Where to see salmon spawning this fall

sockeye salmon spawning in the Adams River

Born in freshwater rivers and streams, Pacific salmon migrate to the ocean where they spend several years feeding and growing, then return to their natal stream as spawning salmon to reproduce and die.

On their upstream journey home, adult salmon spawners may travel hundreds of miles and often evade many obstacles — predators, competition, and environmental impediments. Once they return to their spawning grounds, the adults reproduce and die soon after, their bodies nourishing the surrounding ecosystems.

From late summer to early winter, you can see Pacific salmon as they return to B.C.’s rivers and streams.

“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 marvel,” says Michael Meneer, PSF President and CEO. “Seeing salmon in our own communities emboldens us to take action and do everything in our power to take care of this iconic species. We can come together as People for Salmon to make a difference.”

Our newly launched interactive Salmon Spotting map has the best public spots in the province to see the fish in action. The map includes more than 70 family-friendly locations with clearly marked trails and public viewing areas across Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sea-to-Sky, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, Southern Interior, and Northern B.C. You can also read safety tips to prepare for your visit, and share your favourite public-access salmon spotting location with us by submitting a location or using #SalmonSpotting on social media.

Sockeye salmon in the Adams River and a You Are Here marker in blue

Opportunities to see salmon spawning are expected to be especially remarkable this year because 2022 is a dominant year for Fraser River sockeye, which return in greater abundance every four years. To celebrate the return of wild salmon, there are several events taking place around the province:

*if you would like your event to be included in this list, please contact us.