Monday 1 August 2011

Antler Lake

Vancouver Island Backroad Mapbook 4th Edition - Map 30 G5
Atlas of Canada Link: Antler Lake


Degrees, Minutes, Seconds: 49° 48' 15" N 126° 3' 1" W
Decimal Degrees: 49.804° N 126.05° W UTM
Coordinates: 9U 712224 5521062
Topographic Map Sheet Number: 092E16

Trip Date: July 30, 201

Paddling North near the first picnic area

 Antler Lake is a sedgebender's dream.  There are two picnic spots and the second one affords a short set of stairs to the water where canoes can be carefully placed amid sharp rocks. We paddle north along the western shore, enjoying the shade and avoiding the late afternoon sun.

At the little point just past the first picnic area we find a sunken boat. This seems to be a common feature on many of the island lakes. I've seen sunken or abandoned boats in Lawson, Blackwater, Mirror, Sumner, and a ditch near Ward.

We head back along the shady side of the lake and examine honeydew on a log near the southern boundary of the main lake.

Paul heads for the marsh

Then we head into the marsh beyond. This area of the lake is easy to overlook on maps. In the Atlas of Canada link it is the area under the "e" and the "r" -- a magical world of beavers and yellow throats.

 The first opening in the marsh is warm and full of sunshine and Paul sees a family of otter (or maybe beaver) before they instantly disapear under the water, not to be seen again.

The second section is closer to the shady western shore again and we slow to take in the striking colors and contrast of shade and sunlight.

At the end of this pool is a small opening in the reeds and we slide through.

This brings us to an intimate backwater where we spy a beaver lodge and a large under-water store of branches. The beavers will have a happy winter this year.

Paul drifts past the beaver lodge
Note the collection of winter food the beavers have stashed in the lower left
We investigate the inflow further, but before long have to turn around
Eventually we make our way back out of the beaver's private pond, and watch fish swimming over the algea covered bottom of the larger pools beyond.

The spot is alive with birds. As I am turning to follow Paul out of this area I see a small hawk or kestrel diving towards me, swooping up over my head to catch a bird in mid-flight and then returning to a high tree with it's catch.

 Paul puts the glasses on it, but can not make out what it is.

We keep paddling and soon round the bend that brings us back to the wide entryway to the lake.

Along the eastern shore is an expanse of sedges
Paul can't help bending a few...
 Back on the main lake again we rest in the shade and watch the brilliant greens of early evening reflect across the water.

 As we arrive back at the picnic spot a family is unloading their inflatable dingy and fishing rods. We wish them luck with the fishing and head for home.


  1. A charming day in beautiful country

  2. you sure have been busy lately usual your pictures capture the beauty that surrounds you on these lake trips. Keep up the great work.

  3. i would like to visit antler lake after watching these amazing pics