Saturday, October 27, 2007

Salmon in the Don

My wife and I went for a walk along the Don River last Saturday. (No bikes involved) She heard that there were salmon swimming upstream to spawn. She had been looking forward to this for days.

For anyone familiar with the Don River, especially the section near downtown, the idea of seeing wildlife in the river might seem a little abstract. The water gets murkier and murkier as it heads south. I understand this is caused by the channelization of the river that increases the flow rate of the water, causing more erosion from the river bed. Something like this.

We walked for about 1 kilometre south along the river. "Tramping" as my wife likes to call it. Tramping in the woods. It just doesn't sound good.

Most of the way was along a path made by previous walkers, but in some places the path just ended so we had to push aside some branches. We would walk 20 metres, then move to the river's edge, peer for fish, see none, then move on.

This part of the Don runs under a huge iron bridge that looks almost like it's growing out of the bush.


Just when we were about to give up (of course!), we were standing next to the river when we heard a slapping sound.

Salmon in rapids 1

Salmon in rapids 2

This big fish was working its way up a short rocky stretch of the river. My wife started cheering it on, which I think probably freaked it out more than anything. Eventually it made it to the top, so the cheering must have worked. It swam in a few circles, then fell backwards down the other side of the river. No!

Then we saw that the fish had a couple friends. They were moving around in the pool at the bottom of the rapids, usually doing a little synchronized swimming action.


We waited for a while for them to do something more exciting but they must have been tuckered out.

On the way back, I saw this bit of graffiti. I'm generally not a fan of "tagging". It's the laziest of all graffiti. This one, however, gets extra points for matching the nearby flora.

tag and leaves

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Darren J 10/27/2007 11:48:00 a.m.


That is really cool. I had no idea that salmon would spawn in the Don River! I once saw this when I lived on Vancouver Island but seeing it in the Don gives a little bit of 'nature will prevail' hope.
NIce to fly fish for trout and salmon down there, in summer you get HUGE Carp

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