You most probably know this! As embarrassing as it sounds, I was blissfully ignorant of the spawning habits of Pacific salmon until we moved to British Columbia. Until our relocation, salmon were an expensive delicacy on our dinning plates. Now, with the new gained knowledge I have tremendous respect for these swimming creatures. Today, whenever I eat them I can taste the added flavours of respect, admiration and the slight hint of sadness.
What I want to know is this: Do the salmon actually know they are going to die after they spawned? Do they know they are paying with their life for ‘reproduction’? Come to think of it, I don’t believe fish rank high on the evolution ladder (dear fishermen or salmon experts, please correct me if I am wrong!).
Why am I telling you this? This extra-ordinary behaviour is in full swing and it is happening right in front of our door steps!
On our way to school we are walking along the Alouette River.
As soon as we get close to the water our children accuse me of having a ‘gastro-intestine’ problem. How often do I need to say it:” It is not me, it is the fish! The stink comes from their dead bodies, plugged apart by seagulls or left, half eaten, by bears.
Let me take you on a tour to prove my innocence:
The river runs for app. 100 km until it reaches the Pacific Ocean – i.e. for this length the adult fish swim and fight against the current to reach their original “breeding” ground.
This in itself is a major accomplishment. If you add the current heavy rain falls, the thought of swimming against a very heavy current just to spawn is extra-ordinary indeed.
I can’t leave you with the image of dead fish! I will keep it fishy, but will switch from real life to the silver screen: Whenever you feel like having salmon, try this one:
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen:
Full of wicked British humour, spiced with silky smooth Scottish accents, embedded in beautiful scenery! It is delicious!