Workers at the Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society harvest some of the first salmon in the region to stock the incubation trays and ponds with young salmon.

Salmon returning to Sooke rivers and streams

Recent rains just what the salmon needed

Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society volunteers were busy yesterday following heavy rains as the water levels in the Charters River rose high enough to allow spawning salmon into the waterway.

Charters River is a tributary of the Sooke River and the society, an organization created in 2002 as a result of the work of the Sooke Region Historical Society.

One of the group’s primary mandates is to work on habitat restoration within the Sooke Basin, an area that includes more than 12 creeks and rivers in need of restoration if the salmon population is to be enhanced.

The Charters River was the first major waterway selected by the board of the restoration group for habitat enhancement and through the support of the Capital Regional District Water Services Commission and a generous group of supporters and contributors, the stabilization of the water supply to the Charter River spawning beds has been accomplished.

Volunteers at the site were on hand on Thursday to capture male and female salmon so that eggs could be extracted and fertilized, then placed into incubation trays and then into ponds in the region.

“The annual salmon run attracts tourists and locals alike to watch one of nature’s most spectacular annual events,” said Elida Peers, historian with the Sooke Region Museum and Visitor Centre. “We’ll be putting up a big sign in the next few days announcing that the fish are back and then the people will start to arrive.”

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