Strong return of Chum spawners to Bowen’s Lagoon

Written by Meribeth Deen for the Bowen Island Undercurrent
October 21, 2016

Chum watchers on Bowen Island

Elena Vilis and son Kaz, Pauline LeBel, Frazer Elliott and Mike VonZuben enjoyed watching Chum salmon swim up the causeway into the lagoon on Wednesday. Photo by Meribeth Deen

The call came in on Tuesday evening: adult chum were spotted swimming up the fish ladder and into Bowen’s fresh water lagoon. Tim Pardee sent out an email letting Fish & Wildlife Club Members and the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s Community Advisor Rob Bell-Irving know.

“Rob Bell-Irving told us, when we’re doing our estimates you don’t see them all, so he said you should multiply what you see by up to five,” said Pardee on Wednesday morning. “So given we saw 20 to 30 yesterday and this morning we’ve seen ten, there could be as many as 200 Chum that have come back.”

Pardee says these fish are known as the “2012 brood” and were released from the Bowen Hatchery in early 2013. This run may continue for another two weeks. After that, people should be keeping their eyes out for Coho.

“They are smaller, but better swimmers,” says Pardee. “If they come back we’ll see them go right up the ladder to Terminal Creek.”