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Fish Taco Chronicles at Queen Charlotte Safaris lodge in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada

Fish Taco Chronicles

“The service at the lodge and the hands-on friendliness of owner Valerie Hoperich. Valerie has been doing this for years and she brings a welcoming touch to the lodge that was not lost on many of the guests there. Little things like a warm bowl of homemade soup waiting for you when you came in off the boat were a huge hit.” -Shawn Arnold Shawn Arnold of Fish Taco Chronicles has been great friends with Valerie and her family for over 20 years. Last season, he brought up eight friends from Orange County with him to catch the early bird fishing in June. Shawn wrote an article about his adventures in Sandspit that came out Fall 2022. This article features stories about his experience catching halibut as well as his favorite features provided by our lodge. Check out the link below to view the full article! Fish Taco Chronicles Blog

Danny Jackson

FOX Sports Television
“Queen Charlotte Safaris is by far our favorite destination. The majestic, breathtaking beauty of Haida Gwaii combined with the abundance of Chinook “King” Salmon and unparalleled bottom fishing strengthens our desire to return year after year. Professional, courteous staff and sumptuous, five star-dining is always part of the Queen Charlotte Safaris experience."
Guest fisherman holding a rockfish on a Queen Charlotte Safaris boat

Haida Gwaii’s Eerie Fish

Whether it is a monster green Lingcod or ghostly Rat Fish, Haida Gwaii has plenty of spooktacular critters in the water that are a blast to catch and eat!   Did you know that the maximum age for some species of Rockfish is 115 years old? Rockfish are slow growing and cannot start to reproduce until they are 15-20 years old. British Columbia Rockfish come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. These striped, spiky, and spiny creatures are favorites for anglers and naturalists!                     The spotted Rat Fish is related to sharks, has a skeleton made completely of cartilage, and has a venomous spine. Rat fish usually live in deeper waters but have been spotted near the shores of Haida Gwaii. Scuba divers claim that they are beautiful to see underwater at night because they glow. Because of this cool feature ...

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It’s All About the Herring

Image by Daishi Naruse via Flickr By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Kempton We'd like to believe the salmon think about us as much as we think about them, but for the salmon- it’s all about the herring! The herring are critical to the Haida Gwaii ecosystem, keeping it all in balance. The First Nations of Haida Gwaii refer to the herring as an "indicator species" and "cultural keystone species", greatly recognizing their importance. In the Haida Gwaii culture, herring are referred to throughout history as a valuable resource and are to be protected. Some say, with spring the herring signify the food season, where life is coming back to Haida Gwaii. The relatively shallow waters in Haida Gwaii, specifically, where Queen Charlotte Safaris goes to fish (in the Cartwright sound), are full of baitfish, including huge schools of herring, which provide perfect feeding grounds for the salmon. Each spring, the herring ...
Skidegate Channel

The Path to Fishing is Narrow and Winding

Queen Charlotte Safaris is located in Haida Gwaii in the little town of Sandspit. Sandspit is on the east coast of Moresby Island. And if you didn’t know, we do all of our fishing off the west coast of the islands in Cartwright Sound. So how do we get there? Well, we definitely don’t go around the island, that would take way too long. Lucky for us, there is a channel that goes between the northern and southern main islands (Graham Island and Moresby Island respectively). This channel is the Skidegate Channel.   The Skidegate Channel is narrow, winding, and fairly shallow. The depth of the channel is greatly influenced the daily tides. Because of the constantly changing depths it can be difficult to navigate through, if not impossible, for typical fishing boats with outboard motors. Even up to a few years ago, we had to go out to fish ...
Haida Gwaii Black Bear

Haida Gwaii’s Rare Bear Species

Photo by David Gurr Meet the Haida Gwaii black bear. These bears are endemic to Haida Gwaii, meaning that they are not found anywhere else in the world! The Haida Gwaii black bear is a subspecies of the American black bear and is considered the largest of the subspecies. Over time they have evolved to have a larger head, jaw, and molars to crack open crabs and barnacles more easily [1]. Unlike mainland subspecies of the American black bear, the Haida Gwaii black bears are exclusively black with tan muzzles. They are omnivorous, meaning they eat a mixture of shellfish, salmon, and greenery (including berries in the summer). They hibernate for three to five months during the winter and make their dens in hollow cedar trees or stumps. Females typically give birth in while they’re hibernating in January to two or three cubs before coming out of hibernation in April ...
Sleeping Beauty Hiking Trail in Haida Gwaii, Canada

The Beauty of the Sleeping Beauty Trail

[6]  Here at Queen Charlotte Safaris, we aren’t just known for our great fishing. But we’re also known for our touring! One of the fun and beautiful touring opportunities is to hike the Sleeping Beauty Trail. The Sleeping Beauty Trail is another name for the Tarundl Trail and is a two-part trail. The first part that is more commonly known and hiked takes you to the top of Mt. Raymond near Queen Charlotte City. The second part of this trail takes you along the ridge walk from Mt. Raymond to Mt. Slatechuk [1]. The trail from the trailhead to the summit of Mt. Raymond and back is about 3 miles (5 km) and has a 2,100 ft (640 meters) elevation gain [2].   Mt. Raymond and the surrounding mountains create the shape of a woman lying down, which coined the common name of the trail, Sleeping Beauty. The Sleeping Beauty ...
Linda's coho salmon on a boat in Haida Gwaii

Chinook vs. Coho. What’s the Difference?

What are Chinook salmon? Chinook salmon are also commonly known as king salmon as they are the largest salmon species. An average adult Chinook salmon is about 3 feet long and 30 pounds. But they can grow to be up to 4.9 feet and over 130 pounds! Chinook are born in rivers, spend their adulthood in the ocean, and return to the rivers to spawn. While in the ocean, Chinook have silver sides, white stomachs, and are blue green on their backs and the tops of their heads. They also have black spots on their upper bodies and tail fins and have black gums, which is where they got their nickname of “blackmouth”. Chinook change in color when they return to the river they were born in to spawn and become brown and or red. Spawning females have rounded noses, while spawning males have hooked noses [1]. Chinook meat is ...
Andy & Dave salmon fishing on a boat in Haida Gwaii

7 Reasons Why June is a Great Month to be in Haida Gwaii

1. Longer days June has the longest days of Summer with more daylight than the later months. More time with the sun up means more time fishing, touring, and having fun!   2. Less rain Not only are June days the longest, but they are also the driest in Haida Gwaii! We never let the rain stop us from our fun activities, but that doesn’t mean we don’t prefer to spend our time warm and dry!   3. Better fishing The early bird catches the worm! Or fish! Salmon begin their yearly migration from the Bering Sea in March and arrive in Haida Gwaii by the end of April. June is the beginning of the fishing season in Haida Gwaii, so there has been little to no fishing pressure on the fish during this time. And who doesn’t want to be among the first to fish of the season when ...
Megan on fishing boat

Megan’s First Haida Gwaii Experience

  The first time I visited the Queen Charlotte Safaris I was eleven years old. It was my first time out of the U.S. and the first time I was going on a trip that centered around fishing. I grew up fishing as it was something that my dad made a priority to do every time we went camping at a lake. I enjoyed fishing, but it wasn’t something that I really loved. What I really loved was being with my family and having fun experiences. And this trip I experienced with my grandparents, parents, and brother. My grandparents and my dad had been to Queen Charlotte Safaris a few years prior, and it was a place that became very special to the three of them. Especially my grandfather. For him, fishing wasn’t just a hobby, fishing was part of his personality. Flying into Sandspit was a unique experience. We ...
Haida Gwaii fishing

What Makes Deep Sea Fishing in Haida Gwaii Special

Haida Gwaii sits off the northwest coast of British Columbia. The ‘Misty Isles’ is a remote archipelago, home to the Haida First Nations, and features stunning mountains, rainforests, and water bodies. You can catch salmon and bottom fish such as Pacific halibut, lingcod, and various species of rockfish in the network of fjords, inlets, channels, and rivers, but deep-sea fishing is where you want to be. So, apart from the enchanting inland features, what makes deep sea fishing in Haida Gwaii special? Five Reasons Why deep sea fishing in Haida Gwaii is special Location You’ll struggle to find a fishing spot that is as abundant in deep sea fish as Haida Gwaii. It sits close to the continental shelf. Cartwright Sound is the only area in Haida Gwaii that provides great fishing opportunity, yet still has a number of areas that offer protection from the Pacific winds. Because of that, ...

Pacific Halibut Fishing In Canada Is Unique

Searching for a truly unique fishing experience? Don’t overlook the opportunities of Pacific halibut fishing at British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii area. Halibut is part of the flounder family, the largest flatfish in the Pacific. Pacific halibut fishing is one of the most exciting adventures for any angler, and it doesn’t take years of experience to appreciate. The Pacific halibut is truly a whopper, weighing up to 200 pounds and more than eight feet long. The best table-fair halibut is under 100 pounds. That’s almost twice the size of the legendary Chinook salmon, which runs just shy of six feet long. Canada is known for its outstanding salmon runs – but record Pacific halibut catches also take place here every year. British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii archipelago is a truly unique halibut habitat. If you’ve heard big things about Alaska halibut fishing, you simply can’t miss the chance to see what Haida ...

What Makes A Unique Salmon Fishing Resort?

Just like the prizes they seek, the most dedicated anglers migrate all over the world in search of the best salmon fishing. Increasingly, that has meant going to the ends of the Earth – the last unspoiled places – looking for a unique salmon fishing resort that lives up to the name. For many anglers, that ideal land is somewhere pristine and quiet, where crowds of people never outnumber schools of fish no matter the time of year. British Columbia, Canada, may not seem like the most exotic place on the top salmon fishing list. Take a second look, though, and you’ll see ours is truly the last frontier for salmon fishing. And at Queen Charlotte Safaris, we think we have a pretty good claim as a truly unique salmon fishing resort. Let’s take a closer look. The World’s Best Chinook Salmon Fishing A unique salmon fishing resort should have unique ...

An Important Update Regarding Coronavirus

Dear Family of Friends, None of us could predict our current situation and it is difficult to predict the next few weeks or even the month ahead of us. For the time being, we remain optimistic and focused on preparing for our 2021 season to open in June. We will keep everyone who has booked for 2021 up to date as more travel information becomes available through our Government and Health Organization announcements. For those who have not booked for summer 2021, please feel free to reach out with anticipated travel dates if interested (not collecting money, only date reservation). Everyone will be ready to get out of their house when travel restrictions are lifted. Please know we are taking every precaution to keep our staff safe as we make our preparations for the 2021 season and we are also working to ensure our environment is safe for all our ...

Not All Salmon Migrations Are Equal

By George Wall- Queen Charlotte Safaris Operations Manager & Shipwright What we know about the habits and deep sea migration of pacific salmon is flawed to say the least. Salmon are relatively easy to study at the beginning and end of their amazing life cycle. It is the 1000 or so days in between that we have the hardest time deciphering. Lucky for us the shifting light for global awareness of this remarkable species. New and continued research by marine biologist on both sides of the 49th parallel are leading us towards some answers.  Chinook Salmon Last November I attended the Sport Fishing Institutes Annual Policy Conference in Vancovuer, B.C. During the sessions of the day I was fortunate enough to hear a talk by Scott Hinch, about just this topic! As an avid fisherman and self appointed life long learner, scientific studies like these are exactly what I love ...
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