Fishpot Lake is stocked with trout every June, attracting anglers to the fishing resort. (Tracy Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel-area fishing resort credits solid planning with pandemic success

The fish are still coming out of Fishpot Lake, despite COVID-19 restrictions

A year-round wilderness resort west of Quesnel has found itself in a better position than others as the COVID-19 pandemic lessens the number of visitors and revenue for B.C.’s struggling tourism industry.

Vicky Roy of Fishpot Lake Resort believes their financial planning in which they were able to fully pay off their mortgage in 10 years prevented them from being in a challenging situation.

While travel restrictions have meant fewer guests for the resort near Nazko offering cabin rentals, campsites and fishing at the 86-hectare sized lake restocked with blackwater rainbow trout each June by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, it was able to host tree planters, miners and drillers from numerous companies last year.

Read More: ‘Can’t afford to lose another summer’: B.C. tourism group supports COVID travel rules

“Because of that, we had a full house, and we were able to just cater to those groups of workers, and it would keep them out of the community,” Roy said.

“They would be in a bubble lockdown here in the resort, so the employers were happy, and I think the community was happy on a whole because people weren’t just roaming around our small town.”

A COVID-19 plan has been developed for the off-grid resort where the nearest medical care is at least an hour-and-a-half drive.

This May long weekend had been quieter than previous years that would have typically witnessed family gatherings, which has not necessarily bothered Roy.

To some degree, wildfires in 2017 have had a more profound impact.

Read More: Call for many hands for the reparation of Fishpot Lake Resort

“It’s been four years, and it’s getting there, but it’s still healing,” she said of the area.

“The green is coming—it’s about knee high now, which is nice to see. It should be very pretty and nice again in about two or three more years, I’m pretty sure.”

Repairs such as re-blocking cabins, re-roofing and falling dead trees continue after wildfires destroyed fencing at the resort as well as its horse corral. A new playground was purchased to replace the severely damaged one, with new pieces being added as time goes by.

With industries such as logging having changed significantly over the years, the income of Quesnel, Prince George and Williams Lake families has been altered.

It is residents from those communities that have largely supported Fishpot Lake Resort over the past 15 years Vicky and her husband Marc and their two sons have owned the property.

“I’m concerned more than anything that if not maybe towards the end of this year or more into next year that’s where you’re going to see much more problems because people don’t have that disposable income,” she said.

“My concern is just more in the future that I hope this doesn’t hurt people for too long.”

Read More: New Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Resiliency Network formed to support survival of tourism

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Fishpot Lake is stocked with trout every June, attracting anglers to the fishing resort. (Tracy Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)