Islanders flock to rivers and coastlines as annual salmon spawn begins


WATCH: A seasonal wonder has come alive in Goldstream Provincial Park as the salmon spawn begins. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

To the delight of visitors to Goldstream Provincial Park, staff from the Vancouver Aquarium were introducing children to some of our ocean’s creatures with their AquaVan.

The mobile marine unit has everything from educational information to a tank with live marine animals.

“Our AquaVan is basically a travelling classroom,” said educator Catorina Wilson with Oceanwise. “In our live tank we have some leather stars, bat stars, and we have some sea urchin.”

Not far from where they were set up, another seasonal wonder was capturing the attention of the thousands who have come to the park to catch it in action.

“They are a lot bigger and healthier then they were last year,” said one observer.

“They just put their mind to it and up they go up over the rocks,” said another. “It’s pretty neat to see.”

These nature lovers have come to see the spawning salmon that have begun to trickle through the Goldstream River.

There are five types of salmon in the river including chinook, coho and chum.

Total projections for this year’s run are estimated at between 30,000 to 40,000 salmon.

“I’ve seen the salmon swimming by and it’s pretty spectacular,” Wilson explained.

Higher than normal water levels and heavy rains in the forecast could aid in this year’s salmon count.

Goldstream is one of the last stops on their journey as the salmon have travelled thousands of kilometres to return to where they were born.

“The cycle of life is just amazing,” said one visitor taking in the sights.

“The more people we have caring and taking care of our waterways and of our oceans, the healthier our planet is going to be,” said Wilson. “We are hoping that [these children] are going to become stewards of their own local waterways.”

The salmon run is expected to take place until the end of November or early December.

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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