It is that time of year, when the Sockeye runs start, and the fish start their spawning cycle in Williams Creek, near Lakelse Lake, British Columbia. I saw them last year too, but the day we went was really cloudy, making the light awful to get good photos. This year, lots of light, as the day was a mostly clear and warm one, so capturing them with the camera was not a problem. The creek was low, much more than usual, so getting around the shore was easy. Saw some other wildlife to that you do not normally see.
Above, a shot of Williams Creek from the Fish Viewing Platform. Like I said, the day was awesome for photos. We also took at little walk towards the bridge where Highway 37 is, the Terrace to Kitimat Highway. We had no trouble getting around the sand banks becuase the creek was so low. We even seen a small host, a small black and yellow garden snake among the rocks by the bridge. Suz said I could not take it home.
And right by the bridge, a lone Sockeye, waiting for his mate, or her mate. Hard to tell which is which with these guys. And the name: Sockeye. Who and how did someone come up with that?
They are a deep red colour, and blend in nicely with the red and green rocks in the creek. You will have no troubles seeing them in the creek, there are a few spawning here today. From what I understand, once they mate, they then die. The following year, the eggs hatch, and the small Sockeye swim back to the ocean, and then they come back four years later, mate and spawn, and the cycle continues. I am not sure of this, but I think that is how it work for these guys.
You can see a few in the last photo, above. They just wait until the time is right, and then the Female lays her eggs, and Male fertilizes them, and then they swim away as their lives end. Suz noticed that this year that the Sockeye looked smaller than usual. Must be from the hotter then normal summer we have been having this year.