11/14/2014 11:32 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST

Salmon spawning in West Vancouver streams for first time

Chinook Salmon don’t usually make it into Hadden and Brothers Creeks in West Vancouver, but they did this year.

The fish were discovered by a team of students from the West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society.

Society president John Barker toldThe Early Edition’s Rick Cluff he didn’t believe it when they reported finding 32 of the fish that had strayed from their usual course. 

"I thought, we’ve got a misidentification here, so I went up and checked myself. I covered a little larger portion of the stream, and in fact found 36," he said. In a later survey, he found as many as 70 fish in the stream.

"That was a remarkable event for us, I was just staggered."

Chinook salmon usually stick to the Capilano river, and Barker believes these fish may have changed course because of a series of mudslides north of Capilano Lake that have affected the quality of the water in that run.

Because Hadden and Brothers creeks are both tributaries of the Capilano, Barker says the theory is it didn’t take the fish long to find cleaner water.

"Instead of staying in the heavily turbid water they moved into Brothers Creek and they were moving fast," he said.

Barker expects more Chinook will return to the streams in future years.

"These fish were ready, they wanted to spawn. It’s not unreasonable to expect we’ve established a brand new run. Not us — Mother Nature has established a brand new run."