There are no companies offering snorkeling tours of any kind in the Port McNeill area – only scuba diving with Sun Fun Charters. Steller sea lions are the largest of the 5 species of sea lion and are the fourth largest pinniped in the world behind the northern elephant seal, southern elephant seal, and walrus. Thankfully our excitement and eagerness to see the big beasts up close was warranted! “We were unable to locate it but did perform medical care on sea lions at Race Rocks on the same patrol,” Sloan said. The eastern stock goes to Russia and Japan, while the western stock is from California to Alaska. I made another mental tick to the ever-growing list of why I LOVE living on Vancouver Island! No matter how many times I see them, it just never gets old. Thanks for the tip!!! Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions Steller sea lions can be confused with California sea lions but the two are different in color and size. Four headless sea lions were found on Vancouver Island in 2013, and at least 12 seal carcasses were found on the banks of the St. Lawrence in Quebec in 2014, the CBC reported. That’s wonderful to hear, Kelly! But off Vancouver Island, you can get up close and personal with steller sea lions. The eastern stock was in decline up until 2000 and used to be 80% of the total stock. Rob Bailey is your guide to Canada’s rugged island paradise Words + Photographs Rob Bailey Although my first inclination was to wait until the weekend so that we could go as a whole family, hubby included, after looking at the dismal weather report for Saturday and Sunday, I thought to myself “why not right now”!?. Steller Sea Lions are a honey-brown colour with large, dark brown flippers. The CBC reported that in 2013, four decapitated sea lions were found on Vancouver Island Beaches, and in 2014, 12 seal carcasses were found at St … Further research revealed this particular area is the best spot to view sea lions on Vancouver Island! My daughter commented on their smell. Reproduction/Life Cycle Steller sea lions are colonial breeders where adult males establish and defend territories to mate with females and create rookeries. The CBC reported that in 2013, four decapitated sea lions were found on Vancouver Island Beaches, and in 2014, 12 seal carcasses were found at St Lawrence in Quebec. Further research revealed this particular area is the best spot to view sea lions on Vancouver Island! Once I get confirmation about this, I will officially rewrite this article with the new information. We recently moved to Parksville and this was a real treat to hear them and only a 5 minute drive down to the marina to see them. I do believe that they have moved onto French Creek, but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet. Adventuress Sea Kayaking: sea lion kayak tour - See 209 traveler reviews, 137 candid photos, and great deals for Nanoose Bay, Canada, at Tripadvisor. The Marine Mammal Centre says California sea lions are found as far north as Vancouver Island and as far south as Baja California in Mexico. As soon as the car engine is turned off you can hear their unique bark. Daily food requirement is about 15-20 kg for mature females, and 30-35 kg for mature males and about 7% of body weight. You can’t wonder into the middle of a pack of buffalo on the Serengeti plains. A Nanaimo, B.C., woman is calling for a thorough investigation after a number of sea lions were found decapitated on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. That’s great to hear! National Geographic wildlife documentarian Bertie Gregory had a similar encounter when he plunged in the water to observe sea lions in their natural habitat, in the waters off Vancouver Island. Some may reach 1000 kilograms, with a body length of up to three metres. However they are obviously quite at home in Fanny Bay, for I later learned that Sea Lions can be spotted here at almost any time of year. We stopped by Fanny Bay yesterday, and learned from a local that the fishermen got fed up with the Sea Lions (quite messy, apparently) and have chased them off. So fun! They can be seen on all areas on Vancouver Island though you will most likely see them from a boat since they seem to hang out on isolated rocks and small islands. California sea lions are found from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. Oh, shoot! ?. Since last spring, decapitated sea lions have been seen washed up along the Vancouver Island shores and a marine mammal expert says it's likely they've been deliberately beheaded by … Residents on Vancouver Island had spotted several headless sea lions, the Victoria Times Colonist reported back in May. Headless sea lions have been washing up on Vancouver Island since spring, and a marine mammal expert says it's likely the animals were deliberately beheaded by humans. Yes, French Creek harbour/marina is also a great place to see sea lions. Thank you, I will update the article. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. The front flippers are longer and wider than the rear and provide the primary propulsion. Not so good when you live there and have to listen to the noise all hours of the day and night, and the smell! Last updated June, 2020. Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for viewing. Steller sea lions’ low-frequency vocalizations closer to a roar compared to California sea lions’ vocalizations, which sound more like a bark. Hours. No, I suppose it isn’t! All rights reserved. If you want to make your trek to Fanny Bay really worth while, head a bit further south to the Deep Bay Marine Field Station. She says images of the lifeless pinnipeds recommend a sample of their accidents. After such a long hiatus from diving and photography (my last was in January in the frigid waters of Vancouver Island photographing Steller sea lions), it was wonderful to be among sea lions again, in the relatively warm and calm waters San Diego typically has in late fall. Males typically live up to 14 years and females up to 22 years. Body features/swimming Coloration on Stellers range from light blonde to reddish brown with slightly darker colors on its chest. TOFINO, B.C. They can be seen on all areas on Vancouver Island though you will most likely see them from a boat since they seem to hang out on isolated rocks and small islands. There are large colonies of Steller’s, or Northern, Sea Lions off northern Vancouver Island, and off the southern end of Haida Gwaii, the former Queen Charlotte Islands. Located on the Eastern most coast of Vancouver Island between Parksville and Courtney (on Hwy 19A – or the “Oceanside Route”), Fanny Bay is a sleepy little village more known for the delicious oysters that come out of the waters of Baynes Sound. We just stopped out at French Creek Harbour and the sea lions were still there! Every year in late fall about 300 (yes I do mean 300!) This item will ship to United States, but the seller has not specified shipping options. Headless sea lions have been reported in Canada before, including 4 in 2013 in Vancouver Island and 12 in 2014 in Quebec, on the other side of the country. They can dive up over 300 meters and staying submerged for up to 8 minutes. Shipping and handling. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. It is mostly male California sea lions that spend from September to May here since the females usually stay all year in California and Oregon. Learn how your comment data is processed. They offer public tours, and it is a great place for family fun, and hands-on exhibits of marine life found in Baynes Sound and the Salish Sea. Sea Otters in a raft relax in a bed of kelp on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. 1-250-667-5177 info@vancouverislandwhalewatch.com. For although the magazine was current, who really knows how long they stay in a particular area? They are binge feeders, eating all they can when food is plentiful, and then rest for long periods of time. But happiness is a question of temperament not circumstances, and sea lions are the Alf Garnetts of the ocean. Mon 8am to 5pm. Bulls aggressively defend their territory and can go without eating for 1-2 months to do this. Copyright 2018 © Discover Vancouver Islands. Then, in 2020, the United States approved a larger cull of up to 540 California sea lions and 176 Steller sea lions over five years on the lower Columbia River system. I, however, was awestruck by the sight of them lazing in the faint Spring sunlight looking like a pile of fat kings. Steller sea lions are the most common sea lion on Vancouver Island and numbers are estimated close to 25,000 in British Columbia. I had heard a rumour that they were no longer there. Steller Sea Lions vs California Sea Lions Stellers in BC have been increasing up to 5% per year since the 1970’s and have caused concern for their role in the ecosystem and the amount of food they consume. In 1997 and 1998, Canada authorized the killing of 52 harbor seals on Vancouver Island’s Puntledge River to protect juvenile chinook salmon migrating to sea. 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