Each day, as volunteers scoop the fish out of the trap with a large net, they are counted and tracked by gender using a multiple tally device. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Colquitz River salmon draw school kids and passersby alike

Seventy salmon counted passing through the fish fence since September

“You don’t get to haul fish behind London Drugs at a shopping mall very often,” said Salmon in the City volunteer and Colquitz River advocate Dorothy Chambers while assessing coho salmon caught in the fish fence in the Colquitz River Park behind the Tillicum Shopping Centre on Tuesday.

Volunteers from Salmon in the City –a project funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) – crowded around the fish trap – which received a new metal top earlier this year – pulling out salmon after salmon while a group of preschoolers from Pearkes Recreation Centre squealed with delight. Each year, the children come down to the river everyday during salmon season – October through to December – in hopes of catching a glimpse of the fish.

The first preschool group is now in Grade 6, said Chambers, and they still come down with their classes.

On Tuesday, 12 salmon were pulled out of the trap, but there aren’t always fish in the trap when the children come by. However, there is lots of other wildlife for them to observe. Chambers noted that seals have begun to come up the river to feed along with otters, minks and raccoons.

Several other residents stopped mid-walk to watch the large fish wiggle in the net before getting plopped back into the river to spawn. Chambers invited adults to try scooping some salmon with the net so she could assess gender and size and look for an adipose fin – if they’ve got the fin, they’re wild salmon, she explained.

All collected data is reported to the DFO to keep track of the local salmon population.

Salmon in the City volunteers come down to the fish fence several times a day every single day. There are about 10 regular volunteers and if they happen to be busy, Chambers said she drags her husband down to help count.

Volunteers have pulled 70 salmon out of the Colquitz River fish trap so far this season. The trap went in at the end of September because of the amount of rain that fell, Chambers explained.

Early rains are good because they clear the roads and pathways before the salmon start to arrive. She expects to be counting salmon until November or December.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Saanich for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read