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Trees clustered together in the sub alpine stand a much better chance of surviving the harsh conditions. Called krumholtz, these tree islands are miniature ecosystems unto themselves, providing mutual protection against the elements while acting as a catch basin for moisture. A krumholtz provides habitat for lesser plant species as well as insects, birds and mammals big and small. Usually trees in the krumholtz, German for "crooked wood," are old if not ancient, stunted by a short growing season, harsh weather and a paucity of nutrient-rich soil. Branches tend to flourish on the downwind side only.
Illustration by Manami Kimura
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Seymour River Hatchery Print E-mail
(16 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Access: From downtown Vancouver load bike and body onto the #210 Upper Lynn Valley bus at Dunsmuir Street [Bay 2] next to Burrard SkyTrain station. Stay on the bus until the end of the line at the corner of Evelyn & Underwood Streets. The bus trip should take around 45 minutes. Take the short-cut east past two tennis courts and continue half a block to the corner of Dempsey and Lynn Valley Roads.

From here, the quickest route follows Rice Lake Road which drops steeply to a footbridge across Lynn Creek. Cross the bridge and climb back out of the canyon, following the broad gravel path for 500 metres or so to the parking lot at the end of Lillooet Road. Here you'll find washrooms, drinking water, information displays with hand out maps and, of course, the start of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve Road. Also known as the Seymour Valley Trailway, the paved forest road extends to within 2 Km of the salmon hatchery.

For a slightly more circuitous route with rougher roads to ride, look for the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park entrance to the north of the corner of Dempsey and Lynn Valley Roads. Follow Intake Road for about a kilometre before reaching the park proper. Continue past the park HQ, crossing the bridge over Lynn Creek. At the information board take the bumpy road to the right, climbing east out of the Lynn drainage and into the Seymour watershed. Ignore side trails to Rice Lake. Just over a kilometre away you'll reach a rustic educational centre with a couple of picnic tables. The paved Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve Road [Seymour Valley Trailway] doubles back from here in a northerly direction.


Still growing strong: Though logged in the early days of the 20th Century a few ancient giants remain in the Seymour drainage.
Old Growth Spruce.

Those in North or West Vancouver can take the #228 Lynn Valley bus from Lonsdale Quay to the corner of Dempsey and Lynn Valley Roads, proceeding as above.

Alternatively, take the #210 Upper Lynn Valley bus to Phibbs Exchange and transfer to the #229 West Lynn bus. Get off at Lynn Canyon Park, cross the suspension bridge and follow the river upstream for a short distance until you find a huge wooden staircase.

Climb the stairs and continue uphill for another 20 minutes until you reach the parking lot near Rice Lake where the paved road begins.

If arriving by SeaBus, take the #229 West Lynn bus in reverse from Lonsdale Quay to Lynn Canyon Park and follow the instructions above. Refer to the Baden-Powell Trail East map embedded in this page below.

Originally built in 1977 by the British Columbia Institute of Technology as a teaching facility, the Seymour River Hatchery has since been upgraded and expanded. To date over 5 million salmon fry have been released.

The hatchery, which attracts some 10,000 visitors annually, is uniquely situated at the end of an 11 km stretch of paved road which is closed to vehicle traffic. Consequently, a great way to visit the site is on roller blades if you have them, bike or hike in if you don't.

Getting there is half the fun: The route to the Seymour River Salmon Hatchery winds through mature second growth and a magnificent patch of old growth at road's end. The road is 20 km round trip with about 2 km of unpaved trail at either end when arriving via Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.
Seymour River Recreation Road.

The Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR) road is a challenging balance of up and down though my wife claims, like some sketchy paradox from MC Escher: "it's uphill all the way, in both directions." Saddle up and decide for yourself.

Click Image to Zoom

Lunkers Lurking: In addition to salmon, gargantuan steelhead, rainbow trout with a yearning for the sea, return to the headwaters of the Seymour River to renew the cycle. Unlike the salmon, however, steelhead are able to return to the sea, repeating the cycle many times over.
Seymour River Steelhead.

The best time of year to view the spectacle of spawning salmon is from September on until first snowfall closes the road. The hatchery is open to the public, conducts hands-on educational programs in conjunction with the federal Department of Fisheries and provides numerous opportunities to volunteer. For more information visit the website of the Seymour Salmonid Society.



Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
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