Chinook salmon spawning in Spencer Creak

It’s that time of year again, where hundreds of Chinook salmon make their way up Spencer Creek for their final spawning run. It’s part of their 4 year life cycle that attracts nature lovers to the area. but the species faces several challenges up stream.

Today’s wet and gloomy weather is good news for Chinook salmon. This time every year, 4 year-old salmon make their way from Lake Ontario through Cootes Paradise to Spencer Creek. Once there, they spawn and lay eggs for a new generation to hatch next year. This year’s dry summer has delayed their move up stream and a shallow river isn’t the only thing working against them.

While salmon fishing this time of year is against the law, fishing for other species is allowed. Naturalists say this makes it easy for poachers to get away with catching salmon. That’s why volunteers from the Stewards of the Cootes Watershed have launched a petition online to turn a section of Spencer Creek in Dundas into a fish sanctuary like this one in Burlington. The group says allowing the Chinook salmon to spawn properly isn’t just about protecting local wildlife, it’s also valuable to our economy.

Experts also want to remind the public that walking through the creek this time of year can destroy hundreds of eggs and diminish the population.