Hatchery and watershed tour provided to Douglas College

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Dubbed, "A Walk to Remember - Hoy Creek Salmon Hatchery Tour" students, faculty and friends of the IUE – the Institute of Urban Ecology of Douglas College in Coquitlam were given a casual and interactive 2-hour tour of the Hoy Creek salmon hatchery and surrounding area on July 19.

Led by hatchery manager, Rodney Lee, who was assisted by Hoy-Scott Watershed Society director, Lani Lehun, the tour provided information on the year-round operations of the hatchery, the salmon raised there, and the processes. 

The tour was concluded with a walk along Hoy Creek Trail were the riparian area, and invasive and non-invasive plant life were observed and discussed. 

Hoy - Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation.

 Tour at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Hoy Trail, Coquitlam.

Tour at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Hoy Trail, Coquitlam.

 Rodney shows the salmon rearing pond. 

Rodney shows the salmon rearing pond. 

Hatchery tour provided to Communities in Bloom judges

 Left to right: Maya Uno of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Jim Baird and Evelyn Alemanni of Communities in Bloom. 

Left to right: Maya Uno of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Jim Baird and Evelyn Alemanni of Communities in Bloom. 

Hoy Creek Hatchery was once again a point of interest for visiting judges of the Communities in Bloom competition.  

"Communities in Bloom - Collectivités en fleurs is about greening through environmental, natural heritage conservation and horticultural actions that involve citizens, businesses, institutions, and municipalities.  The program is focused on environmental stewardship through enhancement of green spaces."

On July 19 Jim Baird (USA) and Evelyn Alemanni (USA) spent a busy day visiting City parks and locations and the salmon hatchery is one of the key places in the city that exemplify their ethos.

Leading the tour for the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society was Maya Uno, a City of Coquitlam environmental award recipient.

 HSWS member and environtmental award recipient, Maya Uno at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

HSWS member and environtmental award recipient, Maya Uno at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society acknowledged at City environmental awards

 Members of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with their certificate of appreciation pose with Hucklebeary at Coquitlam city hall. 

Members of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with their certificate of appreciation pose with Hucklebeary at Coquitlam city hall. 

The City of Coquitlam held its fourteenth Environmental Achievement Award celebration on Sunday, June 24 recognizing community volunteers who excel in the areas of conservation, public awareness, environmental education, habitat enhancement and sustainable living.  In addition, the award recipients show initiative and leadership while volunteering for projects that have long-term environmental benefits for the community.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) received a certificate of appreciation for the volunteer work that we do. 

Representing the Society at the event held at City Hall, was the president, Robbin Whachell; director Lani Lehun; past director, Nathen Blower; longtime members Earl and Lilian Elliott; and newcomers, Steven Wang, and Leo Li. 

"It's wonderful to connect with like-minded groups at this annual event and learn about the wonderful things others are doing," said Robbin Whachell. "It's definitely motivation for our team, and, while not everyone was able to attend, they are appreciated. It means a lot to be recognized for the effort we put in." 

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Below is a video produced by the City of Coquitlam showcasing local environmental groups. 

For a full list of recipients, check out the City's press release HERE.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society announces 2018 executive

 Left to right: Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; Chris Hamming, Director; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; Sandra Uno, Director; and Rodney Lee, President. (Missing from photo: Emily Rossi and Arno Hazebroek)

Left to right: Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; Chris Hamming, Director; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; Sandra Uno, Director; and Rodney Lee, President. (Missing from photo: Emily Rossi and Arno Hazebroek)

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held an annual general meeting on May 15, 2018 at the Coquitlam library and voted in the following executive: 

Vice President - Rodney Lee
Director - Chris Hamming
Director - Sandra Uno
Director - Arno Hazebroek
Director - Lani Lehun

On June 19, Emily Rossi was voted in as secretary... 

"We have a great group of dedicated individuals on our executive, who volunteer their time to keep this Society going and progressing in our initiatives," said Robbin Whachell, the current president of the Society.  

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation.

Annual adipose fin-clip held at Hoy Creek Hatchery

 Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Close to 6000 coho salmon had their adipose fin clipped as part of a Department of Fisheries Canada encouraged exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam on June 20.  The salmon are approximately 6 months old. The adipose fin is a soft, fleshy fin found on the top of the salmon, on the back behind the dorsal fin and just forward of the caudal fin.

Although it's not mandatory, the DFO strongly advise hatcheries to clip the adipose fins for several reasons:

  • When salmon return to spawn, the clipped fins allow hatcheries to monitor their return
  • Most sports fisherman know that clipped coho can be kept, while wild coho must be returned
  • Clipped fish returns help DFO assess overall returns, helping to ensure the wild salmon are more dominant.
  • The procedure also allows for a manual fish count, whereas previously only weight sample counts took place. 
 Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Overseen by DFO fisheries technician, Tyler Thibault, a group of about ten Hoy-Scott Watershed Society volunteers came out to help in the operation.  Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee explained the procedure to a few people who were clipping their first time. 

First, the fish are anesthetized in small batches. Once in the solution, they become sleepy within minutes. The volunteers stand ready around a table equipped with a trough with flowing water and beds of water for the fish to lay in. Volunteers work quickly and very carefully to clip fins with disinfected surgical scissors before they wake up, which is within about a minute. Fish are put into the outside trough and end up in the bucket at the end of the table. They are returned to the hatchery to recover. 

 Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

The fish will soon be transferred from the hatchery Capilano trough room, and will live in the rearing pond until Salmon Leave Home in May 2019. Once they are released, they stay about a year in the stream making their way to the ocean. Fish from this brood could then return in about 2.5 years.

Thanks to all those who helped out this year!

(Watch our VIDEO below).

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) is a volunteer-run non-profit society that operates a small salmon hatchery beside Hoy Creek and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promoting public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed habitat restoration and preservation. 

Back pond reinforced at Hoy Creek Hatchery

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Over a few weeks in May 2018, the back rearing pond  (west of the screened rearing pond) was partially drained and inspected. This has not been done in many years. 

A new liner was added to the pond, and the banks were reinforced with new sandbags. Work sessions took place on Saturday mornings and during the week.

It was discovered that a small channel had formed around the pond's outflow area and salmon were getting confused by it since it didn't lead to the creek. It's all good now - we fixed it! 

 What the pond area looks like with most of the water drained. 

What the pond area looks like with most of the water drained. 

 Leo and Steven working hard to fill sand bags to secure the pond area. 

Leo and Steven working hard to fill sand bags to secure the pond area. 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) is a volunteer-run non-profit society that operates a small salmon hatchery beside Hoy Creek and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promoting public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed habitat restoration and preservation. 

HSWS attends JOTT 21 - Jamboree on the Trail

 Boy scouts check out creepy crawlies from Hoy Creek at the Jamboree in Belcarra Regional Park. 

Boy scouts check out creepy crawlies from Hoy Creek at the Jamboree in Belcarra Regional Park. 

A big thank you to Scouts Canada for inviting Hoy - Scott Watershed Society to participate in JOTT 21, the Jamboree on the Trail event held at Belcarra Park on Saturday, May 12.

HSWS members, Rodney and Lani brought along some very cool friends we found in the pond - 2 Lamprey, a Crayfish and some Caddisfly bugs. Yes, those are in our creeks!

It was a really fun day with the kids. All the creepy crawlers were returned to Hoy Creek that afternoon!

 A crayfish from Hoy Creek

A crayfish from Hoy Creek

 A lamprey from Hoy Creek

A lamprey from Hoy Creek

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) is a volunteer-run non-profit society that operates a small salmon hatchery beside Hoy Creek and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promoting public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed habitat restoration and preservation.  Learn more at our website: hoyscottcreeks.org

 Vice president and hatchery manager for Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Rodney Lee talks to boy scouts at JOTT21 - Jamboree on the Trail in Belcarra Park. 

Vice president and hatchery manager for Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Rodney Lee talks to boy scouts at JOTT21 - Jamboree on the Trail in Belcarra Park. 

Coquitlam residents help release coho at Salmon Leave Home

 A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

The weather was perfect for our annual Salmon Leave Home event on May 6! Well over a thousand residents participated.

We'd like to thank everyone who came out to lend a hand and give their well wishes and good thoughts to our 5000 coho smolts who now make Hoy Creek their home.  The fish will now make the creeks, or the Coquitlam or Fraser rivers their home for about a year before making it to the ocean. 

 Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

A big thank you to special guests, the Kwikwetlem First Nation who provided comment during the opening ceremony and released our first fish into Hoy Creek. Thanks also to the Wild Salmon Caravan for providing entertainment and art activities. The kids loved painting the salmon van!  The Pinetree Secondary School students were a great help on site, and also provided face painting. 

 The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

CBC News came out to provide coverage of the event on the evening news that day. 

After the event closed, the rearing pond was cleaned out in preparation for the next broodstock which will make the location their home in June. The approximately 6-month old salmon will live there until the next Salmon Leave Home event in May 2019. 

To view our all of our photos of the event, check out our Facebook album. If you are not a Facebook user, we have a Google photo album too.

We'll see you at Salmon Come Home in October!

HSWS participates in Walton Elementary Earth Day event

 Stewart and Chris at the Walton Elementary Earth Day event.

Stewart and Chris at the Walton Elementary Earth Day event.

Members of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) participated in the Earth Day Swap Meet event put on by Walton Elementary School on April 28. The schoo is a short walk through the forest to Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

"It's important for the students, parents, and teachers to be aware of the salmon sanctuary that is so close to their school," said president of the Society, Robbin Whachell. "Many of the families walk through the watershed along Hoy Trail on their way to and from school, so it's important that they have an awareness that each of us have a role to play in protecting our watershed, which in turn assists in the preservation of our salmon." 

 Robbin and Lani at Walton Elementary 

Robbin and Lani at Walton Elementary 

"It was wonderful to talk to parents who have observed changes in the watershed, or who have witnessed wildlife. The watershed is a wonderful place to explore."

A big thanks to Society volunteers, Chris Hamming and Stewart Brotchie who interacted with participants on Friday evening, and to Lani Lehun who represented the Society on Saturday with Robbin. 

HSWS applauds the organizers for leading an important event that not only supports their school but helps open eyes and minds to the wonders and sensitivities of our environment. 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) is a volunteer-run non-profit society that operates a small salmon hatchery beside Hoy Creek and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promoting public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed habitat restoration and preservation.

 Yvonne from Walton Elementary thanks the Society at Salmon Leave Home

Yvonne from Walton Elementary thanks the Society at Salmon Leave Home

Salmon Leave Home on Sunday, May 6

 A young boy releases a fingerling coho salmon into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A young boy releases a fingerling coho salmon into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Join the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society on Sunday, May 6 for Salmon Leave Home at the Hoy

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society invites the community out for their annual Salmon Leave Home event on Sunday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam.  People of all ages will have the opportunity to help release 18-month-old coho smolts into Hoy Creek. 

“Salmon Leave Home is a special event for families with small children. The kids find so much delight in releasing fish into the creek,” said society president, Robbin Whachell.  “Once the salmon are released, they make their way downstream to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, the Fraser River - which empties into the Strait of Georgia on the Pacific Ocean. They return in approximately 2 years to the same location where they were spawned.”  

The family-friendly free outdoor event will run rain or shine and the society will have families engaged in fishy fun. Students from the Pinetree Secondary environmental club will be providing face painting, while the Wild Salmon Creative Cafe will be serving up Spirit Bear coffees and will host an art build activity.

It’s a great opportunity to learn about the local fish hatchery and get information on the year-round salmon enhancement program, which includes work with plants in the riparian area of Hoy and Scott Creeks.  Our 5-month old coho fry will also be on display.

The hatchery is located in the Hoy Creek Linear Park behind Douglas College and north of Guildford, a few minutes walk inland and is only a ten-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Skytrain station.  To find the exact location, simply Google “Hoy Creek Hatchery.”  

Let us know you're coming, or invite your family and friends on our Facebook event page.

Hoy Trail has several entrances:
- Walk in from Princess Crescent;
- Walk in from behind Douglas College;
- Walk in from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree);
- Walk in from Walton Avenue, or behind Walton Elementary;
- Walk in from the foot of Lasalle Place.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation.

To find the exact location simply Google, "Hoy Creek Hatchery."

Our event hashtag is #salmonleavehome, so if you attend, feel free to tweet or share, and check out what others are posting with our event hashtag.

(Photos from last year)