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Not until the late 1980's did the community of Salmon Arm begin to realize the importance of the natural values of its waterfront. Most of the bay is a shallow estuary of the Salmon River. In this area the water tolerant grasses feed invertebrates which nourish large numbers of first year salmon. The slower fish are an important food supply for the threatened Western Grebe and the Clark's Grebe. The mudflats are an important staging place in spring and particularly in the fall for thousands of shorebirds. Some reports have shown that first the males then the females and finally the young by instinct alone find this rich feeding place where they fatten up before their next long flight south.

In 1988 a committee was formed to promote the purchase of about forty hectares of wetland by Nature Trust BC. This committee became the Nature Bay Society headed by six appointed and six elected board members. Their first task was to ensure that four kilometres of shoreline was preserved forever. Since then the area has been enlarged by the creation of a four hectare island which was built when the marina was dredged. The society arranged for the island to be planted and sculpted, creating mounds and lagoons.

In the second phase, boardwalks were built, trails pushed through and a bird tower erected overlooking the new island where a gull colony and an osprey nest are located. Elsewhere, with the help of Ducks Unlimited, two lagoons were created. Another major task was to create and place exclusion buoys 500 metres from high water, which warn boaters of the sensitive breeding area. Two bird blinds were built in good locations overlooking the richer birding spots.

Ducks Unlimited and Nature Bay Society have also worked with the First Nations Adam's River Band to restore habitat on their land.

In the third phase, a Nature House was set up near the band shell gazebo in Marine Park. By 2004, with regular additions to its assets, the centre has become a real attraction worthy of repeated visits. The staff can show you a video of dancing grebes, a DVD of birds of the bay, a collection of stuffed and carved birds, a book collection and a computer program with which visitors may check out birds and their songs.

In addition, the foot and cycle trail was extended to the Raven subdivision, four kilometres from the Nature House. Leashed dogs are permitted only for the first kilometre, which is as far as the sanctuary gate.

By counting birds each week from 1999 to 2003, the Shuswap Naturalist Club was able to confirm a total of 230 bird species observed around the Salmon Arm Bay, an impressive total when compared with the 480 species reported for the whole of British Columbia.


1990: Spring

1991: Winter

2001: Spring

2002: Autumn

2003: Autumn

2004: Spring * Autumn

2006: Autumn

2007: Srping * Autumn

2008: Spring

2009: Spring * Autumn

2010: Spring * Autumn

2011: Spring * Autumn

2012: Spring * November

2013: Spring * Fall

2014: Spring * Fall

2015: Spring * Fall

2016: Spring * Fall

2017: Spring * Fall

2018: Spring * Fall

2019: Spring * Fall

2020: Fall

2021: Spring * Fall

2022: Spring * Fall

2023: AGM & Summer Student Position *


Board Meeting Minutes

2007: April 11th - May 9th - June 13th - Sept 5th - Oct 14th - Nov16th AGM

2008: Jan 7th Feb20th March 19th April 28th May 14th July 9th Sept 17th Oct 29th

2009: Feb 18th March18th April 15th May 20th May 29th AGM June 17th July 15 Oct 21

2010: Jan 26th Mar 8th May 24 July 13

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