Here are some of our favourite public spots to view spawning salmon in the Fraser Valley. We’ve included family friendly locations with clearly marked trails and viewing areas. If you have a favourite spot to share, email us!
Species: Chum, coho, chinook, steelhead and cutthroat
Best Times: Adult chum October-December; chinook July -November; coho October-January
There are several salmon spawning spots to visit in the Harrison Mills area. This includes the DFO managed Chehalis River Hatchery that works in partnership the Chehalis First Nation. The best time to view adult salmon is mid-October through November. If you start at the hatchery you can follow their self-guided tour and then visit viewing areas to see returning salmon. The hatchery is located off of Morris Valley Road near the Hemlock Recreation Area.
Species: Chum and coho
Best times: Adult Chum and coho, mid October to early December
The Heron Reserve is located on the Vedder River in Chilliwack and has a salmon viewing platform off of the Salwein Creek Trail and is a great place to view Chum and Coho salmon starting in mid to late October and through November/December. (location: Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, 5200 Sumas Prairie Road, Chilliwack, BC, Canada)
Species: Chum and coho; also sturgeon in pond
Species: Chum, coho, pink, and sockeye
Best Times: Peak spawning activity for sockeye is October 15-20
Further up from the Chehalis River Hatchery is the Weaver Creek Spawning Channel. This 3 km–long spawning channel was created by the federal government in 1965 to accommodate the spawning salmon in the area. Since this channel was built as an extension to the existing Weaver Creek, more salmon can spawn naturally than in the creek alone. Visitors can spot spawning Chum, Sockeye and Pink salmon in the fall and sockeye in October. (please note that the spawning channel is closed for 2021 due to covid-19 protocols, we’re waiting for a 2022 update)
Species: Chum, coho, chinook and steelhead
Best Times: Adult chum in November-December; coho, October-December; chinook, August-November; steelhead, March-April.
The Chilliwack and Vedder rivers are popular salmon fishing rivers because of their proximity to Vancouver. But they’re also popular for salmon viewing during spawning season. A favourite spot for salmon viewing is at the junction of the Chilliwack River and Slesse Creek (pictured above), where you can watch the return of chum, coho, chinook and steelhead salmon. The Chilliwack River Hatchery is located at this same spot and offers viewing locations to see salmon. you get there by taking Chilliwack Lake Road until you cross Slesse Creek Bridge and the hatchery is immediately on the left.
Species: Chum, coho, and pink
Best Times: Adult chum in November-December; coho, October-December; pink, October
Thacker Regional Park is located in Hope near Kawkawa Lake. During the fall people visit the park to view spawning coho, pink and chum salmon along Kawkawa Creek trail. Spawning season begins in October and the park has signage that guides people to popular viewing spots.