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Plenty of fish in Tri-City creeks
Heavy rains this month are allowing salmon to travel as high as Highland Drive on Burke Mountain — an altitude of 600 feet above sea level.
"It's almost unheard of," said Shane Peachman of Port Coquitlam's Hyde Creek Watershed Society, who was in the area recently to check out a contractor's remedial work. He said returns for chum and even coho are back to levels seen four years ago.
In Coquitlam last Sunday at the 20th annual Hoy Creek Salmon Come Home festival, attendees also marvelled at the size and the number of the spawning fish teeming in the watercourse.
Hatchery manager Niall Williams said his group doesn't usually count the salmon returning until after they die but said, "They [have] started to come back in a very big way this year. They were obviously waiting in the lower sections of Scott Creek and the Coquitlam River and, as soon as the first heavy rains occurred, they moved right up to the hatchery and beyond."
And David Bennie of the Port Moody Ecological Society, which operates Noons Creek hatchery, is also reporting "so far, so good" this month.
"We've had lots of chum in the creek," he said, "and people are commenting on how big they are… But we need more rain to bring [the creek] up to a steady flow."
Schoolhouse Creek, near the former Andres Wines site, also has spawning fish for the first time in many years, Bennie said.
• The 13th annual Hyde Creek Salmon Festival is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hyde Creek rec centre (1379 Laurier Ave.) and at the Hyde Creek Education Centre and Hatchery (3636 Coast Meridian Rd.) in PoCo.