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The abundance of fish in Chatham Sound ensures a virtually inexhaustible supply of food for the region’s grizzly bears who comb the estuaries each summer.

Accessible either by boat or float plane, Chatham Sound offers exceptional sport fishing for four types of salmon (chinook, coho, pink and chum), plus halibut, yellow-eye rockfish and lingcod. The salmon run usually starts in mid-May with the arrival of the chinook, peaking from late June to mid-July. Coho arrive towards the end of July, reaching their peak between mid-August and mid-September, and tapering off in October when they move into their home streams to spawn. Fishing for smaller chum and pink salmon lasts from  August into October. Halibut and rockfish, which are present all year round, have been known to reach incredible sizes, while lingcod are found only in the August to October period.

Named in 1794 by Captain George Vancouver for John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, whose brother William became Prime Minister of Great Britain, it should not be confused with Chatham Strait in the Alaska Panhandle, named after their father William, the first Earl. 

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: humpback whale, minke whale, orca, Dall’s porpoise, grey whale
  • Where: British Columbia, Canada

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Grizzlies of Khutzeymateen

Experience the grizzly bears of Khutzeymateen Inlet aboard the Island Roamer, on a large carnivore themed expedition. Around 50 coastal brown bears are known to be protected in this conservation area, and other wildlife includes includes humpbacks, orcas, sealions and dolphins.

  • When to go: Jun
  • Duration inc. flights: 11 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,795 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour