Mannion Bay features a rich estuary ecosystem. At low tide you can wade across from Sandy Beach to Mother’s Beach. Sea life hides under the sand, under rocks, or out at sea as the tide rises, then fills the bay again. The lagoon rises and falls, fed by Terminal Creek and the ocean. Seals, otters, blue herons, waterfowl of many varieties are common sights here. Salmon come up the fish ladder under the Causeway and into the lagoon in the fall, though numbers vary widely from year to year. Beavers have left their marks on tree stumps along the shores of the lagoon.
The more you pause, listen and explore the more nature will reward you with fresh discoveries.
VIDEOS of some local residents. Maybe you’ll see them here today – if not, enjoy them anyway.
Seals frequently swim in Deep Bay, particlularly when there are salmon, but you don’t usually see them up on rocks here. This video: seals on the rocks at Pam Rocks & Christie Islet Bird Sanctuary, near Horseshoe Bay. Cameras and editing by Lisle Fehlauer.
Otters have a reputation for loving to play. They can often be found ambling along the shore or swimming in Mannion Bay and Snug Cove. Boaters have a mixed opinion, as they leave untidy reminders inside boats. Video of otters in Snug Cove shared on Youtube.
Dolphins have been returning to Howe Sound in larger numbers as industrial pollution was controlled and numbers of herring increase. While they don’t often appear between the points that form Mannion Bay, they do frolic nearby in Howe Sound. Vancouver Aquarium video.
Okay – eelgrass isn’t as charismatic as the mammals, but it forms a crucial habitat for young fish and animals, eelgrass beds are on the rebound – as long as we can keep the water free of fertilizers and other human wastes that grow algae. See it sway…
The above video by Bowen Island Municipality features Bonnie Brokenshire describing efforts to clean up Mannion Bay to restore the ecosystem.
Nature Info Kiosk
For great info about the estuary and observations about salmon, see the kiosk at the south end of the causeway across the mouth of the lagoon.