Spawning Salmon - Hoy Creek - Coquitlam

by Dad


On Remembrance Day (November 11th), we drove to an unassuming creek nestled among the suburban sprawl in Coquitlam to view spawning salmon.  And what a sight!  Huge salmon struggling to swim up this small, shallow creek.  It was incredible to see them thrash their way upstream, in some spots the water seemed to be only inches deep, with many dead fish on the shore.  Nathan said it was the most awesome thing he's seen, and little Jen said "hey what's that funky smell".  The smell of the dead fish was quite overwhelming.

Age group:

All ages

Expense rating:



This is an unforgettable sight of salmon struggling up the tiny creek.  The whole family really enjoyed seeing one of nature's great spectacles.


Bit of a PU (stink) factor.


Hoy Creek is a very small creek that's almost right behind Coquitlam Centre Shopping Mall nestled among townhouse complexes.

To get there:  from Vancouver, go east on Hastings St. which eventually turns into the Barnet Highway.  Take the Barnet Highway through Burnaby, Port Moody, and then into Coquitlam.  At the Coquitlam Centre Mall, take a left on to Pinetree Way.  Go up Pinetree way about a block or so, and turn left on to Guildford Way.  Go about 1/2 a block and you will see the small creek.  Park anywhere you can and go up the creek to see this fantastic spectacle.

For more information, call (604) 933-6114. Hoy Creek Hatchery

Update: This year we visited Hyde Creek in Port Coquitlam on Remembrance Day.  The creek was teeming with salmon trying to make their way up the creek.  This is another great place to view spawning salmon.  The creek runs along side the Hyde Creek Community Centre located at 1379 Laurier Avenue in Port Coquitlam.  Hyde Creek is about 2 miles from Hoy Creek, so you can easily visit both creeks if you want. Hyde Creek Watershed Society




November, December

Educational highlights:

No one knows how mature salmon are able to find their way from the ocean back to the stream where they were born.  It's one of nature's mysteries.  As they swim upstream they encounter many obstacles like waterfalls, pollution and predators.  They use every ounce of energy to get up the stream, and it's even more astounding to find out they do it without food, as spawning salmon do not eat once they start their journey upstream.

Once they reach the area where they were hatched, battered and bruised, the salmon spawn.  When the spawning is over they die.

Fun for the adult?:

This is a great learning experience for young and old.