Every year the Chinook Salmon and Rainbow Trout return to spawn in the Sydenham, Bighead and Beaver Rivers, which enter Georgian Bay in Owen Sound, Meaford and Thornbury respectively. We were in Owen Sound yesterday and stopped to have a quick look in Harrison Park. At this time of year, it's the Chinook Salmon you'll see.
The Sydenham Sportsmen's Association has been one of the most active in Ontario, working to protect and improve salmon habitat, and holding a major Salmon Derby in early September. They also supported the construction of the first fish ladder in Ontario.
Here are three more on the far side of the river, two right beside each other. They will float in the current for several minutes at a time, even though they have to work to stay there.
Then with a few trashes of their tail, they'll move upstream a short distance. These ones have already climbed the challenging fish ladder downstream to get here.
Viewing the salmon is pop ular enough that Owen Sound promotes the 'Great Salmon Tour', with several spots where you can see salmon over a few miles of the river, along with educational interpretive signs. But they can't get beyond Inglis Falls, which is only a couple of miles south of this point. I've featured it in this blog several times.
This is the part of the river where we saw the salmon; I'm standing on the bridge right beside the restaurant in Harrison Park.
Nearby there's a small waterfowl sanctuary, and wild ducks invade it for the easy meals. These ducks were thrashing madly, mostly upside down, after someone threw handfuls of corn into the creek.
It was a duck feeding frenzy, their little orange feet paddling like mad to help them reach down to the bottom to grab the feed, splashing like children.