British Columbia

Video captures salmon swimming across Washington road

Annual floods give chum spawning salmon on the Skokomish River a short cut to their spawning grounds.

Annual floods give salmon on the Skokomish River a short cut to their spawning grounds

Chum salmon swim across a flooded road in western Washington state. (instagram/@mtnflowersue)

It's an annual event near the Skokomish River in northwest Washington state — salmon, flitting across a flooded rural highway, trying to make their way to upstream spawning grounds.

Aaron Dufault, a salmon policy analyst with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, believes it's been happening for decades. 

"That river is a little flashy so to speak. Every single year it seems to overflow its banks in a couple of areas where there are adjacent farms and pastures and a road, so that's where you see it.  And it, coincidentally, times perfectly with the chum salmon returning."

 A few salmon may end up as road kill but Dufault says, because most, if not all, are hatchery salmon, there's little impact to overall spawning numbers.

"Even if there are wild fish in there, we still get plenty into that river to seed the habitat, so there's no conservation concern," he said.