A male coho salmon (background) jockeys for position near a female in the spawning grounds of Cougar Creek on Nov. 6, 2020 in a video shot and shared by the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers. (YouTube.com screenshot)

A male coho salmon (background) jockeys for position near a female in the spawning grounds of Cougar Creek on Nov. 6, 2020 in a video shot and shared by the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers. (YouTube.com screenshot)

VIDEO: Spawning salmon return to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

At least 57 coho spawners have been sighted since mid-October

North Delta’s Cougar Creek is alive this fall with dozens of spawning salmon.

“The stars of the show are all wild (not hatchery) coho salmon,” Deborah Jones of the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers wrote in an email update last week.

“Since Oct. 12 (an early start for spawning season in Cougar Creek), 57 coho spawners have been sighted — including 31 new arrivals on Friday (Nov. 6) — spread across several spawning channels in the vicinity of Westview Bend.”

Jones said the spawning salmon usually wait at the mouth of Cougar Creek where it meets the Fraser River until they sense the stronger creek flows caused by heavy rains. The fish then enter the creek and move upstream to the spawning grounds, taking advantage of the higher water level to help them hide from predators and get across barriers such as beaver dams.

“Please remind your canine and human pals alike to stay on dry land from now through May 1st,” Jones wrote. “Salmon redds (nests on the bottom of the creek), eggs and newly-hatched fry are easily damaged or destroyed during these critical months.”

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