Tag Archives: West Redonda Island

A wild water adventure: seeking orca, seals and other marine life

A group of 10 Cortes Island residents set out from Gorge Harbour in a Zodiac. 

“I loved it that we were all together on this boat, like tourists from Cortes out there hunting for a sighting of a whale. Everybody was in that together. Our only purpose today was to get out onto the water, look around and see what creatures we’d see. And it just seemed like community,” explained Jane Newman.

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Garbage is an Issue on Cortes Island Docks

Recently the Harbour Authority of Cortes Island (HACI) decided to stop offering garbage disposal services on our docks. This news sparked a flurry of discussion on Cortes Island Facebook groups. Some people were upset at the HACI decision, while others supported it. Most people agreed that there is a “garbage problem” on our docks, but opinions varied about who is to blame and what should be done.

On Saturday, May 21st I visited the Gorge Harbour Government Dock to interview Billie Fleming, who has worked for HACI as a garbage collector. Billie is now offering her own garbage pickup service at the Gorge Harbour public dock from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Wednesday through Saturday.

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Sightseeing on the Discovery Island Mail Run

According to Luke, the pilot, there are usually sightseers on board when CorilAir delivers the mail in the Discovery Islands.

A man from Campbell River and his sister-in-law from Ontario were on the plane when it picked me up at Cortes Bay, on Wednesday, March 23rd. Neither of them had made the trip before, and they were busy taking pictures throughout the trip. So was I. Everything looks much different when you are sitting hundreds of feet up in the air!

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CorilAir serves Campbell River and the Discovery Islands

Cortes Island Air was based in Gorge Harbour in the 1990s. That was before Richard Godfrey sold the company to Mike Farrel in 2000. Farrel relocated to Campbell River, but preserved the company’s origins in its new name. CorilAIr is short for Cortes Island Airlines. 

While the airline now flies out of Campbell River, it still serves Cortes and the other Discovery Islands. 

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Potential elimination of open-net salmon farm sector in sight

The licenses for all 19 salmon farms in the Discovery Islands expire in June. There will only be 7 farms left in the Broughton Archipelago by 2023, at which point their tenure ends unless they can obtain First Nations approval and Department of Fisheries licences. That leaves an estimated 79 salmon farms throughout the province, and all of their licenses come up for renewal on June 30, 2022.

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