Near record number of salmon return to Surrey waters in 2013

SURREY — Surrey waters welcomed home a larger than average number of returning salmon in 2013, according to the environmental groups that operate hatcheries on the Little Campbell and Serpentine rivers.

In South Surrey, the Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club was thrilled to see near record numbers of returning fish. It was the second best run since monitoring began in 1983, and fell just shy of the numbers recorded in 2001.

More than 5,500 salmon were checked at the hatchery counting fence before being released upstream to spawn. The count included 4,702 coho, 574 chinook, 252 chum and 22 pink salmon. The total does not include salmon that spawned in the river downstream from the hatchery or in the downstream tributaries such as Fergus Creek.

"The rains in the fall came later than normal and that’s what the fish wait for before heading up the river," said club president Bob Donnelly. "The coho were pretty much on schedule and they were pretty steady. As a matter of fact, we had 20 or so come up last weekend (Jan. 11 and 12) when the rains were so heavy and that’s pretty unusual because they’re usually done by now. We’re starting to get our first steelhead coming up now and that’s right on schedule.

"The strange thing is we also had 22 pinks come up the river. That’s very unusual because the Little Campbell is not a spawning river for them. The pink run on the coast was good this year and we suspect a few of them just wandered into the river. The other possibility is we had a spawning pair come up the river a few years ago and these could be the returns from that pair."

Meanwhile in North Surrey, it was a good news, bad news scenario for the Serpentine Enhancement Society’s Tynehead Hatchery.

On the plus side, the numbers of returning salmon were strong overall in 2013. The chinook numbers were down marginally, but the coho run was excellent.That good news was tempered by damage wrought by heavy storms that battered the Lower Mainland on the weekend of Jan. 3 to 5. The deluge of water created flood conditions in the Serpentine and SES volunteers fear the worst.

"Sadly, the heavy storms we just had did a lot of damage to the spawning beds," said Carol Wright, SES director of fish culture. "A lot of water hit the river and it ended up ripping up the spawning beds and dislodging the eggs. There’s been a huge loss of eggs and that’s very worrying for the future. With more pavement and development and storm drains moving water into the river, there is more flash flooding that tears up the riverbed. Every year the damage is greater and greater."

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Left, Rowena Leivo early on in her volunteer career with the South Surrey/White Rock Food Bank. Right, Leivo in the food bank Tuesday. (Contributed photos)
After 34 years, ‘The Boss’ retires from South Surrey Food Bank volunteer gig

Rowena Leivo, 90, spent a third of her life volunteering at the food bank

Do you have someone you would like to thank? Or maybe something to get off your chest? Email your rose or rotten tomato to
Roses and Rotten Tomatoes (Oct. 22, 2020)

Our weekly collection of compliments and complaints sent in by readers

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
Bill Fraser Health for excessive mental-health-related police time at White Rock hospital: top cop

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Diamond School in Surrey reporting COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
8 scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

Most Read