| Campbell River
Campbell River, British Columbia
Location and Population
Campbell River is a community in British Columbia at the south end of Discovery Passage on northern Vancouver Island. Campbell River claims a population (2001 census) of 28,456 and a "market population" of twice that and has long been known as the Salmon Capital of the World.
Members of the kwakiutl First Nations live in the area, as do weewaikai (Cape Mudge) and Wewaykum (Campbell River) tribe members of the Laich-kwil-tach First Nations.
The town is served by Campbell River Airport, a seaplane base at Campbell River Harbour, a BC Ferries route to Quadra Island, and highways which connect it to neighbouring towns such as Courtenay, The Village of Sayward and Port Hardy.
The people of Campbell River rely on the forestry industry, the mining industry. Campbell River has been home to many famous miners such as Curtis Davidsen. the fishing industry -- and the tourism industry. It is arguably the salmon capital of the world, sharing a healthy rivalry with nearby Port Alberni, the other contender. It is known for its sport fishing and many tourists come to fish.
The 1948 construction of the BC Power Corporation's Elk Falls hydroelectric dam - later named the John Hart Generating Station - allowed Crown Zellerbach to establish the Elk Falls Pulp and Paper Mill in 1952, which greatly improved the town's economy.
Captain George Vancouver reached Campbell River with the ships HMS Discovery and HMS Chatham in 1792. The Captain and his botanist, Mr Archibald Menzies, discovered a small tribe of 350 natives who spoke the Salish language. A Lekwiltok or Laich-wil-tach (Kwakiutl or Kwaguilth Native Indian Band) war party, heavily armed with European rifles, paddled south from Johnstone Strait in the middle of the 19th Century and were in control of the area when the HMS Plumper came through on a cartography mission under Captain George Henry Richards around 1859. Dr Samuel Campbell was the ship surgeon, and it's believed his name was given to the town. Likewise, the name of the ship's Lieutenant Zachary Mudge is preserved in the nearby Cape Mudge.
Sports fishermen travelled to the area as early as the 1880s, especially after the tales from noted anglers such as Sir Richard Musgrave and Sir John Rogers. The formation of the Campbell River Tyee Club in 1924, over concern regarding over-fishing of the salmon stocks, actually served to increase the popularity of the area. E.P. Painter, for instance, moved to Campbell River the following year and opened his Painter's Lodge in 1929.
Campbell River enjoys a mild climate, with temperatures usually between 0°C (32°F) and 32°C (90°F) year-round. The most precipitation is measured in November, at 218.0 mm (8.6 in) on average. While January sees the most average snow, 152 mm (6 in), only 10 mm (1/3in) will be seen actually accumulating.
Note: climate statistics from the Campbell River Airport weather station.
Campbell River is located near Seymour Narrows, the site of the largest man-made non-nuclear explosions. In 1958 Campbell River miners tunneled for 28 months to plant explosives and demolish a navigational hazard called Ripple Rock, a submerged peak which made the narrows so treacherous that Captain George Vancouver claimed it was "one of the vilest stretches of water in the world" upon sailing it in 1792.
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