The annual salmon run, where tens of thousands of fish make their way back to Goldstream to spawn, has begun!
Salmon born in the river head off to the open ocean for four years to grow before returning to their home stream to reproduce. These returnees are expected to arrive en masse soon.
Goldstream River has a world-class salmon spawning stream, with an average of 30,000 salmon returning each year. They appear around mid-October and may be seen for about nine weeks, with the dates varying from year to year.
“The salmon have travelled a long way to be here, and have a very important job to do,” says the Goldstream Nature House website. “We are very lucky to be able to witness this incredible event at Goldstream Provincial Park.”
The majority of salmon found at Goldstream are Chum Salmon (Onchorynchus keta), which will be returning from all the way up at the Gulf of Alaska. Some Chinook and Coho Salmon will also be making their way back to the estuary.
Visitors are asked not to wear bright-coloured clothing and to stay out of the water, including putting GoPros in the stream. Dogs must be on leashes and kept out of the river.
“Things are already pretty stressful for the salmon,” says the nature house.
The best time to watch the salmon run is between mid-late October and early December.
Tips for Salmon Watchers:
- Avoid wearing bright coloured clothing, especially reds, purple, and pinks which salmon see very well.
- Avoid moving quickly, and approach the river bank quietly. Find fish that are actively building nests to watch for spawning behaviour.
- Leave your dog at home. If you do bring a dog it must be on a leash and kept out of the river.
- Don’t throw anything in the river.
As you head out to activities and events, please follow the restrictions and guidelines to keep everyone, including yourself safe during the pandemic.
As always, wash your hands, wear masks, practice physical distancing, and stay home if you feel sick or show symptoms!