Category Archives: Fishing Destinations

History of Ucluelet

Ucluelet’s population lives ‘Life on the Edge’, and visitors get to experience it. It is the rugged edge of Vancouver Island, the beautiful coastline of British Columbia, the beckoning western edge of Canada.


Life on the Edge

Since early days, ‘Life on the Edge’ has been tied to both land and sea. This was true for the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations who have stories and legends about living in the Ucluelet area since the world began. (Archaeological evidence documents their presence as far back as 4,300 years.)

Being tied to the land and the sea was also a truth for the first European settlers in Ucluelet. And, the same ties bind today. Fishing, forestry, and mining were the main economic drivers in the past and, at least in the case of the first two, are still mainstays now. Today, tourism can be added to Ucluelet’s economic profile.

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation

Ucluelet is a Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation word meaning ’safe harbour’ or ’safe landing place.’ The local First Nations have always been influenced by their environment. The land and the sea gave them food and influenced their lifestyle and culture. From the sea they took salmon, cod, halibut, shellfish, sea lions, seals, and whales. From the forest they took plant and animal food as well as
cedar which was the material they used for most everything from wood for building homes and canoes to bark strips for weaving clothing. Nothing was wasted. One of the Nuu-chah-nulth’s primary teachings is ‘Hishuk ish is’awalk’ or ‘Everything is one.’

European Explorers

European explorers first set foot in the Ucluelet area in the late 1770s returning as traders to pursue maritime fur-trading, sealing, and whaling. Settlement didn’t start until the late 1800s. Among the first documented white settlers in Ucluelet were William and James Sutton in the late 1880s who operated a saw mill and general store.


The discovery of gold around 1900 at nearby Wreck Bay (also called Florencia Bay) brought more settlers to the area. But pursuing the gold commercially eventually proved impractical. Mining again figured prominently in Ucluelet’s economy in the early 1960s when iron concentrates were shipped to Japan and Ucluelet became the largest shipper of iron concentrates in British Columbia.


The turn of the 20th century also brought development of a fishing industry and with it more people settled in Ucluelet. The predominant species were salmon, halibut, cod, and herring. As a result of the increasing catch, canneries, fish buying stations, reduction plants, and processing facilities were added to the area’s infrastructure. Fishing really started to realize its potential after World War I. Japanese fishermen from Steveston settled in Ucluelet around 1920.
The introduction of their salmon trolling method also helped the fishing industry grow. Historically, and still today, commercial fishing in Ucluelet has its high and low cycles.


Forestry figures prominently in much of Ucluelet’s history and lifestyle, but logging really started to dominate in the 1950s. Logs have generally always been sent to mills and destinations away from the coast. For close to 40 years forestry provided families in Ucluelet with a reliable and relatively prosperous income.
Like fishing, however, forestry has its ups and downs; dependent on market conditions and dependent on environmental concerns. Today, tree farm license tenure holders in the Ucluelet area are adapting operations to meet the expectations of the 21st century.


The gradual establishment of road access to and from the Ucluelet area greatly influenced the community’s history. During World War II a road was built connecting Ucluelet and its sea plane base with Tofino (approximately 40 kilometres to the northwest). The road was built, principally to provide access to the military airport at the mid-way point at Long Beach. In 1959 the road to Port Alberni finally opened (Port Alberni is 100 kilometres to the east). Although the road opened in 1959, it was not paved until 1972; 13 years later.

With the road open, the influence of tourism started to impact Ucluelet, and tourism shows no sign of letting up. Close to one million people visit the West Coast each year. One of the main attractions is Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park (dedicated in 1971) where 20 kilometres of sandy beach and pounding surf
await. Sport fishing, whale watching , nature cruises, hiking, kayaking, beach combing, and eco-tourism opportunities abound in Ucluelet with a variety of accommodations, eating establishments, and stores for every need.

Ucluelet was incorporated as a village February 26, 1952 and officially became a district in 1997. The last census indicated the population in 2001 at 1,753. Article originally Compiled by: Lisa Stewart

Ucluelet is pronounced /You/clue/let/ and is a community on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

About Ucluelet

48°56?9?N 125°32?36?W

48.93583, -125.54333

Country: Canada

Province: British Columbia

Region: Vancouver Island

Regional District: Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

Incorporated: 1952

Governing Body: Ucluelet Council

Total Area: 6.55 km² (2.5 sq mi)

Elevation: 20 m (66 ft)

Population in 2006: 1,487

Time Zone: PST (UTC-8)

Postal Code: V0R 3A0

Area Code: +1-250

Highway Number: 4

Waterways: Barkley Sound

Ucluelet is pronounced /you/clue/let/ and is a community on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.


Both Tofino and Ucluelet have become target sites for the construction of retirement resorts in the past 10 years, although the local population has been historically fishing and logging-based . Very important in local society is the presence of the Yu-cluth-aht people (”people with a safe landing place” in Nuu-chah-nulth, whose government is the Ucluelet First Nation. Their community is based at Hit-at-soo (Ucluelet Indian Reserve), which is located about ten minutes from the town of Ucluelet.


It is located at the northern edge of Barkley Sound between two sections of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve: the Broken Group Islands and Long Beach.

Like its neighbour Tofino, Ucluelet is making the transition from a resource-based economy to a tourism-based economy.

Festivals and Events

Every March, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival is a week of celebratory events hosted by Ucluelet, Tofino, and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Edge to Edge Marathon, a recognized qualifier for the Boston Marathon, takes place in June. As it turns out, Tofino and Ucluelet are exactly marathon distance apart. The small town local event has grown over the last decade and this past year we welcomed 750 runners.

A Remarkable Variety of Fishing in Ucluelet BC

Every one likes fresh dungeness crab, right?

Our fishing season is upon us in BC. With our first set of bookings completed, good news.

Salmon Fishing is starting to pick up trolling around Great Bear, Meares Bluff, Austin Island, and Swale Rock.

Halibut Fishing off of Sail Reef and Long Beach are producing the odd Big Halibut (60 lbs plus).

Ling Cod Fishing opened today and there are lots of Rock Cod to be caught South East of Mara Rock and around the Red Can and George Fraser Islands.

Crab Fishing in Ucluelet harbour is fantastic averaging 4-6 big keeper Dunganesse Crab per 8 hour soak.

Prawn Fishing off Capstan Island and Prideaux Island is producing between 2 dozen and 4 dozen Prawns per trap for an overnight soak.

The Shellfish Ban has been lifted for portions of Barkley Sound and there is an abundance of Oysters, and Clams if you have the energy to dig them, around Toquart Bay and the Stopper Islands.

All this from the tiny fishing Villiage of Ucluelet off the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC.

Grab your gear, its time to go fishing, remember to buy a new license, your one from last year expired at the end of March, and don’t forget your Salmon tag.

Accommodations in Ucluelet, BC

When it comes time to look for a peaceful place to rest after a hard day of battling mighty Chinooks or powerful Halibut, or a place to dust off the ocean spray thanks to a Grey Whale spouting nearby, or you just want to relax after enjoying the pristine beauty of your kayaking adventure, Ucluelet offers all different ranges of accommodations for all different tastes. Here are just a few ideas the fishermen prefer. If you are looking for a more unique experience, the many local bed and breakfast operations may be more what you are looking for, you can check them out at

Eagle in Ucluelet, BCTAUCA LEA BY THE SEA:

1-250-726-4625 |
1-bedroom suite-big, sleeps 2-3
2-bedroom suite-sleeps 3-4
Comments, brand new in the inner harbor, nice!! 8 people can easily hang out
in the 2 bedroom suite.


Kitchenette-sleeps 2
2-bedroom-sleeps 3, kitchen, common area
Comments, clean, rooms on backside are side-by-side and large enough for a group to hang out in.


Small room sleeps 2, single beds
Big room sleep 2, double beds
Kitchenette-sleeps 3
2-bedroom suite sleeps 3-4
Comments, closest to dock, has a indoor pool, sauna, large fitness facility, Suntan beds, can see guide boats from room.


Kitchenette sleeps 2-3
Comments, biggest motel in town, rooms on backside or side by side.


2-person room on 400′ ship
2-person suite on land
Comments, fully geared towards fisherman, breakfast buffet at 4:00am Gift shop, bus service from Vancouver, clean, new style, busies.

Eco Adventure Tours

Nowhere else on earth has the meeting of land and sea created such a divers and magnificent eco system as the west coast of Vancouver Island. The waters of Pacific Rim National Park and the coastal regions nearby have often been referred to as second to none and as Jacque Cousteau put it, second, only to the Great Barrier Reef. Water clarity and a nutrient rich environment combine to provide the building blocks for life, a striving life.

As in many coastal communities eco adventure tourism is becoming a striving industry, rather than just offer our guest’s a 2-3 hour whale watching cruise, At the Barkley adventure Station we offer a 4-5 hour Marine Eco Adventure.

Our knowledgeable guides will ignite your imaginations with local First Nations history and folklore as you make way through Ucluelets Harbour bound for the pristine waters of Barkley Sound and the Broken group Island. As you reach the harbour mouth the journey really begins with sightings of whales almost imminent. From there you will continue to learn about the rich variety of sea life along the shores of the Pacific Coast, which could include the sightings of many if not all of the following, Grey Whales, Humpback Whales, Stellar and California Sea Lions, Bears, Porpoises, Otters, Eagles and more..

From there you will continue on into Pacific Rim National Park and the Broken Group Islands in Barkley Sound, navigating on the edge of the Graveyard of the Pacific, all the while your guide will be sharing tales of memorable First Nations communities that once were prominent on these remote islands.

Sealions off Ucluelet

The breathtaking visual backdrops, of the broken group islands, once again where land meets sea, often have been linked to the inspirations of local artists such as Roy Vickers, as well many others. It is truly an experience that will build lasting memories to share with friend and family alike.

Departure times for the Eco Adventure Tours are flexible so please check ahead to confirm availability and departure times.

Salmon & Halibut Fishing in Ucluelet

Fishing the prestigious waters of the Pacific North West offers every angler the opportunity to land fish every day regardless of skill level. 20 to 40 fish a day, or more, are commonly hooked so a novice angler has the ability to advance their skill, and the experienced angler can choose optimum fish for retention.

Halibut Fishing in Ucluelet, BCThe usual destination for prime Halibut and Salmon fishing is Laperouse Bank approx 18 – 25 miles offshore south of Ucluelet. This upwelling provides an ideal habitat for all the different species of feed that the Pacific Salmon and Pacific Halibut consume as part of their diet. (krill, herring, pilchard, needlefish, etc.). The annual migrations of both Salmon and Halibut ensure that we have every sports fishing opportunity, and our geographical location provides a season that lasts throughout the year and peaks from May through September. Non-stop action ensures Ucluelet as an optimum fishing destination, one of the best in the world, successful catch limits of Halibut and Chinook Salmon are normal for a 2 – 3 day fishing adventure.

On board our fully equipped 38 ft. charter vessel, electric downriggers are most commonly used to troll for Chinook and Coho Salmon, our wide selection of terminal tackle allows you the angler to choose whether to fish with single action knuckle busters, a personal favorite, or level wind reels. Various methods are used to fish Halibut depending on sea conditions and area, Spreader bars with bait is the most common, but trolling Halibut can also be very effective.

Daily fishing trips from Ucluelet usually depart at 5 o’clock am and last for 8 – 10 hours depending on how many people are on board. Remember limits are quite common so don’t forget a cooler. (we recommend a 100 quart cooler plus)

Join us for a fishing experience of a lifetime. If you have any further questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact us, and any one of our friendly staff will be glad to help you:

250-266-0151 or via e-mail;

A little background information on the sports fish most highly sought by anglers.

Chinook Salmon

Chinook live from three to seven years, and weigh up to 80 pounds. Also known as Springs or Kings, they are the most famous game salmon sought by sport fishers.

Chinook can be identified by their small eye, black gums at the base of their teeth, long black spots along their back and tail. While in salt water, the Chinook has a dark back with a greenish-blue sheen. As it begins the journey back toward its spawning ground, its colour darkens and it develops a reddish hue around the fins and belly. The teeth of adult spawning males become enlarged and the snout develops into a hook.

Chinook head for sea within a few months after emerging from their gravel nest although some have been known to remain in their home stream up to two years. Spawning Chinook vary in age – anywhere from two to eight years.

In the sea, Chinook feed on large zooplankton, herring, sand lance and many other fish.

Coho Salmon

Coho live three years, and weigh up to 23 pounds. Prized by both commercial and sports fishers, they are also known as Silvers or Bluebacks.

Coho can be identified by the whiteness at the base of their teeth with black at the edge of their gums. They have spots on their upper lobe, as should be a silver colour next to the caudal, which is thicker than in other species.

Coho are the most widely dispersed of any of the five species of salmon and our found in most coastal streams in British Colombia and in many streams from California to Alaska but the majority are found from the Cook Inlet to the Colombia River.

Most Coho prefer warm water and stay close to the coast often moving south in the fall and winter months. For the first year Coho spend in the Ocean they mainly feed on sand lance, herring, crab larvae and krill.

Pacific Halibut

Its elongate, slender, compressed body recognizes this fish. The mouth is large and has well developed teeth on both sides of the jaws. The halibut is dark brown on its eyed side and irregularly blotched with a lighter white on its blind side. The maximum length of the male is 4 feet 7 inches; the female, 8 feet 9 inches.

The halibut is very abundant along the Pacific shores of Canada and ranges from Southern California to the Bering Sea, occurring from very shallow waters to up to 600 fathoms.

Spawning takes place from November to January in depths of 150 to 225 fathoms. A large female of 140 pounds may lay as many as 2 700 000 eggs which will drift into shallower waters where the young fish will settle in bays and inshore banks. The main food consists of fish, crabs, clams, squids and other invertebrates

World Class Salmon Fishing in Ucluelet, BC.

The Barkley Adventure Station is a Ucluelet, BC based Salmon and Halibut sport fishing charter operation.  Offering fully guided Salmon and Halibut fishing charters on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC.  First class, professionally guided BC sport fishing charters are our speciality. The Salmon and Halibut fishing is world renowned, with catches of Legendary Chinook Salmon and Pacific Halibut occurring annually off the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Our fishing grounds offer a wealth of opportunity to West Coast Anglers. Our Guides are all professionals with a wealth of local Ucluelet knowledge and experience, ensuring that your West Coast charter experience is a Salmon and Halibut fishing charter for the ages.

Shailean and Skipper Dave holding up some beautiful west coast coho salmon.

Look no further for the absolute finest guided Ucluelet Salmon and Halibut fishing charter, on board one of two 38 ft luxury sport fishing yachts Off the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Captain Dave Porter of Barkley Adventue Station holds up a nice halibutPremier Halibut Fishing on The West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Often referred to as Vancouver Island’s premier Salmon and Halibut fishing destination, Ucluelet offers anglers of every ability, the opportunity to fish world class fish every day, with limits of Halibut and Chinook not uncommon. It’s known as one of the world’s best salmon fishing destinations, add to that the opportunity to catch a halibut and you have the makings for a great fishing vacation.

Due to the location of Ucluelet along the west coast, we can proudly offer consistent and dependable fishing (and catching) unavailable to anglers elsewhere. This is due in part to the nutrient and bait rich environments of coastal BC waters combined with access to the migratory runs of the Pacific Northwest Salmon Stocks.

Add to this breeding and feeding ground for the Pacific Halibut and an experience of a lifetime waits. A strong local salmon enhancement program ensures year round fishing and seafood expeditions are a success.

Foot Loose or Fancy Free – Welcome aboard our luxurious 38 foot yacht fishing vessels.

Fancy Free is one of our 38' Fishing Charter YachtsOur adventures begin aboard the finest charter vessel Ucluelet, BC has to offer. Our 38 foot yacht ‘Fancy Free’ has a 14 foot beam with a galley, two bedrooms, two washroom and a back deck big enough to park a Volkswagen on you’ll have lots of room to fish up a storm and relax inside.

A recent addition, ‘Foot Loose’ is an exciting charter boat.Foot Loose is our new 38' Fishing Charter Yacht.Your fishing party will enjoy the cabin room in our spacious motoryacht.

World Class Fishing in Ucluelet, BC

Nestled among Pacific Rim National Park between the ancient rainforest’s of Clayquot and Barkley Sound, The Barkley Adventure Station’s home base in Ucluelet, British Colombia Canada, offers visitors every opportunity to Explore the west coasts unlimited resources.

Ucluelet Fishing CatchOften referred to as Vancouver Island’s premier Salmon and Halibut fishing destination, Ucluelet offers anglers of every ability, the opportunity to fish world class fish every day, with limits of Halibut and Chinook not uncommon. Due to its location along the coast, we can proudly offer the most consistent and dependable fishing (and catching) offered to anglers anywhere in the world. This is due in part to the nutrient rich inshore and offshore waters combined with access to the migratory runs of the Pacific Northwest Salmon Stocks. Add to this breeding and feeding ground for the Pacific Halibut and an experience of a lifetime waits. A strong local salmon enhancement program ensures year round fishing and seafood expeditions are a success, aboard the finest charter vessel Ucluelet, BC has to offer, (a 38 ft. Yacht with a 14 ft. beam, you have enough room to park a Volkswagen on the back deck.)

Pacific Rim National Park and the waters of Barkley Sound are only minutes away with an annual migration of Grey and Humpback whales visible on a daily basis. Marine Eco Adventure Tours in this diverse marine archipelago deliver an aw inspiring glimpse into an eco system relatively untouched by the outside world. Miles of sandy beaches interrupted by rocky headlands and fringed by an old growth temperate rainforest characterize the region. A variety of marine mammals including porpoise, seals and sea lions, as well as a wide variety of sea birds are frequently found frolicking in local waters. Don’t forget about the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and experience first hand a part of the Grey Whale’s annual 10,000-mile spring migration from Baja, Mexico to Alaska.

In amongst the Broken Group Islands and Barkley Sound, can be found magnificent ocean kayaking. All of the above-mentioned sights viewed in the tranquility of an ocean kayak, just the whisperings and sounds of nature to enjoy. Add to all this rich first nations history and we at the Barkley Adventure Station are confident we can offer every guest the experience of a lifetime.