It’s been a remarkably good year for pink and sockeye salmon populations in B.C. this year.
If you are in Campbell River, the Canyon View Trail offers incredible views of this unusual salmon boon. In the video taken by Alistair Taylor for The Campbell River Mirror, thousands of pink salmon can be seen schooling together underwater and breaching the surface in big splashes.
The prime viewing spot is the observation platform by the former John Hart generating station, where the salmon are “congregating in the pool where water going through the hydroelectric turbines used to outlet,” according to the description. The salmon then continue their journey, migrating up the Elk Falls Canyon.
Elsewhere in B.C., fisheries are reporting record numbers in salmon runs. Mitch Dudoward, an Indigenous fisherman in the Skeena region who has been in the industry for over four decades, told the CBC, “this is the best season I can recall in my lifetime with the numbers we are catching.”
Experts are crediting the salmon boom to a few rare years of cooling ocean temperatures from the weather phenomenon La Niña, along with a decrease in fishing opportunities in crucial spawning regions, like the Skeena River.
“If you’re a sockeye, or a salmon, it’s just a more amenable environment out in the ocean for you right now,” said Greg Taylor, a fisheries advisor told The Tyee. “The unnerving part is what can go down can go up again.”
The fish populations are still vulnerable to general trends of warming ocean temperatures and overfishing. Many are still concerned that this uniquely strong year still isn’t a reflection of overall trends or the health of coastal watersheds.
Industrial development is also identified as another major threat to salmon. Serious concerns have been voiced by fisheries experts about the impact on salmon in the Coquihalla River this year due to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Still, there is much to celebrate with this year’s incredible salmon resurgence, so if you’ve ever wanted to see a west coast salmon run, there’s never been a better time to get yourself to a spot like the Canyon View Trail.