Pink salmon return to Vancouver Island river in record numbers

WATCH ABOVE: An early abundance of pink salmon on the Quinsam River is causing a fishing tourist boom in Campbell River. Linda Aylesworth reports.

VANCOUVER – In Campbell River the pink salmon have decided to return to the Quinsam River three weeks early this year and they are showing up in record numbers.

More than 160,000 pink salmon have already entered the river and fisheries officials predict more than a million will have returned by the end of the run in September.

It is hard to believe this run nearly disappeared 30 years ago due to overfishing and poor river management.

But that is now in the past and today the city of Campbell River is celebrating.

“It’s been fantastic,” said David Ewart, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans watershed enhancement manager. “Everybody’s happy, everybody’s fishing, from lodge owners to the tackle shops. The tourism that you see all around us. People are coming like crazy to come and see the fish.”

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Julie Collis – Quinsam River, Campbell River
Julie Collis – Quinsam River, Campbell River.