Our second annual Salmon Spawn Watch contest wrapped up last week! We received nearly 100 entries and got to see some spectacular images that capture the beauty of wild salmon and their epic migrations.

Our lucky prize winners for this year are:

•  Madison O’Connell wins our grand prize, a 2-day all-inclusive glamping & relaxation package for 2 from REO Rafting Resort ($998 value)

•  Kendra Nelson won a Patagonia Black Hole MLC. This is a burly, soft-sided 45-litre suitcase with enough room for world travel and convertible backpack straps for comfy load carrying (value $299)

•  Our third prize is a Devil’s Gorge Run rafting trip with Kumsheen Rafting for one. This includes a riverside lunch and a half-day of rafting on the legendary Thompson River (value $159). Torrie Nicholas is the lucky winner!

This year we received entries of spawning Adams River sockeye, chum salmon in the Alouette, coho climbing waterfalls near Langford and even some entries of Atlantic salmon from Scotland! Some other quick facts: Goldstream Park on Vancouver Island was a popular location this year for salmon spawn watchers and most of our contest entries came through Instagram.

While we run this contest to celebrate the return of salmon to their home waters, the reality is that returns to some rivers this year were lower than expected, or impacted by factors such as unprecedented drought. Several entries submitted featured waterways without salmon when there should have been, or fish fighting to travel up rivers with little flow. While hard to observe, it helps document the need to do more to defend and rebuild wild salmon habitat and make it more resilient to threats, such as climate change.

Though our contest has ended, wild salmon are still spawning in some areas of B.C. and we encourage you to continue to go out, document the returns and share online with the #SalmonSpawnWatch hashtag.

A big thank-you to our sponsors for this year’s Salmon Spawn Watch: Reo Rafting Resort, who supported this event for a second year, Patagonia and Kumsheen Rafting.

Check out some of the great entries we received this year!