Natural Wonders of British Columbia (Part 3)

The Salmon Run

In a move away from physical objects such as mountains or trees our third natural wonder is more ephemeral - the salmon run. Salmon spawning season in BC is quite incredible. For example, 2014 is one of the quadrennial 'dominant' years in the Adams River near Kamloops. This means a return of perhaps 4 million sockeye salmon in this small river. 4 million!! It's a sight not to be missed and one that is reproduced in many rivers across BC even if not with quite such large numbers.

Sockeye, coho, chinook and chum salmon all arrive at different times and in different rivers.

As has been said salmon numbers vary year on year and river by river. There have also been huge fluctuations due to factors that remain, as yet, unknown to the scientific community. What is for certain is that the salmon run brings with it other amazing wildlife events. Here in Squamish we have the annual gathering of bald eagles where close to 4,000 have been counted in a single year (1994).

It's not only eagles that enjoy the salmon run. BC's most sought after mammal (by tourists) also enjoys the proliferation of easily accessible protein that arrives just at the right time of year in many places i.e. just before the winter's hibernation when it allows them to gorge and fatten up.

If you're in BC in the fall this can be a spectacular sight to see and one that can make up for maybe not being able to get into the alpine in the mountains and the sometimes rainy weather at this time of year. There's always something naturally stupendous to see in BC.