A Miraculous Journey
Beaver Brook, Newfoundland
There’s a place on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula where a pretty unique salmon migration occurs. They enter Beaver Brook, journey upstream past rocky riffles to a place called “The Underground Hole”. Here, the river emerges from the ground in a cavern and it’s here that the salmon go on an unusual journey.
The Brook enters the ground a couple of hundred feet upstream. The salmon make their way through complete darkness to emerge above, but it doesn’t end there. Another hundred or so feet up from there it emerges from the ground again. Once again the salmon enter the darkness and finally emerge in a lake further up. What a miraculous journey – one that has been on-going for as long as anyone can remember. I found it hard to believe, however the locals confirm that it’s the only way the fish can get to the lake and they’ve seen them there.
To get to this unique place you can fly into St. Anthony Airport and travel by road along route 432, or, you can enter the island at Port aux Basques, drive the Trans Canada Highway (#1) until you reach Deer Lake and then take route 430 up the Great Northern Peninsula where, just south of Plum Point you take route 432. At the intersection of the road to Roddicton and Main Brook you take the right turn. A couple of miles down the road a clearly marked sign will show you the way. It’s about 2 km to the Underground Hole and they’ve even built a nice boardwalk to get you there in style.
Other rivers in the area offer good angling so if you get a chance, by all means make it a point to see this natural wonder.
Salmon just entering the area below the Underground Hole. They’d stay here in front of the rock for a brief stop and then move on, to be replaced by others. I watched this spot for about 20 minutes as fish after fish came through.
This is the upper section of Beaver Brook where the salmon go underground to reach a lake further up.
Although not a very clear picture, this shows some of the salmon entering the Underground Hole.
Some people might think The Underground Hole is in a remote place. This Danish man and his wife, from Bali, live in Toronto and came to see the Province. I guess you could say we met people from everywhere in the middle of nowhere! (That’s Journalist Mike Macadam in the middle).
by Keith Piercey