A stay at Sointula Lodge can feel as though you’re worlds away from civilization. You are far away from any major cities. But the best BC salmon fishing lodge shares Malcolm Island with a small but vibrant town called Sointula.
The town has a unique history that continues to be celebrated by its founder’s descendants today. Every year, the 300 year-round residents welcome thousands of visitors to this beautiful, tranquil town.
You’ll have plenty to do on the water and on our Lodge’s property during your stay at Sointula Lodge. But if you have some time to extend your trip or if you’ve booked our customizable Wilderness Tour and want to make time to go into town, Sointula is well worth a visit. Ready to learn more about this unique destination? Keep reading to learn 7 things you didn’t know about the home of the best BC salmon fishing lodge.
1. The Town’s Founders Were in Search of Utopia
In the early 1900s, Finnish immigrants working in difficult conditions on Vancouver Island left in search of a better way of life. They landed on Malcolm Island. Here, they began to establish the utopian society that they dreamed of. While they had big dreams for their new home, life on Malcolm Island was difficult. The early settlement was plagued by disasters. After a large fire destroyed part of the town and much of its supplies, the town was disincorporated in 1905. However, descendants of those early settlers continue to live in Sointula and pass down their Finnish traditions and share them with visitors.
2. Sointula is Home to a World Famous Orca Rubbing Beach
One of Sointula’s best-known attractions is the world-famous orca rubbing beach. Located at the Bere Point Regional Park, this beach is a destination for orcas, who return each summer to rub their bellies on the rocky ocean bottom just off-shore. Researchers aren’t entirely sure why they choose this exact location, but each year pods of orcas return to rub for as little as 15 minutes or as long as 2 hours at a time. This is the only-known orca rubbing beach in the world!
3. It’s Located in the ‘Namgis First Nation Territory
Long before Finnish immigrants landed on Malcolm Island, a variety of First Nation tribes hunted, fished, and lived here and on many other nearby islands. Sointula and Malcolm Island are located in what is now considered the modern-day territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation people.
4. The Oldest Co-Op in British Columbia is Located Here
If you have time to make your way into Sointula during your BC fishing lodges stay, you’ll definitely want to stop by the Sointula Co-op. Here you can buy a variety of grocery items, fresh food, fuel, and more. It’s one of the largest stores on the island, as well as the oldest Co-op store in British Columbia.
5. The Town — And Our BC Salmon Fishing Lodge — Are in a Rainforest
Did you know that Sointula and the best BC salmon fishing lodge are located in a rainforest? While it isn’t a tropical rainforest like you’d find near the equator, it is still a type of lush rainforest, called a temperate rainforest. In fact, much of the Pacific Coast of British Columbia is covered in this type of forest.
6. Abalone Was Once Farmed Here
Abalone is a rare type of shellfish that was once endangered, but that has been making a comeback in recent years. It’s very expensive compared to more common shellfish but has a rich, sweet taste. In the early 2000s, the Malcolm Island Shellfish Co-op was created. They planned to raise and sell abalone on the island. But in 2006, the operations on the island were shut down and moved to nearby Port McNeil.
7. The Living Ocean Society is Headquartered Here
The Living Ocean Society is an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving Canada’s oceans and the plant and animal life that live within them. One look at the tranquil and pristine waters that surround Malcolm Island, and you won’t be surprised to learn that the organization was founded in Sointula in 1998. The main office is still located here today.
Visiting the Home of the Best BC Salmon Fishing Lodge
Planning a visit to the best BC salmon fishing lodge? While your Sointula Lodge adventure will be packed with exciting adventures, plenty of fishing, delicious meals, and more, if you find yourself with time or can extend your trip a day or two, a side trip into Sointula is a must. Stop by the Sointula Museum for a more in-depth history of this unique town, and take a stroll along Bere Point Beach to look for orcas rubbing against the rocky bottom just offshore.
Even if you don’t have time to go into town, you can still experience the island’s beautiful and pristine temperate rainforests and incredible views during your stay at our Lodge.
Ready to start planning your own Sointula adventure? Check out our Fishing and Wilderness Tour packages today to choose the right one for you.