Capturing the beauty in urban nature
I first found out about the rich Burnaby Watershed in British Columbia while taking a city bus. Being new to Vancouver, I had no idea how close nature was to the city. Due to amazing conservation work from passionate people and volunteers, nature is easily accessible to city folk.
Most people think that living in a city disconnects them from nature, without them even noticing that cities are an environment in themselves. Just a few minutes from downtown Vancouver, you can see salmon running in rivers. A half-hour bus ride away, there is a good chance of seeing bears, cougars and other amazing animals in nature.
My goal as a photographer with a love for nature is to portray the hidden beauty in urban wildlife, specifically iconic salmon. This fish species, to me, is susceptible to many hostilities, from changes in the environment to over fishing. I often ask myself “How is this species doing around Metro Vancouver? Are conservation efforts and investments toward salmon paying off?”
Beginning in September 2016, I tried to capture the entire salmon cycle: from the spawning run to the laying of the eggs, to their development and eventual hatching.
During that time, I came across several chum and coho salmon. I also had a few short encounters with cutthroat, rainbow and Dolly Varden trout. I hope when summer comes I’m able to capture more species, such as steelhead and the endangered nooksack dace, which is only found in four creeks in B.C.
Dive deep underwater with Fernando to take a look at the salmon swimming in BC waters below:
Cold, clear water makes for great salmon habitat. (Photo by Fernando Lessa)
Salmon fry swimming among old tree routes. (Photo by Fernando Lessa)
Salmon fry swimming with the run. (Photo by Fernando Lessa)
Fry swim among litter, a problem for BC waters. (Photo by Fernando Lessa)