Adams River Sockeye Run, 2014
Forty five years ago when we were living in Ontario, we imagined a trip to British Columbia to experience the marvellous natural spectacle of the return of Salmon to their birthplace for the culmination of their life cycle. Although over those forty five years as residents of B.C. we have witnessed the event in a few rivers, the initial curiosity was fueled by an article about the Adams River Sockeye Run and its near eradication early in the twentieth century. Consequently the Adams River sockeye run had remained as an unfinished bit of life’s business. (I will resist the temptation to use that most overworked of cliches about lists and buckets).
To see the unexpected abundance of sockeye in 2010 in the Fraser River system, of which the Adams River is a part, was a delightful counterintuition. Every other fishery, of course, is headed in the opposite direction. Estimates for the number of fish in this year’s return were wildly variable based on the abundance of 2010 but the fear that extrapolating from 2010 could be too good to be true. Locals near the spawning grounds have speculated that as many as 7 million fish, up to 3 kilograms each could return this year to the Adams River. For a river only 11 kilometres long, this productivity has earned the river the distinction of the title of the world’s richest 300 acres. After witnessing the early period of this year’s sockeye return on the eighth of October, this distinction does not seem particularly exaggerated.
The video clips after the photo gallery below will show only a fraction of the total fish returning since the bulk of the sockeye run would happen one week later than our visit and the run is continuous and sustained for up to a month.
Gallery of photos of Adams River Sockeye Run
Click on a photo to start slideshow
After the slideshow check the video clips
Video clips of our visit
Go to full screen for best effect
The voices heard in the video clips below are from some of the estimated 200,000 plus visitors who will witness the spectacle this year, many of them school children whose excitement you will hear. Go to full screen.
We acknowledge this Thanksgiving as we did in past years
- The beauty warmth and duration of summer 2014
- The quality and abundance of the home grown produce
- The beauty and expanse of our Nation
- The liquid, blue-green transparencies of ocean, river and lake and the soaring, white and grey majesty of mountain; features which dominate our Province
- Vancouver Island, our small, sometimes rainy, always beautiful paradise
- Family and friends, that important vitamin F, an elixir which is absolutely essential for human life
- The continuing motivation and the continued ability to work at something even at a time of age-ordered physical decline
- Intellectual social and spiritual growth especially at an advanced age
- Gentle people in our world who inoculate us against cynicism and despair