The Oyster River flows northeast from the Forbidden Plateau area of Strathcona Park to the east coast of Vancouver Island near Saratoga Beach.
The area is underlain by block-faulted Upper Triassic Karmutsen Formation volcanics (Vancouver Group), which are unconformably overlain by Upper Cretaceous Comox Formation sediments (Nanaimo Group). The Karmutsen rocks consist of very gently dipping, thick, amygdaloidal basaltic flows with interbedded pillow lavas, pillow breccias and very minor intercalated tuffaceous beds. The Comox rocks are composed of fairly flat- lying conglomerates and sandstones with interbedded siltstone and shale. Tertiary intrusions of the Mount Washington Plutonic Suite disrupt the strata to the southeast.
Placer gold is reported along the Oyster River from the Island Highway bridge, and up river to the junction with Piggott Creek and then up Piggott Creek for at least 5 kilometres.
The topography shows that the stream has cut down through the bedrock leaving a series of gravel- covered benches. It appears that most of the gold was derived from bars or in crevices in the bedrock of the river bed, or from benches along the side of the creek.
Coarse gold is reported to have been recovered during the 1920’s and 1940’s. Past claims, equipment and workings are noted along the Oyster River from the Island Highway bridge and to 4 kilometres up the river at Eagle Gorge.
Production figures, for the period of 1936 to 1945, totalled 3544 grams of gold with a fineness of 880 to 890 (Bulletin 28).