New documentary highlights the importance of Vancouver’s urban salmon

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New documentary chronicles return of Metro Vancouver salmon
A B.C. filmmaker has chronicled the successful return of Metro Vancouver's urban salmon, and some of the many people responsible for it. Linda Aylesworth reports. – Mar 1, 2021

When Fernando Lessa moved to North Vancouver from Brazil five years ago, he was shocked to find that urban streams in Metro Vancouver were actually being used by salmon.

Even more surprising, was the fact that many Vancouverites didn’t even know this phenomenon was taking place right in their cities.

Lessa is a nature photographer and he decided to launch what became known as The Urban Salmon Project.

He set out to highlight the history of inner-city salmon as every year the fish come from the Fraser River, swim along the Brunette River, Burnaby Lake and spread through the many creeks, reaching Vancouver from Still Creek.

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Lessa said Urban Salmon is the first documented photography project featuring salmonids in the urban environment.

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He hopes that by making Vancouverites more aware of the history of inner-city salmon, he can help them in their struggle to return to previous population numbers.

Lessa has created a documentary about the project, which will premiere on March 4 at 7 a.m. on YouTube.

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