Chum salmon have arrived in the Goldstream River and many onlookers stopped by the park Monday to watch the fish make their annual run.
The salmon spent three to five years in the ocean and have made it back to the place where they were born.
Water in the river splashed as male fish fought each other and females dug to lay eggs, all while they made their way upstream, against the rapids.
Jackie Crone just moved to the area one year ago from Winnipeg. She made her way down to the river to see the salmon run for the first time.
“It’s kind of exciting, it’s also kind of sad to me,” Crone said. “I mean they’re going to die after they finish laying eggs … so that’s the end of their cycle but it’s still a really nice thing to watch.”
Crone’s dog — who she brought to the salmon run with her — was also very excited to see the fish thrashing around in the water.
Parents made their way to the water with young children and Meghan Mccann, a Saanich resident remembered coming to salmon run when she was five-years-old.
“I was in kindergarten with my class,” Mccann said. “It’s remarkable that these creatures do this every year and go hundreds of miles up river.”
Mccann is an environmental educator and she said she noticed a difference between salmon runs then and now.
“I remember the whole area being littered with salmon carcasses … and now I look down and there’s one,” Mccann said. “It definitely seems like there are less than there were when I came here as a kid.”
Mccann said she thinks it is important for people to enjoy and learn about the salmon run.
“I think it’s especially important for young people to come out and experience it first hand,” Mccann said. “But I think it’s also important for all people to be able to come and witness what’s happening here, learn about how it’s changed, learn about what they can do to try to protect the rivers and protect the salmon.”
Salmon typically return in late October and run through to early December, according to RLC Park Services.
RLC Park Services has also provided the public with some tips to view the salmon:
- Walk to the river, don’t run
- Dogs must be on a leash and out of the river at all times
- Stay on designated trails and do not enter the river or throw rocks into it
- Wear polarized sunglasses to see below the surface
- Walk down to the Goldstream Nature House for displays and activities
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