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Stewards of Cootes Watershed - Salmon have Arrived!


October 21, 2016 at 6pm to October 28, 2016 at 6pm.


Spencer Creek, Dundas

Our friends at the RBG tell us that salmon have been sighted earlier this week at the fishway and are now in Cootes Paradise. Dundas' Local Wonder of Nature is back on.  Click the map at the bottom of this page for locations.

Stewards of Cootes Watershed has for the 4th year created spawning grounds free from all litter and debris for the salmon to successfully spawn. Local ecologists credit us with doubling the size of the spawning habitat in fact.

This comes as quite a relief folks, chinook salmon reproduce on a 4 year cycle and miraculously return to the place they were hatched. 4 years ago the water level was so low that the Salmon could not successfully pass through Cootes into Spencer. Thankfully some of the fish cannot count to 4 and so come after 3 years or 5 years. Others called "wanderers" loose their bearings and sense out a good spot or follow others.

There was another concern that with the warm fall we've been having that a very specific inversion of some of the temperature layers of water in Hamilton Harbour would not occur. The salmon need cold highly oxygenated water or they will not pass through to Cootes. Thankfully these concerns have also been put to rest.

Still the number of spawning salmon may not be large and after fighting upstream with all the life-force that remains within they face another serious threat - poachers who snag them right before they spawn. More about this sinister threat in another post.

Photo credit - Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator 2014