Record weekend for Saanich’s Colquitz River salmon run

Caretakers of the Colquitz River fish-counting fence are heralding this past weekend as the best in their 13-year history

Colquitz Salmonid Stewardship and Education Society volunteers fish salmon out of the Colquitz River fish fence on the weekend

If salmon enthusiasts are happy for anything after this weekend, it’s that when it rains, it pours.

The caretakers of the Colquitz River fish-counting fence are heralding this past weekend as the best in their 13-year history, with the heavy rainfall helping a record 450 salmon start making their way up the river to spawn.

An average year at the trap sees between 250 to 300 coho salmon come to the fence over the entire season, typically from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.

Chris Bos, president of the Colquitz Salmonid Stewardship and Education Society, said he’s never seen anything like it. The society performs the daily fish counts as well as running educational programs for school and the public.

“If we’re getting more than we get on an average year in one day, that’s a very good sign,” Bos said.

All fish this weekend were coho, aside from two cutthroat trout.

Bos said a heavy rain at the end of September got the fish moving and then a long, relatively dry spell left them waiting for the right opportunity to head upstream.

The salmon wait for a heavy rain to start upstream, for added protection from predators.

“(When) the water’s low, it’s clear, they don’t feel comfortable running into that because they’re exposed,” Bos said.

The total number for the run has been up over the last couple of years, and with the already huge numbers for this year, Bos believes he is seeing a trend. Other salmon runs in the area have also been stronger lately, with numbers similar to about two decades ago.

“That’s a good sign that they are getting better ocean survival and that means that they’re coming back in bigger numbers,” Bos said.

Bos remembers the highest count the group has had to be around 575 coho in one year, in the early 2000s. He expects this record to be broken this year. He expects salmon to keep coming with the rain, likely until the end of the month.

“Despite the oil spills, despite the little pollution events we’ve got, we have a little urban creek that’s doing really well,” Bos said. “It’s something that we can all be proud of.”


Just Posted

Purple Day 2019: Victoria marks epilepsy awareness day

1 in 100 Canadians live with epilepsy, a neurological disorder with many symptoms

Famous Floyd’s to open in Royal Oak

Building in Saanich turns iconic pink of local breakfast chain

VicPD seek witnesses to the assault of a youth

On March 24 three men with a white van accosted a youth walking on Dallas Road

Team Canada athletes training at CFB Esquimalt for 2019 Warrior Games

Games enhance the recovery of ill and injured soldiers

Coroner’s inquest announced for Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

POLL: Do you still have a landline telephone?

With smart phones becoming an indispensable part of modern-day life, more and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Study: Why Canadian police should have a dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Island Health announces funding for 52 projects on Island

$750,000 will go to fund these projects

UPDATED: IHIT investigating fatal crash in Surrey

Three people dead, investigators expected to be at scene ‘for significant amount of time’

Most Read