Tag Archives: Pink Salmon in Campbell River

Will the heavy rains come in time for this year’s Chum run in Basil Creek?

Part 1 in a series of articles about the Fall 2023 Salmon runs; Click here for Part 2.

Very little water is trickling through Basil Creek, where Cortes Island’s principal Chum run occurs in late October. There have been few days of rain on Cortes since May, and some of the area’s shallow wells stopped producing in July. Only about 10 Chum were seen in Basil Creek during the 2022 drought. Unless water levels rise, this may be the second year in a row when there is not a significant creek for the Chum return. 

According to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, BC is going through ‘one of the most extreme periods of drought in recorded history.’ 

Continue reading Will the heavy rains come in time for this year’s Chum run in Basil Creek?

No Chum in Basil Creek yet, but the outlook for salmon may be improving

It is November 26 and there are still no Chum Salmon in Basil Creek. Normally they would have returned a month ago, but there was a prolonged drought this year. While the water level has risen, there are still no fish.

“It’s getting to be late for Chum, but we’re seeing other populations come in late. We might see Chum return into the next few weeks, it’s very possible. This year is definitely characterized by a lot of weird conditions,” said Matthew Clarke, DFO’s Head for stock assessment in North Vancouver Island, from Black Creek to Cape Caution (which is actually on the Mainland). His area also includes Cortes and Quadra Islands.    

Continue reading No Chum in Basil Creek yet, but the outlook for salmon may be improving

Salmon Runs in the midst of a West Coast Drought

The drought conditions settling throughout the West Coast are another example of what Fisheries and Oceans Canada has identified as the #1 threat to BC’s endangered salmon population.

“While there are many stressors that affect Pacific salmon survival, climate change is rapidly superseding these threats,” DFO media spokesperson Lara Sloan emailed Cortes Currents.

Continue reading Salmon Runs in the midst of a West Coast Drought

I swam with the salmon — they taught me about dignity and strength

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

After hiking along the Campbell River in unseasonably warm September sunshine, wrestling my middle-aged body into a wetsuit is no easy feat. 

But I’m determined to get a new angle on the iconic West Coast keystone species I so regularly write about as a reporter. I’m going swimming with salmon. 

Continue reading I swam with the salmon — they taught me about dignity and strength

Pink Salmon Run Looks Good for 2022  

Large numbers of pink salmon are returning to our area this summer. 

“I am seeing these pink salmon return – their numbers appear huge, they are leaping everywhere, finning along the surface for hundreds of kilometers,” emailed independant biologist Alexandra Morton.

Lara Sloan, a communications advisor with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), wrote they are expecting a strong return to the Campbell River, based on the strong outmigration from the 2020 brood, cooler ocean temperatures and better food. 

Continue reading Pink Salmon Run Looks Good for 2022