Salmon spawn in East Vancouver?

The other day–I can’t recall where–I read a story about salmon spawning in East Vancouver. It turns out that they spawn in Still Creek, near the city’s border with Burnaby. I found this map, which showed the precise location where fish had returned in 2012 and 2013. My interest piqued, I hopped on my bike today and rode over to the site.

It’s an anonymous commercial corner of the city wedged between the SkyTrain line and Grandview Highway.

The creek runs through what a kind of culvert, and the best spot to view fish spawning is right at the entrance to Vancouver Film Studios. On Google Street View, the creek runs just to the left of the little security house. You can actually go just inside their gates, hang a left and double-back down to the stream bed.

I saw two very tattered-looking chum salmon swimming around in the eddies, and several dead ones. I shot a short video of one of the live ones:


The salmon started returning to the creek in 2012, for the first time in as much as 80 years. Local conversationists worked to clean up the once-polluted creek, and the city reduced the amount of seasonal flooding the creek experienced, while also improving fish and wildlife habitat.

Here’s another video from last year, covering the salmon’s return, complete with spa(wn) music:

It’s a humble salmon run at the moment, but good environmental news is often hard to find, so I wanted to share.

1 comment

  1. There are some truly amazing salmon return stories out there. I spent a day with Pacific Streamkeepers a year ago. Scientists, farmers, and fisherman with incredible stories of seeing first salmon. Stories of battling Simon Fraser University salt shed for 25 years. Of replacing culverts that had blocked salmon for 40 years. Small victories that don’t often hit the mainstream media but really give hope for the long term survival of the species.

    Thanks for reminding me of this on a day when much seems lost.

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