The Capliano Salmon Hatchery is located on the Capilano River in Capilano River Regional Park. With over 400,000 visitors annually, the Capilano Hatchery is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Good news for your budget, as admission to this popular attraction, is free. Bring a camera, hiking shoes and a picnic if you desire. You easily can spend a couple of hours here.
The fish hatchery interpretive centre has a self-guided tour where you can learn about and see fish develop from eggs to the juvenile stage when they are released to the river in spring. It’s a colourful and fascinating process.
Depending on the season, you may see juvenile salmon and trout in the display aquaria or mature returning salmon in the fish ladder. Be sure to visit the “Fishway” in the observation gallery, where you can see how salmon climb the fish ladders by jumping from one pool to the next. It’s truly exciting for children and adults alike!
Chinook Adults (October-November)
Coho Adults (June -November)
Steelhead Adults (March-April)
Coho Juveniles (All Year)
Chinook Juveniles (March-May)
Within the Capilano Regional River Park, there are many hiking trails and a picnic area. You don’t have to walk very far to small local bridges, where during spawning season you can see the bright red fish jump and fight their way upstream.
Cleveland Dam is another popular free attraction in North Vancouver. It’s a short walk from the Hatchery to Cleveland Dam or you can drive up Capilano Road to get there.
Capilano River Hatchery
4500 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Phone: 604-666-1790 (8:00 – 4:00)
Check hours of operation and more
The canyon can be a very dangerous place for people of all ages because of its steep and slippery banks. Some areas of the canyon are marked with signs and fenced off. Remember that it is possible for the river level to become dangerously high within a short period of time.