Where to see salmon spawning

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Spawning season provides an opportunity to witness one of the truly great miracles of the natural world. We have compiled a list of some great places to view salmon spawning. Feel free to post in the comments other places to observe salmon spawning near where you live.

Victoria and Surrounds

Goldstream Provincial Park, Victoria

SONY DSCGoldstream is a beautiful park any time of the year, but especially when the chum, coho, and chinook salmon are running in October and early November. There are plenty of walking trails, picnic areas with firepits and an engaging nature house.

Vancouver Island

Stamp River Provincial Park, Port Alberni

Salmon runs begin in late August in Stamp River Provincial Park, running all the way into December. Full of walking trails and beautiful views, you can watch sockeye; coho, and chinook circle the pool below Stamp Falls before climbing fish ladders to get to their spawning beds.

Campbell River, Campbell River

Campbell River calls itself the “Salmon Capital of the World” and is a great spot, not just for fishing, but for seeing spawning salmon. There are a lot of spots to see them running in the fall, pinks in September, and chinook and coho in October and November.

Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast

Chapman Creek, Sechelt

A 1.5- to 2-hour nature trail, for biking or walking, takes you to Chapman Creek, a spawning channel for chum and coho.

Capilano River Hatchery, North Vancouver

North Vancouver’s Capilano River Hatchery draws more than 225,000 visitors a year. Right up the road from the entrance to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, an information centre educates visitors on the spawning cycle and offers various viewing areas to see the fish. There are also trails to hike which give a fantastic view of the salmon spawning. You can see chinook travelling upstream in October and November and other salmon species throughout the year.

Lower Mainland

Mamquam Spawning Channel, Squamish

In the Mamquam River, you can see coho, chum and pink salmon spawning between August and November. Walk along the main trailhead toward the river and you’ll find an interpretive sign and spawning channels. Keep walking to where the Mamquam meets the Squamish River for the best viewing.

Tynehead Park, Surrey

You can see steelhead, coho, chum and chinook in the Serpentine River that runs through Tynehead Park. Take a walk on the Salmon Habitat loop or get a good view of spawning salmon from late August to November from one of the many bridges. The Serpentine Enhancement Society runs a volunteer-based hatchery here.

Thacker Regional Park, Hope

Visit Thacker Regional Park in October for a chance to see spawning coho, pink and chum salmon. The hike to a good viewing point is approximately 1 kilometre.

Harrison River, and Weaver Creek Spawning Channel, Harrison Mills

Harrison River has all five species of salmon, with spawning times between late summer to mid-October. In the same area, you can also visit Weaver Creek Spawning Channel, a 3 km man-made spawning channel created in 1965. Chum, sockeye and pink all spawn there, with sockeye spawning in early to late October.

Interior

Tsútswecw Provincial Park (Roderick Haig-Brown), Salmon Arm

With one of the largest sockeye runs in North America, the Adams River between late September and late October is a great place to see spawning salmon. In Tsútswecw Provincial Park, trails that lead to riverside viewing platforms with interpretive signage describing the salmon run and spawning process. 2018 is a dominant year, which means not only will there larger runs for viewing, but also, the Adams River Salmon Society is hosting the Salute to the Sockeye festival from September 28 – October 21. For information about the Salute to the Sockeye festival, and about guided tours,visit the Adams River Salmon Society website.

Some more sites suggested by our supporters include:

Williams Park, Langley

Stoney Creek, Abbotsford

Sooke Potholes Park, Sooke

Charters Creek Hatchery, Sooke

Coquihalla River, Hope

Morrison Creek,Comox Valley

Puntledge River, Comox Valley

Tsolum River, Comox Valley

 

3 Responses to Where to see salmon spawning

  1. Kanaka Creek fish fence Kanaka Way and 240th Street Maple Ridge

  2. Laura dupont says:

    Despite heavy urbanization on Burke Mountain, Port Coquitlam is fortunate to have numerous Salmon bearing creeks including Maple Creek and Hyde Creek. A great place to see spawners is behind Hyde Creek Regreation Centre at 1379 Laurier Ave. There is a wonderful walking and biking trail that parallels the creek and makes for a nice stroll along the Poco Trail.

  3. Anderson Creek near Pender Harbour has spawning areas for chum salmon. A good viewing point is John Daly Park on Garden Bay Road.

    PS liked the item on Tynehead Park/Serpentine River – in late 1950s used to see the spawners there when I was delivering papers
    on my bike

    I tweeted out a video of chum spawners at Anderson Creek from October 2016 and retweeted it today – see @cdlevings

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