Families welcomed back to Goodbye Chums in Maple Ridge

Releasing chum fry into Kanaka Creek at Goodbye Chums. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)Releasing chum fry into Kanaka Creek at Goodbye Chums. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)
Releasing chum fry into Kanaka Creek at Goodbye Chums. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)Releasing chum fry into Kanaka Creek at Goodbye Chums. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)
Dan Mikolay, Maple Ridge’s Wildsafe B.C. community coordinator. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)Dan Mikolay, Maple Ridge’s Wildsafe B.C. community coordinator. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)
(Ross Davies/Special to The News)(Ross Davies/Special to The News)

The Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society had one of its best turnouts ever for Goodbye Chums on Sunday.

After a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community was obviously glad to get back out in nature at a longtime local event, said organizer Ross Davies. Goodbye Chums 2022 had one of its best crowds ever in a bounce-back year, with more than 500 attending at the Bell Irving Hatchery and Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre.

“Everybody was just so ready – it was the right thing at the right time,” said KEEPS spokesperson Davies.

The main activity is the release of chum salmon fry, and every year children with buckets full of little fish squat down at the riverside and pour their baby salmon into Kanaka Creek.

On Sunday, they released about 25,000 fry into the waterway.

READ ALSO: Pacific Salmon Treaty fails to conserve B.C. fish, say advocates

There are also lots of opportunities for kids to learn about salmon and nature, and take part in fun activities. KEEPS will release a total of 200,000 chum and coho salmon, through the year, said Davies.

“It’s a spring tradition that’s been going on since the 1980s,” said Davies. “It’s like an old friend when you get together again – and it’s just so right,” said Davies.

KEEPS will be holding their annual general meeting on May 5.

READ ALSO: Up to 85% of historical salmon habitat lost in Lower Fraser region


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