The Simms Creek Stewards, with the support of Greenways staff, will be shaking fins with the fish on a daily basis for the next few weeks until early June. After a two-year fish fence break, we are excited about being back just upstream of the Simms Creek estuary for monitoring salmonids, including recording their species, gender, length and weight.Fish Fence Facts
Greenways has supported the Simms Creek Stewards in operating both a fall and spring fish fence on Simms Creek for over 20 years. In addition to collecting data about how many adult salmon return to the creek every fall, and how many juvenile salmon leave the creek every spring, we are monitoring what percentage of salmon in the creek are wild vs. hatchery produced. Every fall, 5,000 juvenile coho raised at the Quinsam hatchery are released into Simms Creek – but they are always outnumbered by wild juvenile coho once they both migrate past our fish fence in the spring!
Not many people see salmon in Simms Creek, but they are there all year round. Juvenile coho spend over a year in the creek as a part of their life cycle, often tenaciously hanging on during the long hot dry summers, and many storm drains in the City drain directly into Simms Creek – this is why it is important to keep pollutants out of the storm drains at all times. Of all of the salmon species, coho particularly spawn in the upper reaches of small creek systems and they are very wily, so even adults are difficult to spot.
The fish fence gives us an estimate of how many salmon are in Simms Creek, and it is also a fabulous opportunity to show these otherwise shy creatures off – we often have school groups down to the fence in the spring to see some of the coho smolts that are migrating out of the creek to start the marine phase of their life cycle.
Thank you for ‘fencing’ with us!
_ Bob Tonkin & his fellow Simms Creek Stewards