Strathcona Dam

Free camping and great fishing make this a popular spot

The recreation area around BC Hydro's Strathcona Dam offers a spacious campground, a small beach and excellent fishing access to rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden char.

The Strathcona Dam Campground makes an ideal base from which to explore the many attractive smaller lakes in the area.

Where it is & things to do

Located at the southern end of Upper Campbell Lake Reservoir, Strathcona Dam recreation area is in the shadows of Strathcona Dam. For directions, use this Google Map link.

The recreation area around BC Hydro's Strathcona Dam offers a spacious campground, a small beach and excellent fishing.

The Strathcona Dam Campground makes an ideal base from which to explore the many attractive smaller lakes in the area.

BC Hydro's reservoirs serve not only as a source of hydroelectric power, but also as recreation destinations for public enjoyment.

Campground includes 11 sites, plus area for other campers, trailers

BC Hydro, in cooperation with the Ministry of Forests, completed the Strathcona Dam Recreation Area in 1995. The Recreation Area offers a spacious campground with 11 campsites along the Lower Campbell Lake Reservoir and a large area for informal camping and trailer parking.

A small beach and reservoir access are also provided. Please keep in mind:

  • There's a maximum 14 overnight visits per season.
  • Reserving sites is not permitted. Campers failing to occupy sites overnight may have their equipment removed at their expense so that others may use the site.
  • No firewood is provided. Please bring your own or gather shoreline debris. Do not cut standing trees.

Fishing for trout and Dolly Varden

The lakes in the Campbell River system provide excellent fishing opportunities for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden char. The Strathcona Dam Campground makes an ideal base from which to explore the many attractive smaller lakes in the area.

This recreation area is provided for your use and enjoyment by BC Hydro. Please respect the facilities and natural environment by observing the following rules:

  • Deposit refuse in the containers provided.
  • Please keep fires contained to the fire pits. Follow the campfire safety rules.
  • The use of firearms and hunting in the Recreation Area is prohibited.
  • Observe all posted signs.
  • This site is open to the public year round but only maintained on a regular schedule from May through September. During the off-season please pack out your garbage and leave the site tidy for other visitors.

Be cautious in areas above and below dam

Hydroelectric production creates special concerns for visitor safety. Avoid the designated hazard areas above and below the dam and obey all posted signs.

Water releases occur suddenly and without warning. Flooding occurs downstream and strong surface and underwater currents are created upstream.

History & hydroelectric operation

Strathcona Dam was constructed between 1955 and 1958 by the BC Power Commission, a predecessor of BC Hydro. This dam, along with the Ladore and John Hart dams further downstream, make up the Campbell River hydro-electric system.

Together the three developments harness a watershed of more than 1,400 square kilometres and produce 11% of Vancouver Island's power demand. Strathcona Dam is unique from its counterparts in that it is an earth-filled dam with an extremely wide base.

Recently the dam was reinforced to ensure its safety and stability in the event of an earthquake.