The mesmerizing spectacle of a salmon spawning stream was well described in a Canadian Fisheries and Oceans pamphlet. "Every four years the quiet bank of the Adams River, 405 kilometers inland from the Pacific Ocean, becomes the scene of a natural miracle. In these days of early fall, the normally quiet waters of the 12-km river turn turbulent and crimson as over two million sockeye salmon pour into their home waters to spawn and die. The male, his teeth now grown to fangs in an enlarged jaw, fights off contenders while the female digs the nest by lying on her side and flapping her tail, after which she drops some of her eggs. She then covers the eggs with some gravel and the pair swims upstream to repeat the process until exhausted, they die."
Sockeye salmon return every year to the Adams River but every 4th year, called a dominant year, the numbers are much higher. During the last dominant year in 2010 an estimated 3.9 million salmon returned to the Adams River to spawn, the largest spawning run since 1913. The 2014 dominant run promises to be just as spectacular.
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