Swan Lake / Kispiox River Provincial Park

History

This area is the traditional territory of the Gitanyow and Gitxsan First Nations, who have used the area for hundreds of years. Their hunting, fishing and gathering activities have created many of the primitive trails that are there today.

The Swan Lake area was protected under the Forest Act as a Wilderness Area in 1991. A management plan for this area was then developed between local residents and representatives of the BC Forest Service. In 1996, the Wilderness Area was then designated as Class A Park providing full protection under the Park Act for the 19,273 hectares. In 1999, the Provincial Government accepted the recommendations of the Upper Kispiox Planning Group by designating an additional 43,046 hectares as Class A Park. BC Parks now manages the entire 62,319 hectares as Swan Lake Kispiox River Provincial Park.

Cultural Heritage

Swan Lake/Kispiox River Provincial Park lies within the traditional territories of the Gitanyow and Gitxsan First Nations. This park and the surrounding area are important to First Nations peoples for sustenance and cultural activities. Although no formal sites are identified within the Swan Lake/Kispiox River Park First Nations still actively use the park for many traditional uses.

Conservation

The park contains a unique chain of undeveloped lakes, rivers, and swamps that contributes to the flow and water quality of the salmon rich Kispiox River. The closed canopy old-growth interior cedar and hemlock forest provides habitat for strong populations of grizzly bear and moose.

The Swan Lake Kispiox River area is virtually undisturbed and is an unmodified natural environment with very few trails. Because of the natural integrity of this park, there is little evidence of human impact or non-native vegetation. All fish and wildlife populations are managed in their natural state.

Wildlife

The lake chain in the southwest portion of the park contains a large diversity of wildlife and fish habitats. This lake complex provides spawning and rearing habitat for coho, chinook, sockeye, chum, pink and steelhead that migrate up the Kispiox River each summer. As well, the lakes support a healthy population of resident rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden char and whitefish.

The abundant population of salmon helps attract and support a significant population of grizzly bears. This area is also excellent for black bears, mountain goats, wolves, moose, beaver, river otter and mink.

Many forest bird species are present. Sightings of bald eagles and osprey are common. Gulls, terns and loons are abundant as well as waterfowl such as swans, buffleheads, goldeneyes, and common mergansers. Trumpeter swans are known to winter on Club Creek, given its open water conditions in most years.