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Watching Kokanee Salmon……

I forgot to post on Sunday, but we took a trip to Hardy Falls Park to see the Kokanee salmon making their journey upstream, to the place of their birth, to lay their own eggs and rather sadly, die. This ritual starts towards the end of September to early October.

On Don’s advice we steered clear of the Mission Creek area, as it would have been busy, and headed for the creek on our side of the river. The prospect of sneeking up to view a bear in the pool at the top of the stream was all the bait we needed. We were hooked, and set off.

From the start of the trail, the stream was packed with salmon, of all sizes fighting to make headway in the stream, leaping out of the river to get over the small dam walls dotted upstream. How they know how to do this amazes me.

Sam, was a little distraught by the odd few salmon, who had become trapped onland, or between logs, and dispite telling him to leave them alone, and that it was just the way nature was, that some were not going to make it, I only had to turn my back once to take a picture, before I heard people encouraging and cheering a small boy, dangling from the bridge, leaping across logs and then astride rocks, helping trapped fish escape plunging his hands and sleeves, into the stream, to grab the fish and to return them swiflty and gently back into the flow. I was a little proud of him at that point, despite telling him that he should’nt be down there for fear of distrubing any eggs already laid.

Finally at the top we found the waterfall, but despite ripe fruit on the trees, and a pool packed with bright red kokanee samon, no bear was to be seen. There were too many people around the pool, as well as up the paths.

The bear alludes us for the moment, my friends, but I will get you a picture of one soon. I am hopeful that our vineyard excursion today will, bear fruit as they say. One has been known to sit eating the apples in the orchard next to the grapes, before moving onto some ripe grapes. I will have the camera, as well as an escape route ready……

Taken from the Hardy Falls website;
Hardy Falls Park
in Peachland, is a cool oasis in what can sometimes be a hot landscape. A pleasant walking trail (easy; 2 miles/3 km return), complete with seven footbridges, leads to a splendid little waterfall hidden away at the head of a narrow canyon. The shade and the cool water attract a wide variety of wildlife as well as human visitors. In the spring, wildflowers brighten the canyon walls and the underbrush along the trail. Carp spawn in the creek and dippers nest in the cracks of the waterfall. In October, crimson kokanee dart among the riffles in the creek. Harry Hardy was one of the first orchardists in the Westbank area, and Hardy Falls Park is named in his honour. The park is adjacent to Antlers Beach Park, where you can head for a dip after your walk. ( Click for more info )

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