Every year hundreds of thousands of Sockeye Salmon return to the Adams River to spawn and every four years, considered to be a dominant year, millions of them make the same journey. This is a natural wonder and something I just had to witness in person. We chose 2010 as the year to make the trip as it was a dominant year for the salmon run.
Salmon are hatched in fresh water rivers across British Columbia and then make their way to the ocean using major waterways, such as the Thompson and Fraser Rivers. They remain in the open ocean for three years, following currents as far north as Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Then they retrace their exact route back to the same river they were hatched in, a terribly difficult journey of more than 4,000km upstream, and they do it all in about seventeen days. They do not eat anything during their journey, instead they rely on fat reserves that have been stored in their bodies from heavy feeding in the ocean. It is also during this journey that the salmon transform in appearance. Both the males and females adopt the distinctive red colour, but the males also develop large humped backs and aggressive hooked mouths. A few days after they've spawned the salmon die and become food for numerous other creatures, such as eagles and bears.
|Beautiful fall colours in late October|
|Sockeye Salmon in the Adams River|
|Salmon tails and fins|
|A male salmon|
|Thousands of salmon all trying to swim upstream|
|Once they've spawned they die|
|The river is filled with red salmon|
An underwater view of the salmon
|Chris and I sitting on a log by the river|
|Dan and Nath|
|Christine, Rome, and I|
|Dan, Nath, and Kola standing with a Cedar Tree|
|A female salmon|
Another underwater video clip
|The boys and the dogs|
Since the Shuswap area is fairly close to the Okanagan Valley and wine country, naturally there'd be vineyards close-by. The girls wanted to stop by a couple, so we did just that after spending some time watching the salmon.
|Granite Creek Estate Winery|
|Recline Ridge Vineyards & Winery|
|Old wine barrels|
|The grape fields|
|After the wine tasting it was time for the dogs to get some exercise. After a good run they'd be ready for a nap!|
Witnessing the salmon run is really quite amazing. It's hard to comprehend that many fish in one place at one time. If you ever get the opportunity to see it in person, I highly suggest you take it. It was well worth the trip into British Columbia. The next dominant run will be in 2014. Maybe I'll see you there!