Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coho Streams

Throughout the Bella Coola Valley and coastal valleys in general you will find streams that look like this one. They are extremely important for the survival of coho salmon.  The coho salmon spawn in the Bella Coola River, tributaries, and small unnamed little nondescript streams wherever there is low gradient and some gravel.  Once the eggs hatch and the fry emerge, they need to spend a a year or more rearing in small streams like this one.  The best of these streams are in deciduous and coniferous forests, with lots of stable logs in the streams and undercut banks. All ideal conditions for the fry to rear, feeding on insects and out of sight of the predators.

This particular stream on our property is valuable because it only rarely freezes over and if it freezes over the ice never gets very thick.  The reason is that the source of the water is all groundwater which comes out at the base of the mountains, collects and gradually forms little defined streams working their way towards the Bella Coola River.  Groundwater temperatures stay more stable and thus provide valuable habitat, that is laden with good hiding spots, clean water and food.  All good things for a coho salmon fry that will grow to or  5-10 cm long before it leaves the creek and will come back in two years at 8-12 lbs.  A good return on investment. Grizzly

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