The Bella Coola River and its tributary streams are well known in the salmon world for the pink and chum salmon runs. The chum salmon run has sustained a commercial salmon fishery for many generations of fish and fishermen in Bella Coola. The Atnarko River - one of the two major rivers that form the Bella Coola River (the Talchako River is the other one) is famous in history for the size of its pink salmon run - while the last 10 years runs have been small and more modest there are years like 1962 and 1988 where the total stock of returning fish exceeded 10 million pink salmon. On a really good year the Atnarko River should see 1 million pink salmon spawn (the rest are caught in salmon fisheries) but even 2 or 3 hundred thousand is impressive. Historically the even years are the strongest run, while 2010 wasn't that strong a year, whatever fish were in the system were devastated by the Great Flood of 2010.
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