Big plans for Big Fish

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

It’s not unusual for there to be signs of construction in and around the Big Fish Bay resort on the edge of Slave Lake. But since being taken over by Willie Driedger & co. a couple of years ago, there’s been a noticeable increase in activity.

The interesting thing about it is what we’ve seen so far over there is nothing, if Driedger’s long-term plans for the place pan out. That becomes obvious when you look at the expansion chart posted on the wall of the Big Fish Bay office. Superimposed on an aerial photo of the property is a campground/RV park with more than three times the number of stalls currently available. The existing complex of camping spots – although it seems pretty big when you drive through it – looks tiny compared to what Driedger envisions. He’s confident about making it a reality, too.

“We’re going to do it!” he says.

Another impressive feature of the expansion model is a marina. That would be the jewel in the crown, so to speak, but it is a lot less certain than turning 200 camp spots into 730 camp spots. Alterations to lakeshores are notoriously difficult to get permission for from the provincial and federal authorities.

“We keep hoping,” Driedger says. We keep trying.”

Meanwhile, new camp spots are being added, with many more to come. When The Leader visited a couple of weeks ago, a huge pile of gravel spoke of much development to come. In another area, two people were at work splitting wood for campfires, surrounded by impressively big piles. It looked like a lot, but Driedger says if the place is full, a season of camping would take care of all that wood.

Town council approved the Big Fish Bay expansion plan as a general concept at its June 5 meeting.

The expansion plan for Big Fish Bay, approved by town council last week as a general concept.

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