Run...Salmon......Run.......

Vancouver Island Travel Blog

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Good gawd were finally here...
Yippeee I had a whole day off work and it was nice outside when I first got up on this fine morning....

What to do...what to do.....
the dogs, Toby and Tuggs...where looking at me longingly saying can we go for a walk somewhere...pleaseeeeeeeee......
Well how can your resist a couple of dogs...looking at you...sitting nice...eyes imploring...pleaseeeeee....
Standing up doing a happy dance...tails wagging...okay already we can go somewhere.

So I thought I better get a few shots off around the house as the light as perfect...
Dogs in car...Check
Camera in hand...check.
Take a few photos around yard...check.
Okay lets go...I knew the salmon had just started to spawn up the river...You can't smell them yet (they start to smell like old dirty socks after a while).
this way...up the stream

So I thought well day is sunny...a bit of a chill in the air, but it was still early and I wanted to before a million people got there.
The colors are perfect...kind of like just right...soon the rains will come..and the leaves will fall...so today is the day.

Off we go...dogs wagging tails...looking out the window...where are we going...
Are we there yet?
when are we going to be there....
Oh look a park...can we go there....
Yippeee we are going to the park......
So come on for a wee walk with Toby, Tuggs, and me..........
Can you count how many fish?
Where's Waldo??????

SOME HISTORY
Goldstream has a world-class spawning stream with thousands of Chum Salmon returning each year.
where is Waldo...how many Chum do you see?
  Bright colors and hooked jaws develop on the male Chum salmon after they enter the breeding streams.  This accounts for the very different appearance these fish have from when they are caught in the ocean.

Every fall, million of Pacific salmon forge their way up the myriad of streams to spawn and die.  These salmon have always been a bit of a mystery.  We all know them as fine food (grin), and as great sport to fish, but the details of how they spend their time in the ocean and how they find their way back to their own home pools are not fully understood even today.

In goldstream, salmon appear around min-October, until sometime in January.  Of the five different types of salmon it is the Chum salmon that is the most abundant in this river.  You can also see Coho and Chinook and well as Steelhead and cutthroat trout even.
..but Chum is the most apparent.

You can watch the fish work their way upstream in pairs or groups, they dig and defend their nests (or redds and they are called), and spawn in the gravel.  The female picks her spawning place digs the trench for her eggs.  she does this by turning on her side and flipping her tail lifting the gravel away to dig her nest.  When the female is done with her nest making she tests it for depth by arching her body in a U shape and feeling the bottom with her extended anal fins.  Waiting with great patience (hahahah)...is the male who stands guard close by, fighting off rival males who approach the nest. (fight till the end). The big hooked jaws and large, strong teeth, with which the fish fights, develop only as the fish approaches sexual maturity.
here...
  (children till the end).  having these great fighting tools they can wound another male...quite severely. 
At last....the females trench is ready...she moves over it to deposit the roe in batches, the male crowds very close to fertilize the eggs with showers of white milt.
When all is done, the nest is covered, this is done by the female moving upstream some and digging so the gravel shifts over the new eggs.  yippeeee!!!!!
So once this is all done, the fish are exhausted and they die....but in the gravel a new generation lives....to once again carry on the cycle of life.

You will miss much though if you only go to see the salmon run.
There begins a new frenzy of activity...each with purpose...by creatures of the forest, stream, air and sea......
There are wee dippers.
and here
..they are small birds that teeter on the rocks between underwater forays...for salmon roes.
Sea gulls gorge on these dead salmon for a month or two...drunk with food I call it...sadly you see many on the highways that get hit....
I think they just can't seem to fly out of the way fast enough....

At night comes the shy mink, raccoons, otters and a bear or two.
Bacteria in the way of fungi breaking down the tissue.
It's all about a host of living things taking the energy stored in the salmons body and recycling it via the forest or the stream and carrying it back to the sea.
The Indians of old, believing that the "Salmon People" were immortal, returned salmon bones to the river so that they might be used again by the fish.  I think that philosophy held much wisdom.

As the season keeps on...I will go down and take photos and add some till they are nothing but clean rivers once again....

I took what photos I could today...went to go the the fish counter...camera died:):)

Thanks for coming...see you soon....

missandrea81 says:
Entertaining as always. Well done Bev.
Posted on: Dec 05, 2009
Stevie_Wes says:
I loved this Bev! As alway you present a beautifully woven tapestry of the natural processes and images, history and ideas of the environments you are lucky enough to live near. very thorough and evocative 'travel' writing.

The cruder part of my mind though is reminded of a sketch by the Brit comedian Eddie Izzard. God is busy creating the World and is handing out the forms and positions of sexual practice that all his creations will adopt 'Dogs?... well, of course you can do it doggy-style. Cats?... um, you can do it doggy-style too. Cows, goats, pigs etc... yep, doggy-style for you guys too. Salmon? Salmon? Well you guys can spend all year on an interminably long and arduous swim through the worlds rivers and oceans, swim against the tides and up stream and jump the wrong way up a waterfall - are NOT allowed physical contact with the women and must die when you've shot your load.' The Salmon shout in dismay "Can't we just do it doggy-style like everyone else!" God says no. (When it comes to humans he just says "Ah, f**k it, you lot do whatever the f**k you want!")
Posted on: Nov 30, 2009
Koralifix says:
I so enjoyed this entry, Bev!
Posted on: Nov 14, 2009
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Good gawd were finally here...
Good gawd were finally here...
this way...up the stream
this way...up the stream
where is Waldo...how many Chum do …
where is Waldo...how many Chum do…
here...
here...
and here
and here
giver of new life
giver of new life
circle of life....
circle of life....
Serene...with much going on
Serene...with much going on
there are a few Chinook also...the…
there are a few Chinook also...th…
Come this way....
Come this way....
You can crawl through here to go t…
You can crawl through here to go …
Where the ocean meets the river...…
Where the ocean meets the river..…
Little wee frost...
Little wee frost...
Hmmmmmmmm
Hmmmmmmmm
wanna go play in the leaves :)
wanna go play in the leaves :)
Amazing what can grow out of a tre…
Amazing what can grow out of a tr…
Anyone want to share a seat and so…
Anyone want to share a seat and s…
or here
or here
Empty....
Empty....
To the fish counter
To the fish counter
Tuggs being so patient
Tuggs being so patient
An amazing shot...Toby sitting for…
An amazing shot...Toby sitting fo…
These are Shaggy mane mushrooms gr…
These are Shaggy mane mushrooms g…
moring
moring
Not good to eat now
Not good to eat now
Pretty though
Pretty though
No idea
No idea
Three
Three
Yippe for the sun
Yippe for the sun
sunrise...up awake lets go already
sunrise...up awake lets go already
okay going soon almost
okay going soon almost
just a couple more pics
just a couple more pic's
red...red...red...
red...red...red...
Okay going now...
Okay going now...
down the road....
down the road....
Ok this way to the fish counter...…
Ok this way to the fish counter..…
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photo by: Mezmerized