Chum Salmon Spawn

A remarkable video by Bob Turner, Squamish, BC, November 2020

This is hands-down one of the most beautiful salmon spawning videos I have ever seen. In a crystal-clear spring-fed channel near Squamish, BC, filmmaker Bob Turner captures the moment a female chum salmon drops her eggs in front of several eagerly waiting males. A dance ensues, a millenia-old choreography passed down genetically from generation to generation. An unstoppable force ensuring the continuation of a cycle and the survival of a species.

The salmon

Chum salmon are one of the most important species to southern coastal waterways in British Columbia. Their spawn is the most visible, most frequent and most reliable of the 4 Pacific Salmon here in Howe Sound (Chum, Pink, Coho and Chinook). Large well-known runs also occur near Victoria (Goldstream Park), Courtenay, Squamish and Harrison Hot Springs (Harrison River). Many smaller streams in Howe Sound also host the Chum spawn, as well as on the Sunshine Coast, Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

Copyright Bob Turner, 2020

The chain

The salmon are an invaluable link in the chain of life here on the west coast. Words really cannot describe their importance to so many other species; from the depths of the ocean to small mountain streams, salmon carry and redistribute massive amounts of nutrients from the sea to the sky. Salmon eat and are eaten. Decomposing bodies feed the forest floor. Their success is largely based on healthy streams and spawning habitats, a pristine place where they may dance for the continuation of life.

The video

In the full length video you really get a sense for the remarkable dance of the salmon. This video is shared with permission by Bob Turner, please visit his YouTube channel for more wonderful videos from around beautiful Bowen Island and Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHKOSD9xmRx21yS0OX_158Q

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