Category: On the Water

Things to Do—Fishing

With four major salmon rivers nearby – Kispiox, Skeena, Bulkley and Suskwa – New Hazelton and the surrounding area is a prime spot for fishing.

Summer to early fall is the busy season for catching various types of salmon, while October is the time to target steelhead. Most fishing in the area is done from the banks of the rivers and while wading in the water.


Kispiox River

The Kispiox River is especially well known throughout the province for the number and size of its fish. Tie a fly on the line, stand on the banks of the river and enjoy the scenery and curious wildlife in the area. Wave to the kayakers and rafters as they float by.

The calm lakes nearby also make good angling destinations for trout and other freshwater fish. Ice fishing is possible in the winter.

Fishing Guides

Choose between exploring the riverbanks and waters with or without a guide a guide. The Kispiox Valley has several private guides that also run bed and breakfasts, which makes a package deal an easy way to go. Skeena Eco-expeditions, a local eco-tourism company, also has fishing guides for hire and offers other tours of the area.

Practical Points

  • To learn more about the restoration and monitoring of fish habitat, visit the Kispiox fish hatchery in Kispiox Village. It’s open year-round and offers free tours.
  • The best fishing spots depend on the time of year, the target catch, and various other factors. Ask at the New Hazelton Visitor Centre for tips.
  • Note that all fishers 16-years-old and over, residents and non-residents, require a license to fish. Licenses are available on the BC government website.

Photo and Information Courtesy of HelloBC

Things to Do in the Area—River Rafting

River Rafting

Glaciers, grizzlies, eagles, salmon, totem poles – river rafting through Northern BC is a spectacular journey through untouched wilderness settings, old growth forests, and pristine rivers.

Rafting trips can be a single day float down a gently moving river, or a multi-day whitewater wilderness expedition into some of the most remote and beautiful places settings in North America. The Babine-Bulkley, Tatsenshini-Alsek, and Gataga-Kechika rivers are some whitewater rafting highlight areas in this region.

Whether you’re looking for thrilling whitewater adventure or a slow, scenic trip for the whole family on an iceberg-filled lake, rafting in Northern British Columbia offers something for everyone. Safe, professionally guided trips will present Northern BC in its very best light.

Rafting in Northern BC

Many rivers in Northern BC host a variety of salmon runs, which attract grizzly and black bears, as well as bald eagles, moose, wolverine and lynx. Whitewater thrills aren’t the only reason for rafting here – wildlife viewing and photography are an essential part of this area’s rafting experience.

The Babine River is also known as the “River of Grizzlies” and cuts through a remote section of the Coast Mountain Range. Suitable for beginner paddlers, you can expect to see a migratory population of grizzly bears fishing for salmon from July to late September. Spectacular totems and First Nations cultural artefacts are also on display as the river winds through Gitksan villages.

Highlights—Babine River and Bulkley River

Your rafting adventure along the 150-km/93-mi Babine River (in the Smithers area) during salmon-spawning season takes you into an isolated wilderness filled with thrilling rapids and narrow canyons, and gives one of the finest grizzly bear-viewing opportunities in the province.

Descend the famous whitewater known as “Grizzly Drop,” where even the salmon struggle through the swift current as they fight their way through the paws of the mighty grizzly bears. At the end of the journey, you are greeted by the magnificent totem poles of Kispiox Village.

The Bulkley River boasts over 30 rapids and is one of the most exciting and scenic whitewater day-rafting trips in BC. It ends near ‘Ksan Historical Village in Hazelton, where the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers meet.

  • Rated: Babine I to IV; Bulkley III to IV (visit the BC Rafting page for information on rafting classes).
  • Approximate time required: 1 day for the Bulkley; 5-10 days for the Babine
  • Best time: July to September for the Bulkley

Related Website: British Columbia River Outfitters Association

Photo and Info Courtesy of HelloBC