Goldstream River is still quite shallow in some spots, but will soon have thousands of salmon passing through to spawn. (Lindsey Horsting/News staff)

Higher water levels in Goldstream River may help more salmon get upstream

Slow start to salmon run season in Langford

Residents are waiting with anticipation for the height of the salmon run at Goldstream Provincial Park.

The depth of the water plays a part in the salmon run and it’s possible more salmon will be seen once it starts to rain, but it’s not a determining factor.

Tracey Bleackley, a park naturalist with RLC Park Services, said they usually see the salmon run pick up at the very end of October.

“It’s started, but it’s always a slow start,” she said.

RLC Park Services has an underwater camera near the estuary, and she said they can see when the tide is high the fish explore further up the river.

Bleackley said the salmon go through a change period, which is called staging, once they reach the estuary and before they swim upstream. They prepare for the transition from salt water to fresh water and they change colour from their ocean-bearing colours to spawning colours due to hormonal changes.

The male chum salmon grow a long nose and teeth and have crimson marks on their bodies whereas the female chum also grow teeth and have a long black markings on their bodies.

Bleackley said they will be hosting many school groups at Goldstream River beginning Monday, Oct. 29 and into December to see the salmon run and learn about the process.

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