Toronto is totally obsessed with watching salmon jump in the Humber River
Salmon spawning season won't be on for too much longer in Toronto, and it seems spectators are determined to take every opportunity to get a glimpse of the phenomenon before it ends.
Every year, from early September until November when temperatures start to cool down, the Chinook and Coho salmon begin their migration from Lake Ontario through Toronto's rivers to the spawning grounds.
Salmon swimming upstream in the Humber river, right in Toronto. Quite a sight. pic.twitter.com/g2cxpLe2no— Shraddha Pai (@spaiglass) October 12, 2020
The fish are often extremely large, sometimes weighing up to 50 pounds each, making for quite a spectacular show if you just happen to catch them in action.
The Humber River's banks in Étienne Brûlé Park, just north of Bloor Street West in Toronto, are one of the most popular spots for residents to try and get a view of the salmon spawn every year, and the COVID-friendly nature of the activity means it's just as bustling — if not more — this fall season.
At Humber River, Salmon run up. pic.twitter.com/ASgLaW9ugz— AkkoJPN (@AkkoJPN) October 18, 2020
Photos and videos on social media show plenty of families and individuals lined up along the side of the river in an effort to catch a glimpse, and some spectators are even known to cheer on the salmon as they try to push against the strong current and make their leap.
Salmon run, Humber river. pic.twitter.com/GOYdXAHFm8— Jimmy (@CornerStoolInfo) October 11, 2020
Sometimes the fish make it on their first try, and sometimes they have to make more than one jump, but Toronto residents seem to agree that it's quite the sight to behold either way.
Unfortunately, some locals have reported seeing people fishing in the Humber River throughout spawning season, presenting yet another challenge for the fish in addition to having to clear major jumps.
@JohnTory This is Humber River this evening! People fishing during salmon spawning season! I saw a fish wanting to spawn being caught and dying from being kept out of water and stress! Shame on our City to allow fishing during spawning season! pic.twitter.com/OlL9cgXNnI— Priya Patil, Esq.🇨🇦 (@PriyaPatilEsq) October 18, 2020
Between selfish humans and hungry raccoons, the odds are clearly stacked against these fish that are simply trying to fulfill their final duty in life and reach the spawning grounds to lay their eggs.
That's right — salmon die immediately after spawning, but their offspring then return the following year to do it all over again.
If you have 30 seconds, enjoy the resilience of these salmon persevering up the Humber River to spawn. We brought a picnic and stayed until we saw five make it up. A young couple was there cheering for the fish. Sigh. "And I think to myself: What a wonderful world" 🎶 pic.twitter.com/vYK3yGI4vG— Jessica Holmes (@happyfeetholmes) October 14, 2020
And if you're looking to avoid the crowds at Étienne Brûlé Park but still hoping to see the magnificent spawning salmon before the winter sets in, you can always head over to see them in The Don River from the Lower Don Trail, The Rouge River from Glen Rouge Campground, in The Credit River from Erindale Park, and more.
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