Good things to eat

The Circle of Life

On the weekend The Chef and I took a drive out to Goldstream Park just outside of Victoria, here in British Columbia.

It is very popular this time of year because it is the “Salmon Run“.

You hear about this phenomenon all the time, but until you actually see it in person, it is hard to grasp what it is all about!

The salmon some how find their way back, from where ever they have been, to the spot where they were born.

The swim against currents, rocks and frankly all odds, just to spawn and then die.

What is up with THAT??

So many questions.

The thing you notice the most as you approach the stream is…..well…..the smell.

I remember the first time, before I lived here and was just visiting, a new friend took me out there to show me what was going on.  As we approached even from the highway you could smell it!  Putrid dead fish smell.  It was overwhelming.

And then when you get right up to the stream, there are dead carcases everywhere and the seagulls and even the eagles are having a field day tearing at the newly deceased.

But then if you look closely, into the what seems like very shallow water for this kind of activity, you will see these big salmon, all lined up, like airplanes on the tarmac waiting to take off.

They line up, waiting for their turn to somehow get “up” the stream.   They are all blotchy from where their scales have been scraped off as they have portaged themselves over the sharp rocks.

They just keep at it, till they get there.

But where?

I’ll admit, it is troubling to see.  But it is nature, the circle of life.

So next time you eat some salmon, that isn’t farmed salmon, give thanks for the sacrifices made for your meal.  Not just from the salmon you are about to eat, but for all the ancestors that came before.

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Comments on: "The Circle of Life" (12)

  1. Jacqueline Dinsmore said:

    It’s an amazing phenomenon. In more mountainous areas, they actually jump up waterfalls, failing time and again until they finally make it. Many high waterfalls have fish ladders installed to help them. And the other amazing thing is that they come from the ocean — *salt* water — and swim upstream in *fresh* water to the spot where they were spawned themselves. How they know where to go and how their bodies adapt to fresh and salt water is a mystery. To me, anyways. Maybe some icthyologists out there know.

  2. I have a post on the salmon run at Goldstream as well. glad you were able to witness it also. we went in middle October when it was just beginning so no dead salmon then. aren’t the dippers cute?

    • The first time I went it was almost December and it was a really grim ( and very smelly) experience, catching it in the middle this time was interesting to see what is actually happening. Thanks for your comment and thanks for stopping by.

      • I know what you mean about the smell. at the Cowichan River near where I live, the smell is terrible, and the people who walk their dogs have to try and keep them from eating the dead salmon.

  3. Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing! I’ve never been able to capture this, although of course the phenomenon has turned into a cliche so we rarely think of what it really means. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. what an amazing phenomenon! I’ll be in BC next week, do you think I would be able to see this then…

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