Portage Inlet is a shallow basin connected to Victoria Harbour by the narrow Gorge Waterway. Fresh water flows into the inlet through Craigflower and Colquitz creeks, two important salmon streams. The shallow waters of the inlet contain intertidal mud flats, extensive eelgrass beds, native oysters, and support herring spawning. The inlet is also one of the most important bird habitat areas in the CRD. Residents value the scenic waterfront property and recreational value of the inlet.

Did You Know?

  • 6,000 years ago, Portage Inlet consisted of a peat bog surrounded by forest.
  • First Nations portaged their canoes across the narrow, low isthmus separating Portage Inlet from Esquimalt Harbour.
  • In the early 1900s, the shores of Portage Inlet were a popular camping destination for nature-seeking Victoria residents.
  • Portage Inlet supports 50 hectares of eelgrass meadows, an important ecosystem for fish and other marine creatures.
  • Hundreds of salmon spawn in Colquitz and Craigflower creeks. Harbour seals are frequently seen in the inlet and even up the creeks chasing salmon.
  • Portage Inlet is thought to contain one of the largest populations of native Olympia oysters on the west coast.

About Portage Inlet

Portage Inlet Watersheds

  • Colquitz River
  • Craigflower Creek
  • Gorge Creek
  • Hospital Creek


Emergency Contacts

Emergency Management of BC 1.800.663.3456
Report a Spill