Stamp River Provincial Park is located northwest of Port Alberni on central Vancouver Island.
Stamp River is an amalgamation of Stamp Falls and Stamp River Money’s Pool, and is named after an Englishman, Captain Edward Stamp, who built Alberni’s earliest sawmill on Alberni Inlet for a Scottish company in 1860. Five years later he built Stamp’s Mill, the first on the south shore of Burrard Inlet.
This campground is popular as a base camp for anglers fishing the Stamp River, as well people travelling to and from the Pacific Rim region. Visitors can relax near the lovely waterfall and, during the summer and fall seasons, they can watch a parade of salmon as they circle in the pool below the falls before ascending the fish ladders on the way to their spawning beds.
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The Stamp River is a major fish travel corridor. More than 40 million salmon, lampreys, and other fish pass up or down the river every year. For the adults, the upstream migration ends at their spawning habitats in and around the upper Stamp River and Great Central Lake. Their offspring will later pass downstream on their way to the high seas of the North Pacific Ocean. As the adults pass through the constriction of Stamp River Falls, they are assisted by a fish ladder constructed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
From the Stamp River Campground, follow the riverside trail to various lookout points along Stamp River where you can see the salmon fighting their way up the falls and fish ladder. Sockeye Salmon run from late June to early September, Coho from August to December and Chinook from September to mid-November. Black Bears are attracted to the area during the salmon spawning season, requiring the normal safety precautions to be taken when visiting the wilderness areas of Vancouver Island.
Fishing is allowed in Stamp River Park, but is closed 200 metres above and 500 metres below Stamp River Falls from June 15 to November 15. Boundary markers are located on trees along the river. Changes to the regulations occur regularly along this river, so all anglers should check the current freshwater fishing regulations prior to fishing. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
There are walking trails in the park that also provide viewing of the beautiful waterfalls and rapids in a forest setting. The park facilities include 23 campsites, a picnic area and pit toilets. Camping reservations are accepted. Stamp River Provincial Park is open all year. Fees are collected from April 15 to October 15. During the off-season, campers must be self-sufficient. No sani-station/dump facilities. The nearest sani-dump in a provincial park is at Rathtrevor Beach, 2 km south of Parksville on Highway 19A.
The 236-hectare Stamp River Provincial Park is located 14 km northwest of Port Alberni, off Highway 4 on Beaver Creek Road.
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