Get salmon savvy at Metro Vancouver’s regional parks this fall

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      Metro Vancouver’s regional parks offer more than beautiful green spaces to walk, hike, bike, and play in. Situated within the traditional homelands of the Coast Salish First Nations, they also provide vital habitat for salmon.

      From Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver to Kanaka Creek Regional Park in Maple Ridge to Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey, the parks protect waterways that wild fish call home.

      Depending on the system, species could be coho, chum, chinook, pink, sockeye, steelhead, or cut-throat salmon. Regardless of the type, salmon are a vital part of our environment.

      “We’ve always considered salmon to be that iconic indicator species,” says biologist Janice Jarvis, a natural resource management specialist with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks. “If salmon are doing well, then it’s more likely that everybody else is, too. They require high-quality water. If they’re in your system, that’s a good sign.

      “Salmon really feed the entire ecosystem and indicate how well the eco-system is doing,” she adds. “They have such far-reaching impacts.”

      This fall, you can learn all about salmon through free programming at Metro Vancouver’s regional parks.

      On Saturday, September 21, check out the Fishy Finale  at Glen Valley Regional Park in Langley.

      Feeding off salmon is part of the eco-system.

      There, amid farmland, river, and mountain vistas and a sandy shore, you can witness the wonder of the pink salmon migration up the mighty Fraser River. Learn about their life cycle and the animals that eat them. You can also try your hand at casting or tying flies. (Bring your tidal fishing license with you, available for purchase online.) Co-presented by Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the all-ages event runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at Two-bit Bar (9117 - 272 Street) and drop by anytime.

      On Saturday, October 26, it’s Coho Commotion at Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver/West Vancouver.

      Learning at the Capilano Fish Hatchery

      This is a chance for people of all ages to get up close and personal with wild Coho salmon, which, each autumn, complete an epic journey back to their birthplace. Along the way, the fish astonishingly change colour and other aspects of their appearance, all in order to mate and make baby salmon. Surrounded by towering Douglas-fir and western redcedar trees and the roar of the river, you can discover these and other facts about their extraordinary lives right near the Capilano River Hatchery. ​Please leave your pets at home.

      For more information about the events, visit metrovancouver.org and search “Check it Out”. And remember to follow this series to discover more about Metro Vancouver’s regional parks.