Toss a fish for Mount Doug

Annual salmon carcass toss to feed the Saanich park's ecosystem happens Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

The Mount Douglas Creek annual salmon toss happens Saturday (Feb. 1), at 11:30 a.m., starting at the entrance to the park on Edgemont Road.

The Howard English Hatchery near Goldstream Park provides dozens of fish carcasses for people to toss in and around Douglas Creek. The creek is a fish-bearing stream, but the fish toss seeds the ecosystem with extra nutrients.

Biologist Peter McCully will lead the event with a short talk on creek and riparian ecosystems and the role of spawning fish.

“It’s a real educational event,” said Darrell Wick, president of the Mount Douglas Park Society, which spearheads the fish toss. “It helps raise awareness that there are salmon in the creek, that we’ve had a successful restoration, but it’s not self sustaining yet.”

Fish carcasses largely provide food for insects, which in turn provide food for salmon fry.

Wick said last November was a hard year for the Douglas Creek salmon run due to low levels of rain. “We did see several live salmon and carcasses,” he said. “We know they’re in there.”

The creek itself is about one kilometre long and was rehabilitated in past years to better handle storm water runoff from Gordon Head neighbourhoods.

Check out mountdouglaspark.ca.

editor@saanichnews.com

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