Want a front row seat to one of nature’s most amazing feats? Each fall the annual salmon migration – or salmon run – happens right here in Mississauga. As water temperatures start to cool, freshwater salmon begin their yearly trek from Lake Ontario up the Credit River to spawn.
There are several great locations in Mississauga to check out this annual phenomenon.
Each year, salmon in Lake Ontario return to the streams in which they were born (or stocked) to reproduce. Three types of salmon make their way to the Credit River in the fall.
Chinook salmon migrate once they reach maturity (between three and seven years) and typically die after spawning is complete. Chinook are native to the North Pacific Ocean and can grow up to 100 centimetres in length.
Unlike Chinook salmon, the smaller Atlantic salmon species make their way back to Lake Ontario after their migration upstream. Atlantic salmon are native to Lake Ontario and the North Atlantic Ocean.
While smaller than the Chinook, Coho salmon are also native to the North Pacific Ocean and were introduced to the Great Lakes in the 1960s. Coho can grow up to 75 centimetres in length.
In the spring, offspring from all three species hatch and swim downstream. They make their home in Lake Ontario until it’s their time to migrate.
Salmon migration season is now underway. It peaks in early October and most fish have spawned by the end of the month.
When you’re out and about, give salmon the best chance of survival by respecting their space. That includes steering clear of areas where salmon are swimming and along the riverbed where they lay and fertilize their eggs. Make sure you are also aware of all recreational fishing rules and regulations that apply for the Credit River (Fisheries Management Zone 16) during this important migration season.
Learn more about the Credit River Watershed by visiting the Credit Valley Conservation website at cvc.ca.