It’s the annual migration in the wilds of Toronto that most city dwellers likely aren’t aware of.
Large salmon making their way up through creeks and rivers from Lake Ontario to lay eggs where they were originally hatched.
The trek always provides a show for residents who go out of their way to watch the large fish try and fight through small rapids and jump over concrete weirs.
“It’s the time when the water becomes a bit cooler and the nights are cooler to bring the temperature down in the water,” Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) project manager Cameron Richardson said.
“Once that is ready, the salmon know and they start making their way upstream.”
The chinook salmon can grow to be as big as three feet long and often weigh between 10 and 50 pounds.
There are plenty of places where the large fish can be seen in Toronto, especially if there’s recently been any rain and the water levels are higher than usual.
People are often found gathering at Étienne Brûlé Park along the Humber River to watch and cheer the salmon on.
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The Lower Don River Trail provides a few viewing points both north and south of Pottery Road.
Scarborough offers different locations where many often have their cameras on hand to grab pictures of the fish in action.
The Rouge River at Glen Rouge Campground can give onlookers a closeup view and Highland Creek has plenty of spots to watch as well.
“It is a spectacle,” Richardson said. “Large fish powering their way up stream. You’ll have people cheering them on and clapping and it is a really cool sight to see.”
The TRCA is hosting its annual Salmon Festival on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Morningside Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours.
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