Celebrate the salmon and the rivers 

If there’s any time to be celebrating B.C.’s rivers it’s right about now.

Just go to the Lorimer Bridge across the River of Golden Dreams and take a look at the hundreds of red fish swimming in the shallow water.

"The fish are back now," said Veronica Sommerville, fisheries technician with the municipality.

"This is the Green Lake kokanee river run."

The kokanee salmon have come to spawn for the next two or three weeks.

Then the adults will die and their eggs will stay buried in redds (underwater nests in the gravel) until the spring.

At that time hundreds will emerge as fry and head back to Green Lake for four years, when they are destined to return to the river once again.

Sommerville said this year’s run doesn’t look as big as last year’s but she is very pleased to see the salmon in the River of Golden Dreams for the second year in a row.

"This is a totally separate run than last year," she said. Thousands of kokanne spawned in the river last fall.

She calls this year a minor run.

There will be festivals marking the return of the salmon, like the one in Mount Currie on Saturday, and later this month there will be another annual event celebrating the importance of B.C.’s rivers on the whole.

The Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group is taking Whistler to the River of Golden Dreams on Sunday, Sept. 29 to mark B.C. Rivers Day.

This is the fifth year in a row of celebrations of this kind in Whistler.

People are welcome to the Whistler Outdoor Experience Company at Edgewater to take part in a scavenger hunt and BBQ.

The hunt begins at 11 a.m. as people head into canoes to search out fish and wildlife habitat in the lower sections of the River of Golden Dreams. Spawning should be over by Sept. 29 and any kokanee that are still spawning won’t be in the lower section of the river.

They will be given maps to mark as many sites as possible and those maps will be used for draw prizes at the end of the day.

There will be fly -fishing demonstrations from the Angling Club as well as displays from local environmental groups. In addition, there will be face painting for the kids.

For over 20 years now B.C. has been celebrating its waterways on the last Sunday in September.

There are usually more than 80 events across the province, which attract more than 40,000 participants every year.

Protecting B.C.’s waterways has become one of the most pressing environmental issues in the province.

Results of a survey conducted by the Ministry of Environmental Land and Parks show that pollution of rivers, lakes and coastal waters is the number one environmental concern of British Columbians.

The event at Edgewater will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information call 604-935-8323.


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