Surrey is the city formerly known as the City of Parks. With over 600 parks and green spaces in the city, our previous identity certainly still rings true. Within all that lush greenery are creeks and rivers winding through the trails, giving life to the land. But did you know that there’s a lot of life inside those creeks and rivers too?
Many of Surrey’s rivers and creeks are extremely important habitat for various species of salmon. At the right time of year, if you pack your patience and have a keen eye, you can see coho, chum, chinook, cutthroat, and even the hybrid steelhead returning to, spawning, maturing, and eventually leaving our waters. Autumn is the perfect time to watch the salmon’s homecoming to their birthplace to spawn in our streams. Springtime is the time to see juvenile salmon getting ready to make the big journey out to sea.
But where exactly are all these beautiful spots to see salmon in Surrey? Below are the best spots in Surrey to catch a glimpse of salmon at hatcheries in the city, as well as in Surrey’s rivers. And a little helpful hint: salmon LOVE when it rains. So if you’re looking for the perfect condition to watch salmon leap from the water and swim upstream, it’s most opportunistic to do so with an umbrella and rain boots (and maybe even a camera)!
16585 96 Avenue
Right off the trails of Tynehead Regional Park is the Tynehead Hatchery. Run entirely by volunteers, the Tynehead Hatchery ensures that populations of coho, chum, chinook, and steelhead continue to thrive in the Serpentine River. Adult salmon who had made the journey all the way out to the ocean return to the Serpentine River after four years to complete their life cycle and make way for the next generation. Take a tour of the Hatchery when volunteers are on-site, and if you’re lucky (read: it’s raining) you might just get to see the volunteers pulling salmon right from the river! Be sure to leave a donation as a parting gift.
Little Campbell Hatchery
1284 184 Street
Another volunteer-run organization is the Little Campbell Hatchery. Running through the waters of the Little Campbell River are coho, chum, chinook, and steelhead, and this hatchery is dedicated to keeping their numbers healthy and strong. The Little Campbell Hatchery is often responsible for those super fun class projects, where classrooms hatch salmon fry and watch them grow big and strong until they can be released back into the river in the Spring. Not only do these types of projects help with salmon populations, but they also teach kids all about habitat conservation and salmon life-cycles.
If you’re looking for a few places off the beaten path, there are plenty of other rivers and streams in Surrey to catch the Salmon spawns. They do not have any guided tours, however, with a keen eye, anyone can spot some salmon! Here are a few options:
Follow along the Robson Ravine on 12499 100 Avenue to view salmon swimming up the stream.
Under the overpasses at 154, 154A, 155, and 157 streets, salmon can often be seen.
Within the depths of Elgin Heritage Park, spawning salmon can be seen just south of Crescent Road.
Take a trip to Hi-Knoll Park for a chance to see salmon spawning in the creek.
View salmon from the bridge over the creek near 34th avenue.
Little Campbell Estuary
Just off of 160th and 8th avenue is a bridge perfect for viewing salmon, or follow downstream to the estuary in Semiahmoo Bay.
For a full map of all the locations to see salmon in Surrey’s rivers and creeks, click here.