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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

And So The Salmon Run, A Retrospective Tale of Two Travellers Part 6

Apparently 2013 was the year of the Salmon, I kid you not, we were told that a record number of salmon were returning to spawn and they were still coming while we were in Sitka.  It was towards the end of the season and yet still we saw hundreds of salmon, most tired but still trying to swim upstream, even in water that was only inches deep.

I felt sorry for the salmon, and on the first day in Stika when I found some in really shallow water, trying to get to a small waterfall, I really, really just wanted to pick them up and carry them and help them on their way.  I know, I'm a softie, but this is what their life is all about, getting back to where they were born and spawning, avoiding hungry bear, hungry fishermen and all sort of obstacles and the reality is only the fittest get there ultimately to die.  Sort of glad I'm not a salmon, really glad actually!!

The pungent odour of dead and dying fish was often wafting on the breeze and especially bad at a couple of recreation spots, along with the smell was the constant squawking of gulls.  With all that free fish you think they would have more than enough to share, in fact I know they did.  But still they fought as gulls do!!

You got used to the smell, well sort of.  Normally the rain has come and started to wash the dead fish out to sea, but it was still quite dry and had been a warmer summer than usual as well.  It wasn't so bad when the tide was in and luckily when we did the Estuary Boardwalk (another post) it was high tide and not too bad.

The Coho Salmon (also called silver or silvers) seemed to be the main ones we saw at Starrigavan Creek (photos below), although pink salmon are also found particularly in the Indian River as mentioned in the article link above.

Swim little salmon swim
See how shallow the water is?

The waterfall they were heading for

Those that didn't make it up the stream

This video of hubby's was taken at the Sitka Sound Science Centre Salmon Hatchery, and even the salmon born there come back to spawn, the day we visited the gates into the tanks were shut, but still they tried to get in, poor salmon!

Thanks for popping by xxxx


  1. Yup. I would have wanted to save them too. I have a feeling that after they have spawned they die within a day or two. All that effort - and it kills them anyway. So unfair. So very unfair.
    I am enjoying your travel retrospective. Thank you.

    1. They do indeed die quite quickly after spawning, it does seem rather cruel what nature can sometimes do. Thanks for popping by, and I am glad you are enjoying my posts.

  2. I too am so glad I'm not a salmon. Their instincts are so inbuilt that they have no alternative than to do what they are born to do and die because of it. It does seem so unfair.
    Seagulls? Worldwide they are the greediest bird alive. Always squawking and fighting no matter how much food is around.

    1. The gulls we saw are Pacific Gulls and they squawk and carry on just like the Silver Gulls we have here in Aus. It is quite funny to watch them.

      Salmon seem to have one purpose, grow, spawn and then die. Too right we are glad we are not salmon!!

  3. I've seen salmon swimming upstream on TV but there was never any mention that sometimes the water is too shallow and they don't make it. The truth is so sad.

    1. A lot of them don't River, and it is sad to see but it is the survival of the fittest but to us humans it seems a little tragic that only the chosen few get to fulfil their role in the species survival.

  4. Glad I wasn't there to see it...poor things.

    1. Do you get salmon in your rivers in Canada Delores? It was the first time I have ever seen them and I felt quite heart-broken even though they are fish. I suppose that is just me humanising nature, but I really did want to help them but thought me picking them up would stress them even more.



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