The Salmon Run ~ Watching the Fish Jump

지난달

It is fall in the North, which means it is time for the annual salmon run in Canada. Watching the fish jump up the Ganny is quite an amazing natural event and something I saw when I was recently in Canada. It is exciting to see them succeed especially when failure is quite common. Go Fish Go!

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In Port Hope, Ontario there is a river called the Ganaraska River or just the Ganny. This river flows from the Oak Ridges Moraine into the North end of Lake Ontario. It gains elevation quite quickly and has a series of small waterfalls and rapids up its length. Here is a website with information on the specific location: https://www.grca.on.ca/conservation-areas-port-hope/

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At the Corbett's Dam, around 3km from the mouth of the river, there is a fish ladder. This is a small series of waterfalls to help fish swim up the river. Without the ladder, the dam is too high for fish to jump up in one go.

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There are several different kinds of fish that use this ladder, primarily they are trout and salmon. Trout swim up in the spring and salmon swim up in the fall. Since it is fall, I was watching the salmon swim up as it would be quite unnatural for a trout to swim up at this time of year.

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The specific type of fish I saw is the Pacific Salmon. I would guess they were the Chinook, but there could have been some Coho. It's hard to tell unless you catch them and have a good look. Fortunate the sign helps tell the difference in both Chinese and English. However, this is mostly for legal reasons and lists specific fishing regulations as you can't just fish for whatever you want wherever you want whenever you want in Ontario, Canada. The idea is conservation and it works.

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Some of the fish did not make it up the fish ladder. Fortunate there was a rubber mat protecting the fish from smacking into the concrete structure. I'm not sure how much better this is but I guess some people were complaining since there are plenty of people around watching the fish jump.

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Whenever a fish makes it up the ladder, people get excited and clap. The fish are going up the river to mate and it is important for the health of their species that some of them make it up the ladder.

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Here is another failure. Sadly, after a few failed attempts, the fish will get really tired and die. Later on in September, the river will be lined with the fish that weren't strong or lucky enough to make it up. Scavengers eat them and it helps the ecosystem, but it stinks.

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Another risk for the fish is fishermen. Although you cannot fish in all areas of the river, the fishermen do have a good chance. Fortunately, there is some sport involved and they cannot use nets or fish right where the fish are resting or jumping. However, it is a great place and time to catch fish. In anycase, enough fish make it past for the whole thing to be sustainable otherwise there wouldn't be fish left.

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Some fish like to rest before they jump. Jumping requires a lot of energy since the fish are quite large and need to jump quite high. Also when they make it up, they still need to swim through the current. I'm not quite sure why they swim all the way up, but then again, I'm not a fish. They are looking for their favorite breeding spot. The majority of the fish will return to the exact same spot they were born although it is now known that some of them don't do that.

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Here is another attempt that may look like a success. The sign on top encourages the fish. Actually this fish failed. Also, I doubt it can read the sign. In any case, they are driven by instinct. Apparently they use smells instead of GPS and maps to find their preferred breeding place.

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I didn't really look above this dam, although the river continues on quite further. The fish will go up as far as they can before breeding. They are looking for a calm place. Also, the idea is for the babies to have plenty of river before hitting the lake filled with bigger fish who will likely eat them up.

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At the bottom of the dam is another calm spot. No one can fish between the dam and the bridge or above the dam. I'm glad to see that this unique even is well managed. Actually, it is worth mentioning that Pacific Salmon aren't even native to this region since lake Ontario flows into the Atlantic. The Atlantic Salmon which are native species cannot even be fished here and are much rarer.

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If you want to fish get a license. However, I don't really recommend that you eat the salmon from the great lakes, catch and release is always better. Port Hope, where this river is located, is also famous for low-level radiation poisoning and heavy metals due to a local Uranium Processing plant that was in operation when the Manhatten Project was happening. It's no longer very polluted, but eating fish near areas with large scale human activity is generally a bad health choice.

The best thing to do here is just watching this awesome natural spectacle.

If you are in an area with a fish jump during April or September, I recommend that you watch it some time. If you are too lazy, here is a camera with details: http://www.riverwatcherdaily.is/Migration

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I would love to see this in person!

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Thanks. Next time I want to try fishing there.

I have always been fascinated with salmon. How strong they are to swim upstream. I really enjoyed your post and didn't know that you need a license in order to fish. Here in our country you could fish anywhere but since there is no control, over fishing is rampant and sad to say maybe one day species would go extinct.

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I've been fishing in quite a few countries where licenses are not required. The fact is it is very difficult to catch fish in those places unless you charter a boat and have expert guidence.

In Canada, the licensing fees go towards conservation and management. Don't be fooled, these aren't natural populations, the fish stocks are heavily managed and some of them are bred in hatcheries.

The regulations don't just stop at licensing. Certain areas can only be fished at certain times for certain species. Some fish you have to consider their size and gender even. If you are caught using improper equipment you can also get into trouble. This is why they have large signs explaining all of the rules. The general rule is do not fish if you don't know the rules.

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That´s interesting. How did you learn how to fish?

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Thanks. I learned to fish from my father and by watching Bob Izumi on TV.

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Wow! So great that you could actually see this spectacle my friend.
I have watched it a few times on National Geographic and it is indeed one of natures wonders.
A lovely detailed post here with great photos.
Hope you get a #curie
Blessings!

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Thank you. I want to see it in a more natural setting like British Columbia or Alaska one time.

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My pleasure and I think that I will only ever see it on National Geographic my friend.
Blessings!

You got a 10.13% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @abitcoinskeptic!

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Great photos of the salmon jump! it’s always nice to see nature at work.

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I just wish I had a few days and lots of great equipment to take stunning photos. It's hard to get them jumping since it happens so fast.

Salmon's are really powerful fiches. I got one when I was fishing ones and it was really a struggle getting it off the hook!

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I can imagine it would be quite fun to fish for salmon. The fishermen were using thick steel leads on their lines, so I can imagine they are prepared for the battle.

Lovvvvvvve the blog AND salmon i just did a tastesteem blog about a fish restaurant

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Thanks. Tasteem is great. I'll check out your review.

I used to watch a series of documentary about how Salmon have to really fight hard to jump up the stream. Really amazing view!

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I think I've seen a few as well. It requires a lot of energy and many of them die while trying to do it.

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Yes, that's true.

Howdy sir abitcoinskeptic! What an interesting post and sight! Can't we help the salmon a little more than that or would that give us too many? lol.

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I think they experimented to see how many make it up the river. Actually, bears and other animals rely on scavenging the dead fish, and they fertilize the riverbanks and nearby plants, so if all of them make it it would ruin the ecology. Also, the population is carefully managed. The authorities will count the fish and release more from a hatchery if there are too few or further restrict fishing and do the opposite if there are too many.

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Howdy today sir abitcoinskeptic! OH that makes so much sense, thanks for expounding on that for me!

Interesting post @abitcoinskeptic about one of the many remarkable events we can watch in the natural world. In this case, one which collides with man's creation ... At least a considerable effort has been made for a (somewhat) peaceful coexistence between the two ...

Do you happen to know the story behind the sign being in both English and Chinese? In all my years in Canada, I don't recall seeing anything like that. By law, most information was in English and French.

Posted using Partiko Android

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It is great to see man accommodate nature. However sports fishing is worth millions.

I actually saw quite a few Quebec fishermen. My guess is they have licenses and their French books if they don't understand English. There were pamplets in French at the office.

The sign is also in Chinese because they have a bad habit of fishing without licenses and often don't even try to follow regulations. They claim poor Enlgish language skills are behind this when caught.

Actually, the majority of non English or French speakers in Canada are Chinese, so just by numbers alone it makes sense. I have friends in the ministry who back up these claims. Unfortunately it leads to racial tensions, but conservation is much more important than political sensitivities.

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Very interesting @abitcoinskeptic. I was wondering what might be behind a sign in Chinese, as it is unusual. Now I know!

Yes, certainly in Ontario everything would have a French version. Out West, where I spent most of my time, there was often some pretty spirited conversations about this ...

Do you have ties to Canada? Or were you just there on vacation?

Posted using Partiko Android

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I see more French displayed near the Quebec boarder or in certain communities with large French populations, but they always have information when asked.
Out west Chinese would definitely make more sense. The French have had over 260 years to learn English, but it keeps them happy. I used to speak the language but forgot from lack of use. I have strong ties to Canada and grew up there.

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Okay, very good @abitcoinskeptic. On this ...

"I have strong ties to Canada and grew up there."

... have you ever written any posts about moving from Canada to South Korea? If so, I'd welcome a link and would enjoy reading it. I've "met" others here on our Steem blockchain who've made similar big moves in their lives and I find the stories behind major decisions like that to be very interesting.

"The French have had over 260 years to learn English ..."

Yes, true, but I have actually sat in conversations there in Canada where those in attendance from Quebec would say almost the exact opposite ... 😉

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I have French speaking people in my family and as mentioned I learned it and forgot most of it because it served no purpose in my life, especially after moving to Korea.

My opinion has always been that French should only be required for federal or provincial and municipal in Quebec and New Brunswick

I haven't actually talked about Canada on Steem much, but I plan to in the near future. It's a complicated topic and my feelings on it waver constantly.

I've only actually written one post about being Canadian, but the topic is niche being related to expat voting rights. I may do something about the upcoming election or maybe a few about my experiences.

https://steemit.com/politics/@abitcoinskeptic/disenfranchised-regaining-my-democratic-right-to-vote

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Thank you for the link @abitcoinskeptic. Took more time than I typically devote to any Steem activity these days (too many other higher priority issues competing for my time and energy ...), but I have invested it this morning in a reply to the post for which you have provided me this link.

And upvoted your comment here, since that post is past payout ...

Enjoyed the exchange!

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Thanks. I just noticed it and it's quite a large comment so I was saving that reply for last. Although it is expired, it is still very relevant giving the Canadian election was just called a few hours ago and our rights aren't something we can just forget about.

The harsh realities of life @abitcoinskeptic

Like you mention, it's tough to watch the failure but that in itself creates an opportunity for another.

Great pics and post.

Gaz

Posted using Partiko Android

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Thanks. The failures make the successes more meaningful.

Interesting learning about the fish using this river during different seasons, a very pretty area @abitcoinskeptic, yes cheering the fish up those jumps I would join in as well.

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Thanks. I jave more pictures of the actual town. It is also very nice.

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It looked like a pretty area, I could sit and watch the fish jumping for hours, so relaxing.

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I can imagine that would be a nice way to spend an afternoon, a little downstream from the dam is a great place for a picnic that isn't nearly as busy with others watching.

That would be a lot of fun to see. I also really like the "Go Fish Go" sign! Hah. I'm sure that's very encouraging to them.

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I also though it was some great vandalism.
I have no evidence to support or deny fish can understand that sign.

An awesome display of nature and its reslience @abitcoinskeptic :) Great shots btw...I am always so impressed that enough salmon make it up stream to keep the species going. Amazing to see the cycle repeated each spring and fall.

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Thanks. They actually count and make an estimate obvious it is working.
In spring it is trout and in fall it is salmon. I guess they are distantly related, but they do the same thing.

This is a great initiative and I'm glad that it's accepted by all.
Hmm.. maybe something we can start to cultivate in my country :)

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I hope so, conservation is important and it has been happening in North America for quite some time despite the bad reputation from hunting. Can't argue the morals, but it's definitely sustainable.

This has always fascinated me, the pull that instinct has! One has to wonder how we skipped out on that. ;)

I would actually love to see this and look forward to when I can. Although it would be a little disheartening to see the ones that didn't make it, I marvel at the ones that have the strength and tenacity to overcome all the obstacles - just to reach the beloved breeding grounds.

Wow. Right?

I watch at how difficult this task really is and I cannot believe I have never really seen how hard it is, most pictures show them off as looking pretty confident they'll make it.

Thanks for the awesome piece and it certainly needs me to take it home!

Upped and Steemed

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I don't know how far south they run on the atlantic seaboard, maybe some rivers in Maine and perhaps Virginia. They are all over the great lakes.

They really do struggle and I also thought a lot more make it. Also when they make it, it's usually not sp obvious. People filming the spectacular jumps are either getting ome in a thousand or looking for a smaller wider jump and filming the best angles. From the fish's point of view, there is no reason to jump higher than necessary since there are a lot of jumps and a few hundred feet to climb in total.

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@abitcoinskeptic - That would be a sight worth traveling to. Wow. I've always know about this phenomenon but have never had the opportunity to see it in person. Thanks for the post about it, very interesting.

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I know it is possible to see in a lot of the North Eastern and North Western US. They are very consistant with jumping too. I think they go based on temperatures and smells.

wow..it is my first time to see those salmon jumping and running thrue running water. nice shoot.

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Thanks. It's definitely one of nature's stranger spectacles.

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that was very cool😍

This would be so cool to see in person. Maybe one day!

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I agree. Just make sure to head up during the right seasin or you may be staring at ice.


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Amazing. I've always wanted to see a salmon migration.

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I've been to the fish jumps a couple of times, but either I had no camera, or they weren't jumping.
I guess they don't jump where you are.

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Nope. It's a bit like the spring flowers, here. Either the sun's not out, or they're not flowering when you plan to be there. lol