Warm weather causes toxic plankton to bloom all over the coast of British Columbia whether a month has an "R" in it or not. If you are not absolutely sure that the shellfish you are about to eat is safe then don’t eat it. Bivalve molluscs like oysters, clams and mussels are all susceptible to red tide. Butter clams are the very worst, retaining toxins for long periods of time. Cooking does not alter the toxicity of these filter feeders in any way.

If you are going to an area where shellfish harvesting might be possible then make it a habit to call the federal government’s online Red Tide advisory. As with so many  government services this one too is needlessly confusing. Where appropriate, I have included Fisheries Management Area numbers with each trip description. Armed with that information, navigating the Fisheries and Oceans Canada's online list of Bivalve Shellfish Contamination Closures is much simpler. On the same site there's a slow-loading map detailing closures as well.

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A novel technology was deployed to place the maps online in a somewhat readable fashion. A bit of JavaScript was then used to hide maps within each page. For this reason JavaScript must be enabled in order to access the maps. Click the link to view map full screen. Here's a sample:

Click to View Map

Geography

For those visiting from overseas [and those locals who flunked geography] the next three maps show various perspectives on the locale embraced by the content in BC Car-Free: Exploring Southwestern British Columbia Without a Car.

Click to View Overview Map

Click to View Provincial Perspective

Click to View Zoomed-in Map

Signs and Symbols Used on the Maps

For the most part map symbols should be self-explanatory. Refer to the legend below when ambiguity strikes.

Click to View Legend

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Notable Quotes

...an indispensable resource for exploring the wild parts of Canada's westernmost province via public transport.

-- Dave McBee; Get Lost Magazine