Members of Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society collect fish at Sooke River’s Pemberton Pool in this file photo from October 2016. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)                                Members of Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society collect fish at Sooke River’s Pemberton Pool in this file photo from October 2016. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Members of Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society collect fish at Sooke River’s Pemberton Pool in this file photo from October 2016. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror) Members of Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society collect fish at Sooke River’s Pemberton Pool in this file photo from October 2016. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Spawning salmon return to Sooke River

Slow return of fish has meant higher predation in Sooke harbour

Salmon have arrived in the Sooke and Charters rivers and many onlookers are visiting local waterways to watch the fish make their annual run.

The salmon spent three to five years in the ocean and have made it back to the place where they were born.

The fish arrived almost two weeks later this year due to low water levels, said Wally Vowels of the Juan de Fuca Restoration Society.

RELATED: $1-million salmon hatchery eyed for Sooke

The slow return of coho, chinook and chum salmon has meant higher predation in Sooke harbour and basin from hungry seals and sea lions.

Vowels said predators tend to target female fish, likely for their eggs, and as a result this year salmon enhancement officials have seen a male-female ratio of almost 2 to 1.

“We’ll need several days of rain for the water levels to increase before we see more fish move up the river,” Vowels said.

Elida Peers of the Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre said it’s always exciting when the salmon return.

“It’s remarkable that these creatures do this every year,” she said.

The centre hosts many events during the salmon run, including an event last weekend. Hundreds of students are also brought to the centre each year to learn about the spawning salmon and their contribution to west coast life.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

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