A closeup of a pink salmon being held just about sparkling water on a sunny day.
Photo Credit: Island Fisherman Magazine

Record-breaking Year for Pinks in the Tsolum

After a tough summer, the rains came in September and the salmon came back

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Volunteers counted more than 155,000 pinks in the watershed

It was a tough year for salmon on the Tsolum. The heat dome rocked Coho early in the summer, the prolonged drought left salmon with nowhere to go, and low water levels killed pinks in August.

But by the middle of September, the rain came. The rivers filled up a little and gave the pinks some more breathing room—literally.

And it turned out to be a game-changer.

On the afternoons of September 20th and September 26th, volunteers with the Tsolum River Restoration Society walked from the end of Railway Avenue down to the confluence with the Puntledge River. They counted the pinks that were making their way to the headwaters.

And there were so many fish to count! In fact, it was the highest number of pinks ever recorded in the Tsolum River.

Volunteers counted more than 155,000 pinks in the watershed. About 39,000 pinks made it all the way to Headwaters Creek.

It’s pretty spectacular to see so many salmon returning home to spawn. But the fish aren’t totally out of the woods. Climate change and fish farms can still make life difficult for them in the river and out in the ocean.

But it sure is a relief to see a good run this year.

As Carmen Everest Wahl said on the Restoration Society’s post, “Father Charles Brandt would be so pleased.”

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