Capilano River Regional Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

On the afternoon of 8/22/2023, we drove the short distance from our Airbnb to Capilano River Regional Park. We hiked the short Coho loop trail. It is a scenic walk along a well-maintained trail through a majestic rainforest passing by the Cable Pool and Pipeline bridges, leading to picturesque views of canyons, rivers, dam and fish hatchery. We took a few minutes to watch a group of river otters feed on fish before heading back to make our way to the Fish Hatchery.

Opened in 1971, the hatchery captured my interest. Visitors learn about the salmon lifecycle through interpretive signs and are able to watch the fish in action. Protected by netting, baby salmon grow in specific troughs before moving to rearing ponds until release. Salmon lay their eggs in fresh water. As each salmon grows, its body changes to allow it to live in salt water. It then migrates to the ocean where it spends one to five years before returning to its native stream to spawn. How it manages to navigate back is a bit of a mystery to me. It is great fun to watch the salmon jump up the fish ladder at the hatchery. Check out my video below where you can see several fish perform the upstream jump.

Capilano River regional park is an interesting, scenic and fun park. I highly recommend a visit when in North Vancouver. The Fish Hatchery and the fish ladder should not be missed.

Reference Vancouver Regional park page, Trail map, Fish Hatchery, Outdoor Vancouver page

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