While there is much to be seen on land, there’s a whole new layer to Campbell River.. Underwater. Anywhere salmon, whales and seals swim, you can too (not at the same time, of course). It’s a different and surprising underworld in the cold waters of the region. A world where there is plentiful sea life and much to be explored. The waters around Campbell River, teem with marine life due to the large nutrient tidal exchanges. Thinking about joining us in the watery depths? Be sure to check with a local dive shop for advice and details. Here are the top places, to explore the underwater ecosystems surrounding Campbell River.
In the cold coastal waters these cliffs drop to over 100’ below the surface of Discovery Passage. This site has been written about in dozens of scuba magazines around the world due to the dramatic drops, massive boulders and colourful soft sponges and corals. Here you will also see huge lingcod and rockfish, and the occasional wolf eel or giant Pacific octopus.
Scuttled in 1996 as an artificial reef, the former 366’ long Naval Destroyer Escort HMCS Columbia now lies on the bottom of Maude Bay, attracting a wide array of interesting marine life that now call her home. Her decks are adorned with brittle starfish and swimming scallops, while inside you might catch a glimpse of the large cabezon that call this ship home.
Steep is one of the most unique diving sites in British Columbia. Cascading walls down to over 100’ (30M) with a large wall of tube worms. The kelp greenling fish here are so tame that they will follow divers around the dive site. This site is a prime example for why British Columbia waters have been rated as the top temperate diving in the world.
One of the most well-known shore diving sites in British Columbia, fields upon fields of small strawberry anemones cover the floor of this dive site. Any exposed rock that isn’t covered in bright red has one of a plethora of other soft coral or sponge. Make sure to check the currents and only dive at slack tide as this site is quite close to the Quadra Island ferry terminal.
A very popular shore diving site with local divers, the pilings of this coal loading facility are encrusted with barnacles and huge plumose anemones from the bottom at 65’ all the way back to the surface. At night you are almost guaranteed to see more than one giant Pacific octopus. These nocturnal hunters are often sighted perched on a piling waiting for an unsuspecting crab to happen by.
Snorkelling with the Salmon
The Campbell River is the ideal location to get up close and personal with the salmon for a river adventure. Prime snorkelling season begins in August.