Stewart to Smithers, BC

Ksan Village Long House

We left Stewart on a rainy Sunday morning and enjoyed the drive back out Hwy 37A to Meziadin Junction where we reconnected with the Cassiar Highway to head south to Kitwanga and Hwy 16. Our destination was the Canadian Tire Store in Smithers where we could park overnight for free. In fact, Smithers has one of the most liberal overnight RV parking policies we have encountered anywhere. There are even signs as you enter Smithers promoting free overnight RV parking at many sites in the town, including Safeway, Bulkley Valley Wholesale, Canadian Tire and others. We parked in two of the half dozen, back in RV parking stalls provided, joining another RV already there. For a moment, we thought they might even have plugins available but the power outlets used to plug in radiators during the winter were switched off.

Totem Poles

On the way to Smithers, we stopped at the Ksan Native Village and Museum in Old Hazelton and toured the grounds and gift shop. I was here 20 years ago while steelhead fishing on the Kispiox river and was fascinated then by the totem poles and long houses. There is now a nice campground right next to the village.

Moricetown Canyon

Our next stop was Moricetown to see the native fishery in the Canyon. I am always amazed how the salmon can navigate such treacherous waters enroute to their spawning grounds.
You can actually see the salmon jumping in this photo. In past years, natives fished for salmon with long gaf poles that were easily 30-40 feet long. They would gaf any fish that bumped into the pole the submerged pole. Could have been salmon, steelhead or anything else for that matter. Since they only kept the salmon, many steelhead were killed by accident or damaged and left to die upstream. I asked why they were now using dip nets and was told it was one of the measures being used to help preserve more of the fish stock. With dip nets, they can see what fish they have caught and release unwanted fish. Now that is smart thinking.

We bought two pink salmon to throw on the BBQ once we get to Prince George. They are only allowed to sell pinks to the public.