November 11, 2008 | Tips from Us >
Mission, Bird Watching
View a larger image on flickr.com
It was pouring when we woke up. I questioned whether travelling out to Mission to get on a boat to explore the channels of the Fraser River near Harrison Mills was the best idea for spending the day with my daughter (9). Boy was I glad we did! We took part in a tour offered by Fraser River Safari
, a relatively new player on the tourism scene, to travel with them in their covered, warm and comfortable vessel, to view the wildlife and scenery east of Mission. We saw thousands of bald eagles perched in trees, on logs, flying and swooping. We saw seals lounging on logs and rocks, we saw a black bear forging for food on the shore and, (perhaps the highlight), we witnessed four fishermen struggle to pull in a 6 foot (maybe longer) sturgeon fish. From the very knowledgable guides we learned that sturgeon fishing on the Fraser is a big draw for visitors to our Province and that we have quite a reputation for sturgeon fishing on the world scale. We also learned that the sturgeon is a prehistoric fish and can live out of water for a very long time - in fact, as the story goes, a sturgeon was found alive in the mud banks of what was once the nearby Sumas Lake, 10 years after the lake had been drained
. We were impressed to learn more about the "catch and release" laws pertaining to sturgeon fishing too, and felt relieved to know that our 6 foot friend wasn't getting served up for dinner at someone's table. We also learned a great deal about the First Nations of the area, the fur trade, the gold rush and about one of BC's favourite icons, the sasquatch! The trip is 4 hours in total, with a 1 hour stop at the Kilby Historic Site
in Harrison Mills where we enjoyed a fast lunch and a quick tour through the old General Store and Hotel, now a Museum. My daughter fancied the petting zoo and we vowed to return to the Kilby Historic Site when we had more time...in fact, it would be the perfect activity to pair up with a stay in nearby Harrison Hot Springs
. In the end, we were thrilled we ventured out to the Valley despite the weather - sure it rained most of the day but it didn't take away from our adventure at all!