Skip to content

Squamish's Cat Lake reopens

The District of Squamish announced the Conservation Officer Service and Recreation Sites and Trails BC closed Cat Lake in May; Recreation Sites and Trails BC announced it is reopened on July 6.
A Squamish camper. There are more places to camp in town now that Cat Lake is open again.

The Cat Lake recreation site has been reopened.

Recreation Sites and Trails BC initiated the closure on Friday, May 27 due to an aggressive bear in the area that had become habituated to humans.

On July 6, they updated their website to say the Squamish site is once again open, with a caution.

"This site has had numerous bear problems each year, be prepared to keep coolers in vehicle or food in caches on-site. Do not leave food or garbage unattended for any length of time. Be respectful and keep your site clean," the site reads.

Sgt. Simon Gravel of the Conservation Officer Service told The Squamish Chief at the time of the closure that a medium-sized black bear had been able to access food multiple times over the May long weekend.

There were many visitors to the recreation site from May 21 to 23, and, in a number of cases, attractants appeared to have not been secured.

The bear was reported to be accessing campsites, wrecking tents and accessing garbage, Gravel said.

"You can say that [it] is very comfortable around humans — also, we say habituated," said Gravel. "It definitely associates now this presence of humans with a possible food source. So that's what we call food-conditioned."

This is not a good thing.

"I have strong evidence to say that this bear can be defined like this, because it was approaching people to seek food," said Gravel.

"Usually, a bear will not necessarily approach people to seek food like this without any incentive. The bear had to be bear-sprayed by someone who was just in the parking lot there, because he was getting approached by the bear. So you can see this behaviour is typical of a bear that is seeking food and sees humans with a potential meal."

Gravel said that the information was relayed to Recreation Sites and Trails BC, which decided to shut down the site.

He said that since the site is closed, a bear in the area does not pose a risk to the public. As a result, conservation officers will not be trying to capture or subdue the bear at this point.

If the bear moves into a populated area, conservation may reassess its options, he said. However, killing a bear is always an option of last resort.

The popular camping and day-use location has 48 campsites and operates on a first-come, first-served basis.











push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks