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

Vernon Vipers add experience to roster

Western League veteran joins Snakes, who also sign player out of prep hockey

Therapeutic art for sale at Vernon show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Tech mogul looks to grow Vernon’s presence in Okanagan wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in the city hillsides

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read