The B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirmed this fish caught in Westwood Lake in September was a red-bellied piranha and was the second piranha caught in the lake this year. (Photo submitted)

Top 10 most-read news stories of 2019

Articles about piranhas and a mystery band were most-clicked on the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s website

News Bulletin readers like a good fish tale, it seems.

An article about piranhas being caught in Nanaimo’s Westwood Lake was the best-read story on in 2019.

It’s become an annual tradition for us to publish a list of the 10 most-clicked articles at the end of the year. It’s a useful exercise for us – trying to publish stories that readers want to see is something that drives us every single day as we try to offer up what’s significant, interesting and new to Nanaimo. We’re guided by what people are reading, and the best tools we have to measure that are our website analytics. We hope that by studying these metrics the way we do, it’s positively impacting our print issues, too, by bringing readers more of the types of stories they seem to like.

It was a record year for web traffic to and we wish to thank readers who look to us for breaking news, community news, feature stories, op-eds, arts and entertainment coverage, sports, Beefs & Bouquets and more.

As mentioned, ‘Fishermen land piranhas in Nanaimo’s Westwood Lake,’ published Sept. 27, was best-read.

The runner-up most-read story for 2019 was actually one from our sister paper the Saanich News, ‘Vancouver Island woman hopes for one more dance with late fiancé, July 23, about a woman trying to find an indie band filming a music video that she and her partner stumbled across in a parking garage almost 10 years ago. Despite the story’s huge readership on the Island, the band in question remains a mystery.

Our third most-clicked story was ‘Nanaimo woman who didn’t come home last night now considered missing’ on Oct. 28; she was located the next day.

No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash’ on Dec. 10 was next on the list. Then came ‘Portion of Nanaimo highway shut down following motor vehicle accident’ on Jan. 14, about a head-on crash on the Trans-Canada Highway in which two people were killed.

Sixth-most-read was ‘Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past,’ published May 18. That was followed by ‘Man arrested after B.C. Ferries worker sexually assaulted aboard vessel’ Oct. 26 from our sister paper the Victoria News about an incident on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route.

Next was ‘Three taken to hospital after serious crash in north Nanaimo’ on May 9 about an accident at Uplands Drive and Oliver Road.

Ninth was ‘Your own kingdom: Private island near Nanaimo up for sale,’ published Nov. 3, about Lily Island near Gabriola’s Silva Bay.

Rounding out the top 10 was ‘Man taken to hospital after early-morning stabbing in downtown Nanaimo,’ posted to our site July 27.

As is the case every year, the most-read stories are a mix of serious and offbeat, sad and surprising. Sometimes it feels like we could use a slow news day now and then, but when news is happening, we’re there trying to share with readers what we know and what they might want to know. The unpredictability is part of what makes our job interesting, but without your readership, we wouldn’t have anyone with whom to share that interest.

So there you have it, the most-clicked News Bulletin articles of 2019. As you can see, the Nanaimo newsbeat is a wide-ranging mix. Kind of like dropping a fishing line into Westwood Lake – you never know what you’re going to get.

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