goldstream salmon run victoria bc
Image: Brad Edwards

Taking place from mid-October until early December in Goldstream Provincial Park, the Goldstream Salmon Run sees thousands of Pacific salmon forge their way up the world-class salmon spawning stream that is Goldstream. Here are eight things you need to know about the salmon run to enjoy the very best of this amazing display by Mother Nature…
2. It’s a Mystery
Every autumn, millions of Pacific salmon forge their way up the myriad streams of the Pacific Northwest to spawn and die. Exactly how they spend their time in the ocean and of how they find their way back to their home pools in their parent streams is still something of a mystery.
2. It’s Colourful
Chum salmon are the most abundant in Goldstream, although you may also see some Coho and Chinook, as well as some Steelhead and Cutthroat trout. Chum develop especially bright colours after they enter breeding streams, which is why they look so different to how they look on your dinner plate.
4. It’s a Feast for All
At nighttime during the run, the stream has many hungry visitors. The Goldstream run is a feast for mink, otter, raccoon and bear.
5. It’s a Good Place to Spot ‘Dippers’
Small ‘Dipper’ birds dive down during the run for salmon eggs. Some gulls do the same, while others greedily gorge on the dead and dying salmon. You may also spot bald eagles.
6. It’s a Good Place to Recognize First Nation Wisdom
First Nation people believed that the "salmon people" were immortal, so they used to return the salmon bones to the river so that they might be used again by the fish.
6. It’s All About Respecting the Circle of Life
These Chum salmon have travelled thousands of kilometres in their four-year lifetime and are at Goldstream to continue their life-cycle by spawning in the river. To help them out, keep your dogs leashed and out of the river (or even better, leave Fido at home), and approach the river bank slowly and quietly.
7. It’s a Place to Dress Down
Avoid wearing bright coloured clothing when you visit Goldstream, especially reds, purples and pinks, which salmon see very well. The bright colours will distract them.
8. It’s a Great Excuse to Learn about Bald Eagles
Before you head straight for the stream, visit the Nature House, where you can learn more about birds of prey and watch a slide show about bald eagles.
Do you want to see the magnificence of the Goldstream salmon run? Then book yourself a break at The Days Inn Victoria Uptown. Offering breathtaking views of the Gorge Waterway by day and the sparkling lights of the BC Legislature Building by night, the hotel is a fantastic base for a social getaway in the heart of Victoria.
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