Running Salmon

spawning salmon melodie-grabner-watercolour-5

Fish, especially salmon run in my blood.  My father was a fisherman. He moved from landlocked Manitoba, land of 1000 lakes to the west coast of BC in 1933; escaping the depression. My parents and my three older sisters lived on the ocean for 20 years, until I was born and my mom said that’s enough.


This weekend, we made our pilgrimage to Adams River to witness the annual salmon run. 2015  is a subdominant  year when you can see 100,000+ sockeye return to spawn in October (and maybe a bear or two).


The next big year will be in 2018, where you can see millions of salmon return.

spawning salmon-melodie-grabner-watercolour-1

I like to go every year as it is a pilgrimage to impermanence. The salmon come to spawn and die.


Sadly, this beautiful life cycle could also be dying. Hindered by global warming, urban encroachment and overfishing,  salmon numbers are dwindling. From the days of my dad when a 60 pound chinook was common place, today it would be a rarity for a sport fisherman, and you would have to go the Haida Gwaii to catch it.

Just as I now live on a riparian stream and do my best to keep it natural, I hate to think that only my paintings will be left for my great-grandchildren, when my father left me the ocean.

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