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Congrats and thumbs up to the Seymour Salmonid Society for their tireless work to help the Seymour River salmon and steelhead make it upstream to spawn. Last week, a few tankloads of lucky migrating fish got a free ride upriver, courtesy of the society and a hard-working group of volunteers.
The fish were seined in the lower river, put into tanks and then transported around the huge rock slide that has blocked their path for nearly four years. The seining yielded coho, pink and chinook salmon, along with summer steelhead. The pinks were a minor surprise, as they enter the river mostly in odd-numbered years.
Some of the fish were tagged and released below the slide to see if they get through during higher water this fall. Others gave up DNA samples for research. Some were released back into the river above the slide, while some were taken to the hatchery as brood stock.
Over the past few years, the rock slide has been blasted several times to help open a channel. Tagging and monitoring in early 2018 revealed that juvenile fish were finally making it downstream past the slide on their way out to sea. The hope is that adult fish will have the same success this year as they move upstream to spawn.
Seining and transporting will continue throughout the fall as fish enter the river from Burrard Inlet.