October 16, 2012

Byrne Creek Oct. 16 Spawner Patrol Turns Up 6 Chum Salmon

When the sun popped out today, I had to drop everything and head out on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby to check on spawners. I'd spotted two chum on Oct. 15, so I knew they were moving upstream from the Fraser River.

I saw a total of six chum today, and four of them were paired off in two "couples". One pair were working on a redd (nest) in the lower ravine, and the other pair were courting in the sediment pond.

It's a glorious time of year to be out, and the fish make it especially exciting.

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The pair in the lower ravine. The female was slowly digging a depression into
the gravel and cobble with her tail, while the male stayed close by to protect his mate.

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This is what happens when you inadvertently nearly step on  a salmon.

I knew there was a chum male hiding just above the culvert at the lower end of the ravine,
because I'd seen him pass under the footbridge earlier and then retreat back downstream.
As I inched along the bank I spooked him before I saw him. I instinctively pointed my camera
in the fish's direction as it exploded downstream, and hit the shutter release several times without
even trying to frame the action. This was the best of a bunch of blurry shots!

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Here's the above fish about half an hour earlier, swimming under the footbridge.

Posted by Paul at October 16, 2012 08:31 PM