A ‘waterdome’ shows up on a Google map of Salmon Arm and Salmon Arm Bay, which may have been the site of a marker guiding seaplanes to a former floatplane dock at the wharf. (Google Maps image)

Map points to mysterious ‘Waterdome’ in the middle of Salmon Arm Bay

City would like to have map marker removed, pilot recalls its significance

Just north of the Salmon Arm wharf in Shuswap Lake sits a point on the online map marked “Salmon Arm Waterdome.”

Could the sign be a leftover from an ancient underwater city? A floating amusement park complete with pickleball courts? Or perhaps a watery incubator for the Shuswap’s mysterious serpent, Shuswaggi?

As it turns out, none of the above. Apparently the word is spelled wrong. It’s drome, not dome.

The name that makes the most sense would be a water aerodrome.

A water aerodrome is an area of open water that can be used by floatplanes for landing and take-off.

“I think it is referring to the old floatplane dock…,” says the city’s Rob Niewenhuizen regarding the online marker. “This no longer exists; I believe our IT staff have contacted Google about trying to get this removed.”

Double-clicking on the map brings up “Salmon Arm Waterdome, Seaplane base.”

Read more: New taxiway plan for Salmon Arm Airport

Read more: Mechanical failure blamed in plane crash at Salmon Arm airport

John McDermott with Lakeland Ultralights remembers the floatplane base well. He believes it was shut down completely sometime between 2002 and 2005.

He says it was situated where the dragon boats dock.

There were four slips for floatplanes, with fuel available. Shell had put a tank on the shoreline and the plumbing for the fuel ran underneath the decking of the wharf to the dock.

“It was quite neat when it was down there, it was quite nice,” McDermott recalls.

He says its purpose was for visiting pilots to come in and get fuel. He explains that a lot of seaplanes are not amphibious so they’re limited to landing on the water and getting fuel on the water. A lot of bush planes, for instance, don’t have wheels.

McDermott says lots of people still land on Shuswap Lake, but they either have to taxi up to a marina – which can be tricky because of obstacles – or haul fuel from shore.

The closest public seaplane base appears to be in Kamloops on the Thompson River.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Developer of RV resort west of Revelstoke ordered to stop selling lots

The Superintendent of Real Estate has serious concerns that buyers may not receive their purchase

Trans Canada east of Revelstoke to be closed overnight

The highway will reopen at 10 a.m. Feb. 29

Rain for Revelstoke

High four degrees

Revelstoke students speak up through silence

Arrow Heights Elementary raised money for World Animal Protection

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Police dog located accused murderer in dumpster near West Kelowna crime scene

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

Police dog located accused murderer in dumpster near West Kelowna crime scene

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

North Okanagan prays for women of Zimbabwe

World Day of Prayer celebrated in 2,000 Canadian communities, one of 170 countries

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Local vocal talents sought for Okanagan stage

Okangan Singer-Songwriter Competition auditions underway

Most Read