Monday, September 13th, 2010

Fish Are Jumping In The Fraser River! A Lot Of Them!

Lest we ever think we understand anything, we don't. In this current era of environmental devastation, when the word "salmon" brings to mind tainted eggs and the disease-infested fish farms, rather than anything anybody would want to put in their mouth, the delicious, nutritious and very-much wild Sockeye variety of the species returned to Vancouver's Fraser River in astounding numbers this year.

As Heather Pringle of the Last Word On Nothing reports:

"The sockeye salmon returned to the Fraser River in such vast numbers that fishery scientists could scarcely believe what was happening. In July, they predicted a run of 11.4 million salmon. Four weeks later, when the sockeye began massing at the mouth of the Fraser, they bumped up the estimate to 25 million.

Then, on September 1st, as the fish began their arduous journey upriver, researchers came up with a new figure. As many as 34 million fish, they calculated, had entered the river-the largest Fraser River run since 1913."

That's awesome! Specially considering how badly the numbers had been dwindling lately. Just last year, the run was a measly two million, "prompting the Canadian government to launch an official public inquiry into what had gone so terribly wrong." So, phew. And the grizzly bears have got to be psyched, too. (Definitely watch that BBC clip.) But Pringle warns against celebrating too soon. For starters because no one knows why the salmon came back.

Here's a theory: Some spiritual lines got crossed between the time in March when the Winneman Wintu tribe travelled to New Zealand to perform their "nur chonas winyupus," or "middle water salmon dance," to call salmon back to the McCloud River in Northern California, and the fish returned to the Fraser instead, some 2,000 miles up the Pacific Coast.

So, what we need is more middle-water salmon dancing, and better GPS microchips inserted into salmon brains. And soon there'll be enough wild salmon jumping out of our rivers to shut down those nasty fish farms forever. Or at least until demon carp invade the territory and wipe all the native species off the map forever. For now though, it sure looks nice in Vancouver.

6 Comments / Post A Comment

I need a Dramamine.

BadUncle (#153)

A friend caught, smoked and served some incredibly delicious chinook at Burning Man, this year. It may be the man-made additives pouring into the Great Lakes, but I found this fish Superior.

maebefunke (#154)

I'm in Vancouver right now, and my boss just told me this: "I cleaned twenty-five salmon the other day, and only four were girls."

Shit is epic.

Where the Fraser River flows
Each Fellow Worker knows
They have bullied and oppressed us
But still our union grows

And we're gonna find a way, boys
For shorter hours and higher pay, boys
And we're gonna win the day, boys
Where the Fraser River flows!

andj (#1,074)

I live here and they are selling wild sockeye for $7.99 a kg (2.2lbs).

Also: the accents in the second video really stood out to me! Canadians on film.

Dave Bry (#422)

I liked that a lot, too.

"I brought my sockeye rod last week. I broked it."

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