Salmon Return to Lower Mainland Streams

Oct. 28, 2022

Vancouver, B.C. – After months of drought delayed the return of migrating Pacific salmon throughout B.C., the rain this week has brought much-needed freshwater to streams and creeks around the province. Salmon are now being spotted in creeks throughout the Lower Mainland.

Dry conditions in B.C. from mid-July to October including a lack of precipitation, low water levels, and unusually warm water temperatures delayed the upstream migration of many salmon runs and even caused mass die-offs of pink salmon on the Central Coast.

Pacific salmon returning from the ocean portion of their lifecycle waited at estuaries and river mouths for freshwater conditions to improve before returning to their natal streams to reproduce. Sufficient water availability and suitable water temperatures signal them to enter the rivers and creeks and swim to their spawning grounds. Here they will reproduce and die, their bodies nourishing the ecosystems.

Salmon have been spotted in the following locations this week:

  • Noons Creek Hatchery, Port Moody (dozens of coho salmon were spotted in the side channel directly in front of the hatchery facility on Friday, Oct. 28). The hatchery is also currently hosting a self-guided Halloween-themed “Haunted Trail” interpretive walk.
  • Brunette River at the Cariboo Dam on the east end of Burnaby Lake
  • Hoy Creek Linear Park, Coquitlam
  • Oxbow side channel off of the Coquitlam River, Coquitlam
  • Hyde Creek, Port Coquitlam
  • ALLCO Hatchery site and park, Maple Ridge
  • Kanaka Creek Park Fish Fence, Maple Ridge

Use the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s interactive Salmon Spotting map to explore additional public access, family-friendly locations to see salmon in your community. The province-wide tool shows 70+ locations where salmon have been spotted historically and what species you are most likely to see.

“The opportunity to observe the journey and life cycle of Pacific salmon is nothing short of spectacular. We invite you to join us and witness the natural wonder,” says Michael Meneer, Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) President and CEO. “Seeing salmon in our own communities emboldens us to take action and do everything in our power to care for this iconic species. We can come together as People for Salmon to make a difference.”

Heavy rains and atmospheric rivers are in the forecast. As demonstrated by last year, extreme flooding can have devastating impacts on salmon habitat. PSF stepped up in 2021 to provide immediate fish rescue, habitat recovery, and hatchery repair support during the floods. We are keeping a close eye on the forecast in the event that last year’s flooding intensity repeats itself.

You can help: Make a donation to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

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