-central region of the province, 480 km northwest of Vancouver as the crow flies, Tweedsmuir is roughly triangular in shape. It is bounded on the north and northwest by the Ootsa-Whitesail Lakes reservoir, on the west and southwest by the Coast Mountains, and on the east by the Interior Plateau. Turner Lake is located about 40 km southwest of Anahim Lake.

Viewing Highlights - Trumpeter Swans are visible in the open waters from late October to mid April.

Directions - South Tweedsmuir is located on Highway 20, approximately 400 km west of Williams Lake, midway between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola. The highway from Williams Lake consists of both gravel and paved sections and is well maintained. Travel time is between 4.5 and 6 hours depending on your destination within the park and road conditions.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Cariboo District
281 - 1st Avenue North, Williams Lake, B.C. Canada V2G 1Y7
phone: (250) 398-4414
fax: (250) 398-4686
e-mail