Then flashes of silver as the fry – each literally about the size of a french fry – are released into the urban stream to begin their journey to the ocean.

This was the Seymour Salmonid Society’s chum release at Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver. Every spring, in neighbourhoods throughout the lower mainland and around the province, a similar scene unfolds as hatcheries and volunteer streamkeeper groups do their part to keep wild salmon abundant in BC waters.

Some of the pail carriers are regulars, others here for the first time. It’s often the children who are the experts. Morgan can recite what happens next – where the salmon go and how long it all takes – without any hesitation. Alice talks about their place in the food chain and Quinn sums it all up “A lot of stuff eat the salmon and if they (were to) die then all the stuff that eats them dies too.”

In a single morning, more than a hundred people carrying multiple pails release thousands of fry into Maplewood Creek. A chorus of voices send them on their way.

The Seymour Salmonid Society and Maplewood Farm are both in North Vancouver.

The Pacific Streamkeepers Federation provides a comprehensive list of groups throughout the province: or just search “streamkeeper” online.

– Originally posted in 2017