A volunteer holds up a wild Gorge Coho at the Craigflower Creek counting fence. (Photo courtesy Dorothy Chambers)

Salmon counters ‘disappointed’ with 119 cohos in Colquitz this season

Long-time volunteer blames predators, sediment contamination for lower numbers

Salmon in the City volunteers reported 119 coho salmon came through the Colquitz River fish fence this year.

Volunteers visit the fish fence in Cuthbert Holmes Park on a daily basis in the fall to count salmon as they make their way up the Colquitz River. All counts are reported to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The fish fence panels temporarily trap fish that swim through so that the Salmon in the City team can monitor them and collect data. The first coho – a small male – appeared a week after the Sept. 29 installation.

READ ALSO: First coho of the season spotted in the Colquitz River

The fall rains came early this year so the salmon had a clear river to swim in for spawning, noted long-time volunteer Dorothy Chambers.

The salmon came up the river sporadically through the beginning of October. Following a bout of rain, 24 cohos appeared on Oct. 18.

As the season progressed, the fish continued to head up the river. A total of 119 fish were counted before the panels were removed on Nov. 29 – 59 males, 43 females, 14 young males and three unidentified fish. Last year, 218 cohos were counted, 315 came through in 2017 and 1,121 in 2016.

READ ALSO: Saanich schoolkids observe salmon dissections in Cuthbert Holmes Park

Only one cutthroat, steelhead and chinook were spotted in the trap and no hatchery fish were counted, Chambers noted.

“I am so very disappointed with our returns this year,” she said, pointing out the effects of the sediment contamination over the past few years.

READ ALSO: Water contamination halts CRD project construction at Colquitz River

Chambers also noted that increased seal and otter predation likely contributed to the low numbers of salmon this year.

The daily visits from school kids and community members brightened the mood at the fish fence. In mid-November, Students from Tillicum Elementary got to watch members of the World Fisheries Trust conduct educational dissections on frozen chum supplied by the Goldstream Hatchery.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich bylaw sparks EV charging infrastructure requirements in new builds

All new developments to be EV-charger compatible starting Sept. 1

Summer program helps Greater Victoria teens sharpen writing skills

Registration for the program runs until Aug. 17

Langford cuts red tape, engages in random acts of kindness to uplift spirits

‘I Am Langford’ campaign promotes supporting local

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read