Origin of place name:
Chonat Point (centre) and Chonat Bay (left). Okisollo Channel is on the right side of photo.
THESE THREE FEATURES ARE LOCATED on the northernmost peninsula of Quadra Island—29 kilometres from Quathiaski Cove as the raven flies. Access by foot to this peninsula from the Granite Bay area would require more than one day and is for expert hikers only. Most of the extensively-logged peninsula is Crown land and falls within TimberWest's TFL 47. But there is also private property in the area, including some of the land between Chonat Bay and Chonat Lake (See map below).
Extent of private property around Pulton Bay and Chonat Lake. Everything else is Crown land within TimberWest's TFL 47 tenure. Click on the map for a larger image.
Raincoast Place Names notes: "Chonat is the traditional First Nations name for this bay. According to the historians Helen and Philip Akrigg, the word is Kwakwala for 'where coho salmon are found.' The bay and point were named by Capt John Walbran of CGS Quadra about 1904. Chonat Lake was named later, in association with the other features. Chonat Bay was formerly known as Lake Bay."
As of November, 2017, it is unknown whether coho or other salmon are still found in the bay. A 1977 DFO paper includes DFO records showing an escapement of 3500 chum, 400 pink and 200 coho in 1947. The study contains a 1955 report that the creek between the bay and the lake was "too muddy" for spawning. DFO recorded that the creek flowing into the lake at its east end was being used by 200 coho for spawning in 1977, with no chum or pinks observed. If anyone knows the current status of salmon in the bay, lake or creeks, please let us know.
Chonat Lake looking west over Chonat Bay and Sonora Island