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)

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

A historic home near Granny’s Fruit Stand in Summerland was the home of two of the community’s mayors. J.R. Campbell and Don Cameron both lived at the home on Highway 97 in Summerland, but not at the same time. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Historic house was home to two Summerland mayors

Building along Highway 97 was constructed in 1906

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Vaccine rollout is focused on health care workers first, especially those dealing with long-term care facilities. (Nathan Denette - Canadian Press)
General public shouldn’t expect vaccines until fall: Interior Health

Interior Health focused on vaccinating long-term and first-line care workers

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has given first reading to its 2021 budget. (RDOS image)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen budget to rise by 2.8 per cent

Impact of budget increase will not be the same in all communities or electoral areas

Hedley residents are advised to not drink the water until a pump in one of its wells is fixed. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Hedley residents under do-not-consume-water order due to arsenic levels

Residents in Hedley remain under a do-not-consume-water order, due to higher than… Continue reading

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

The Oliver Fire Department’s “new” truck was built with the help of various local companies. It was completed Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Oliver Fire Dept. / Facebook)
It takes a town to build a truck: The Oliver Fire Department gets creative

Ingenuity and local connections played an important role in the upgrading fire truck

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

A ‘Notice of trespass and personal liability’ has been ‘served’ by a mysterious group called the Sovereign Republic of British Columbia to several Okanagan mayors.
Mysterious group serves notice to Okanagan-Shuswap mayors, demanding end to ‘unlawful’ COVID rules

26-page letter sent by ‘Sovereign Republic of British Columbia’

Vernon’s Ellison Provincial Park has everything the outdoor enthusiast could wish for. (Ribbons of Green photo)
Upgrades trail in for Okanagan campgrounds

Bear Creek and Ellison improvements underway

Thirty-four unionized workers represented by MoveUp started rotating job action at VantageOne Credit Union's two Vernon locations Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Workers are calling for basic job protection and fair security. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
VantageOne staff urged to take tentative deal

It’s been more than one month since union workers went on strike

Most Read