Located on the North Coast of BC, Lax Kwaxl/Dundas and Melville Islands Conservancy is an archipelago that contains significant marine values and is rich in cultural history. It includes both upland and marine areas for the islands of Zayas, Dundas, Baron, Dunira and Melville, as well as a large number of associated smaller islands. With approximately 640 km of shoreline, it provides safe anchorages and high-quality marine-based recreational and tourism opportunities. It is a popular destination for boating, fishing and kayaking.
There are multiple Lax Kw’alaams reservation lands (Indian Reserves) within the Conservancy; however, they are not Conservancy lands and are excluded from the Conservancy boundaries. Access to these areas is limited to Lax Kw’alaams members.
Date Established: June 26, 2008
Park Size: 33,082 hectares (23,482 ha upland and 9,600 ha marine area)
Wilderness camping is allowed, but no facilities are provided. Due to low slopes along the shoreline and tidal influence in this area, ensure tents are placed sufficiently above the high tide line.
There are canoeing and kayaking opportunities in this conservancy.
Boating - there are multiple safe anchorages located around the Conservancy, including Brundige Inlet, Edith Harbour, Goose Bay, Island #50, Prospector Point, Dunira Island and Melville Island. The Council of BC Yacht Clubs has identified Brundige Inlet as a Provincial Boat Haven.
Hunters must have valid licences and tags. Please refer to the current Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis publication for closures and regulations.
Lax Kwaxl/Dundas and Melville Islands Conservancy is located approximately 25 km northwest of Prince Rupert. It can be accessed by boat or floatplane.
The Conservancy has substantial cultural and social significance to the Coast Tsimshian First Nations. Archaeological studies have shown there has been use and occupation of the area by Indigenous people for at least 11,000 years. The area contains rich and diverse intertidal and marine resources that support extensive Coast Tsimshian harvesting for food, social, ceremonial and economic purposes. The islands contain numerous campsites, some of historical importance, and many still in use by Coast Tsimshian members for seasonal harvesting of marine and land resources.
The fauna of the Conservancy may vary among the islands, and includes wolves, mink, river otter, weasel, and beaver. Deer are not known to occur.
In the marine area, canopy forming kelp stands occur along the coastline and provide important habitat for a diverse community of marine invertebrates and fishes. Harbour porpoises, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Northern Resident Killer Whales and Humpback Whales can be seen in the area. There are four known Stellar Sea Lion haulouts.
Rocky islets in Lax Kwaxl, including Connel Island, Simpson Rocks, Green Island and Grey Island, contain seabird colonies containing pigeon guillemot, black oystercatcher, glaucous-winged gull. Other bird species include bald eagle, goldeneye, bufflehead and harlequin.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.