Chum taking over Maple Ridge’s Alouette River

Salmon arrive in healthy numbers and don't need hatchery help

  • Oct. 9, 2016 8:00 p.m.
The first chum salmon has shown up in South Alouette River.

The first chum salmon has shown up in South Alouette River.

Salmon lovers probably wish the sockeye would behave a little more like their cousins the chum.

Because every year the chum salmon return to South Alouette River in healthy numbers without the aid of hatchery stock.

“They are thriving to the point where there is a over-saturation in the river … as chum are taking much of the spawning habitat that other species need as well,” said Sophie Smith with the Alouette River Management Society in a news release.

Smith last week caught the first of the chum to arrive this year.

” This is a healthy, strong looking salmon and is full of fight, if you could just feel how powerful these species are when you hold them,” Smith said.

The river group continues to press its case for a fish ladder over the Alouette dam to reconnect the chum and sockeye and other species to the lake.

This year, only six sockeye salmon returned to the Alouette this year, despite thousands being let over the dam spillway each year, said the release.

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read said recently she wants to press the case for the fishway to BC Hydro which owns the dam.