Saturday morning, as the sun rose over the rugged mountain tops on the North Coast, a few paddlers dropped their kayaks and canoes into the Skeena River — they wanted to experience the eulachon run up close.
As the outdoor enthusiasts paddled up the icy river, a raft of sea lions barked out to them, eagles and sea gulls soared overhead, and the odd seal would pop its head from the glassy surface.
Each year, the small eulachons, also known as oolichans, leave the Pacific Ocean’s saltwater to spawn in the freshwater of the Skeena River. These tiny, oily, fish symbolize the end of winter on the North Coast, as they begin their migration at the season’s end.
For First Nations people along the North Coast of B.C. the eulachon has cultural significance and has been fished for generations for its grease.