Mark Angelo is a happy man.
The Burnaby resident and renowned fish protector – he ran the fish and wildlife program at BCIT and organized B.C.’s first Rivers Day event – is excited about salmon returning to spawn in local rivers and streams.
Angelo emailed the NOW a photo of a chum salmon swimming up Burnaby's Stoney Creek. He says there are also quite a few salmon gathering at the Cariboo Dam at the outlet of Burnaby Lake on the Brunette River.
“Over the next few weeks, these fish will be traveling up the fishway over the dam, then across Burnaby Lake and into a number of local streams such as Eagle Creek, Still Creek, Guichon Creek, Deer lake Brook, and Buckingham Creek among others,” Angelo says. “To see this take place in the heart of our city is very special; an incredible spectacle to witness for both young and old. And to know that many of these fish will be returning to local streams, many of which have been reclaimed and restored over the years, is also exciting.”
Angelo told the NOW in November 2017 that compared to the 2016 run, numbers were slightly down compared to a record-breaking 1,800 salmon return the previous year.
And this year?
“(It’s) still too early to get an estimate, but I'll be getting updates regularly from now on,” Angelo said. “The recent rains have helped in terms of fish moving up the Brunette River to the fishway at the dam.”
As for viewing spots during the next few weeks, Angelo said the dam just west of Cariboo Road near Government Street at present is a “great vantage point for locals especially when water levels are a little lower. The fish are easily seen.
If we get a lot of rain in the days ahead, higher water levels make the viewing there a bit more difficult but fish should still be visible.”
But over the next week or two, as these salmon move in to streams such as Still Creek, Guichon Creek, Eagle Creek and others, there are many good viewing points along those waterways, he said.
“Also, at present, some of the trails along Stoney Creek provide great viewing and should get even better in the coming week,” Angelo said.