Spawning salmon return to Bowen waters

Two weeks ago, observers spotted several coho salmon at the top of the Bridal Veil Falls fish ladders. They were on their way to spawn in the gravel of Terminal Creek. As coho are powerful swimmers and very difficult to see, if several were seen in the fish ladders, it’s likely that many more fish made it to Terminal Creek unseen and have since spawned.

A few days after the coho sightings, a few dozen chum salmon spawners were observed in Mannion Bay and under the causeway as they entered the lagoon. Chum do not swim up the fish ladders, preferring to spawn in gravelled areas in the lagoon near the causeway or at the bottom of the ladders. A number of seals have been feasting on returning spawners for the last several weeks. The 2018 spawning season on Bowen is coming to a close but it was fun for visitors and residents to witness the excitement of this year’s salmon run.

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Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club volunteers will soon be preparing the Terminal Creek Salmon Hatchery for another season. We expect to receive 200,000 eyed chum eggs from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Tenderfoot Hatchery near Squamish in late December or early January and 20,000 eyed coho eggs from the Capilano Hatchery in late January. Volunteers will incubate the eggs and care for the fry until chum are released into the ocean and coho into fresh water creeks in April and May. An important part of what we do is to work with local elementary schools to educate students and their parents about the importance of protecting wild salmon.

Thank you for supporting wild salmon.

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