|Male and Female Sockeye Salmon|
|Providing for the Future|
I have seen pink, coho, chum and chinook spawning migrations in the past but this is the first sockeye spawn I have seen. They have transformed from gleaming silver to bright red with green head colours. The males have developed long, hooked jaws which they use to bite competing males who want to fertilise female spawn as they are squirted into the gravel redds.
An odour of rotting fish is noticeable as we wander the pathways of Roderick-Haig- Brown Provincial Park which contains the Adams River. We have arrived just as the gates opened to allow visitors to this site. We enjoy relatively light trail competion and are able to spend quiet time observing the fish. We watch as fishermen wade the river fly fishing for trout. I wonder if they are damaging delicate redds in the river but there are no wardens around chasing them from the cool clear river. By late afternoon, we are tuckered out and satisfied with our adventure but wishing for a more solitary experience. As we make our way to the car, we are amazed by hordes of people crowding the visitor reception and vendor area. I am happy to see that so many people are interested in this spectacle which bodes well for salmon as a whole.
The next morning, we left before daylight hoping to find a river where there are not so many people. We had a hint as we drove toward our destination the day before as we were forced to weave our way through a "salmon jam" on the highway at the base of Roger's Pass. We drove down a short section of former highway to a very secluded, quiet place beside the Eagle River. The water was more clear and much colder and contained almost as many determined sockey. We enjoyed a couple hours of total solitude in the company of the fish, the forest and a family of bald eagles. What a perfect way to salute the salmon.
|Eagles Misty Roost|