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Salmon run of British Columbia Canada
Salmon run of British Columbia Canada


Salmon Run of British Columbia, Canada



Truly Canadian
All salmon spawn in fresh water, usually in streams. Many salmon, especially Pacific salmon spend their adult lives in the ocean, returning to their native streams to spawn. Unlike other salmonids, Pacific salmon die after spawning. They are famous for their ability to home precisely to their place of birth to spawn.

Canada's salmon species include Chinook (King), Coho, Sockeye, Chum and Pink Salmon. Chinook salmon is the largest salmon, Pink salmon the smallest salmon in British Columbia's waters.

Chinook Salmon Run in R. Haig-Brown Provincial Park - © Kanada News
In Canada, combined sport and commercial values make the salmonids the most economically important group of wild animals. In 1989, the marketed value of Pacific salmon was 416 million.

Every year adult salmon enter the rivers for spawning. At this time millions of salmon return to their native streams to spawn. The annual salmon run is an incredible natural spectacle that is unparalleled. You have to see it with your very own eyes to experience the full brilliance of this colourful event. Some of the most spectacular places to witness this unique event are listed below.

Coming to British Columbia for the salmon run is truly an once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Not only can you see thousands of salmon with a size of up to 5 feet in length, but you can also witness the abundant wildlife attracted by the spawning salmon. Black bear and grizzlies feast on the salmon to gain weight for hibernation. Have you ever seen a bear standing in the river catching salmon? Bald and golden eagle soar above this annual spectacle to participate in this gourmet event. Local tour operators offer boat trips that bring you right above the action.


Salmon Run in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park    At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please contact attraction for further details!
Sockeye salmon start their journey in fall, leaving the ocean to enter Fraser River. At Hells Gate massive cataracts test the salmon's strength, before entering the Thompson River. They pass South Thompson River before reaching the Shuswap Lake. Finally they will reach their destination in the Adams River. It takes them 3 weeks and 450 km to get there. It is a colourful spectacle, with salmons turning red. As a matter of fact, this is the largest sockeye salmon run of the Canadian West Coast. Every four years the number of salmons returning peaks. The next large run is due in 2002. The best time for viewing is October 1 - 15.

R. Haig-Brown Provincial Park - © Kanada News
Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park is located on both sides of the Adams River, between Adams Lake and Shuswap Lake. From Hwy #1 at Squilax, east of Kamloops, the access is 5 km on paved roads.

For more information call (250) 851-3000


Goldstream Salmon Run    At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please contact attraction for further details!
The salmon run is one of nature's most fascinating rituals that takes place each year from late October through December in Goldstream River on Vancouver Island. Chum, coho and chinook salmon enter the river via Finlayson Arm from the Pacific Ocean. They actually return to their birthplace where they have been born three or four years ago to spawn and then die. More than 200,000 visitors enjoy this spectacle each year in Goldstream Provincial Park. Besides salmon you can witness thousands of seagulls and many bald eagles filling the skies.

Located 16 km northwest of Victoria on southern Vancouver Island on the Trans Canada Hwy (Hwy #1). The entrance to the day-use area is near the junction of Hwy 1 and Finlayson Arm Road.

For more information call (250) 391-2300


Salmon Run at Rearguard Falls, Tete Jaune Cache
Each year in August you can watch Chinook salmon attempting to leap the falls after a long and tiring journey upstream Fraser River for spawning. Only the strongest make it over the Rearguard Falls to get to Overlander Falls, which marks the end of the journey. The impressive Chinook salmon with a size of up to 5 ft can be viewed from a viewing platform that can be reached from the Highway via an easy trail. Access to Rearguard Falls Trail is 5 km east of Tete Jaune Cache, on the south side of Highway 16.


Salmon Run at George Hicks Park, Valemount
Each year, from mid August to mid September you can witness the annual migration of the spawning Chinook salmon at George Hicks Park in Valemount. Chinook salmon swim about 1,280 km to get from the Pacific Ocean via Fraser River and McLennan River to Swift Creek in Valemount.

George Hicks Park is located in walking distance from the Village of Valemount, BC. Valemount is located just south of the junction between Yellowhead Highways 5 and 16.


Viewing Etiquette
This annual spectacle is truly amazing and should be preserved for future generations. Please make sure that these amazing salmon can complete their life cycle undisturbed. Keep out of the water, move slowly, speak quietly and do not throw objects into the water or allow pets to harass the salmon. Thanks!

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