The gateway to the Nanika – Kidprice Provincial Park – known for its world class back country canoe route. For visitors, the town offers an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities: Hike the area’s vast forests, or canoe and fish in creeks, rivers, and hundreds of lakes.
Drawing visitors from around the world, the steelhead fishing here is legendary. Houston is known as the “Steelhead Capital of the World” because so many anglers flock here for the mighty fish – even though it is catch and release only.
The Morice area was first charted by amateur historian, cartographer and geologist, Reverend Adrien-Gabriel Morice (1859-1938) known to northern British Columbian locals as “Father Morice.” In 1880, Morice came to British Columbia as a Catholic missionary to the native people and was one of the first ‘white men’ to see most of the area. Morice wrote, The History of the Northern Interior of British Columbia (formerly New Caledonia) [1660 to 1880]. The Indigenous people were initially known as Carrier Indians, but today are more commonly referred to as the Wet’suwet’en (sometimes spelled Wit’suwit’en) and speak a language commonly referred to as Dake? (Northern Athabaskan or Na-Dene language). The Morice River is called “Wet-zuhn-kwa” by the Wet’suwet’en people because of the bluish-green colour of the water.
Wet-zuhn-kwa produces fresh water species like rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden trout (bull trout). Pacific salmon species include Chinook salmon (spring or king salmon), sockeye salmon, pink salmon (humpies or humpbacks), coho salmon, and steelhead salmon, an anadromous form of the coastal rainbow trout.
The area is also rich in wildlife as it is not uncommon to spot moose, deer, black bear, grizzly bear, cougars and so on. Nanika River feeds Morice Lake and produces sockeye salmon. In the 1970s, the proposed Kemano Completion Project threatened to dam Nanika River. The project was eventually shelved. Morice River is a tributary of the Skeena river system, which is the second-largest system in BC that enters the Pacific Ocean at Prince Rupert.