Volunteers head into Hoy Creek for Stream Clean 2017

Cleaning Hoy Creek under the bridge on Guildford in Coquitlam

Cleaning Hoy Creek under the bridge on Guildford in Coquitlam

Each summer members of our society gear up and head into the creek to remove trash and assess and prune areas which may be overgrown by invasives plants, which could impede the return of salmon in October. Himalayan Blackberry is the main invasive which cover areas of the creek.

July or August is the best time for this exercise as the creek is free of fish eggs.

Volunteers focuses on the heavy traffic area of Hoy Creek from the hatchery to the Johnson and Glen intersection.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society members head back with trash and tools after creek clean 2017

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society members head back with trash and tools after creek clean 2017

The most unusual trash find was syringes.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society activities will ramp up over into October when rains rise the creek levels and spawning salmon begin to make their way home. Save the date for Salmon Come Home, held in conjunction with the City of Coquitlam on Sunday, October 22.  Approximately 2000 people came out in 2016 and there was a good show of chum salmon in the stream.  Prime viewing is middle of October through early November.

Trash is seperated once back at the Hoy Creek Hatchery

Trash is seperated once back at the Hoy Creek Hatchery

Coquitlam Fire / Rescue Ramps Up Fire Prevention Measures

A City of Coquitlam fire / rescue crew conducting a foot patrol in a local park(City of Coquitlam photo)

A City of Coquitlam fire / rescue crew conducting a foot patrol in a local park(City of Coquitlam photo)

COQUITLAM, BC, July 25, 2017 – Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is stepping up its patrols of green spaces and is calling on residents to take precautions as fire risk reaches dangerously high levels.

As wildfires burn across British Columbia, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is calling on cooperation from residents to take steps that can both reduce and limit the risk of fire. This includes adhering to City bylaws that ban open air burning, littering cigarette butts and smoking in parks.

Fire/Rescue crews are now conducting daily foot patrols of city parks and forested areas and will be reporting back on any problem areas or people violating non-smoking or cooking/burning rules. High-risk areas of particular focus include multiple spots along the Coquitlam River, Oxford bluffs and Mundy Park.

Parks staff and bylaws officers are also increasing their presence in city parks and will be handing out $500 fines for smoking. Despite public awareness measures, cigarette butts remain one of the leading causes of fires in parks, forests and dry grass.

What can you do?

  • Do not smoke in parks.

  • Do not litter cigarette butts.

  • Do not have any open fires or conduct outdoor burning.

  • Relocate combustible debris or firewood at least 10 metres away from your home.

  • Be aware when mowing your lawn that if the blade comes into contact with a rock, it can cause a spark that may ignite a fire.

  • Ensure your vehicle's exhaust does not emit onto a dry lawn.

  • Reduce the amount of fuel present around your homes; prune your shrubs, remove dead and dry vegetation and tree limbs 2-3 metres from the ground.

  • Break up continuous vegetation and space so there is no continuous canopy or line of vegetation leading to your home.

  • Keep the roof and gutters clear of dead needles; prune branches that hang over the roof.

Coquitlam’s fire risk is currently rated 'high.' Should this elevate to 'extreme,' further restrictions involving outdoor BBQ use in public parks will be implemented. www.coquitlam.ca/seasonalsafety.

Residents should take precautions against accidental fires and be alert to signs of fire. Report any signs of smoke or fire by calling 911 immediately.

Fourth annual fin clipping exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery

Volunteers carefully snip the adipose fin off a sedated coho fry

Volunteers carefully snip the adipose fin off a sedated coho fry

On June 15, 2017 we performed our fourth fin clipping exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery for our coho salmon fry.

The adipose fin is removed after the fish are sedated. It's a fast process and many careful hands make light work.

The entire procedure is overseen by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. All fry recovered expect one of approximately 5500 fishmarked.  The markings help the society identify hatchery fish during returns in the fall.

Thanks to Hoy-Scott Watershed members who provided the photos seen here.

Many hands make light and fast work! Hoy-Scott Watershed Volunteers during our fourth annual fin-clipping exercise

Many hands make light and fast work! Hoy-Scott Watershed Volunteers during our fourth annual fin-clipping exercise

Sedated coho fry. 

Sedated coho fry. 

Spill reported in Hoy Creek on June 3

Suspected paint in Hoy Creek on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Suspected paint in Hoy Creek on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

On June 3, 2017, one of our members was alerted of a spill in Hoy Creek. It was a Saturday evening before 6pm.

The spill was reported immediately to the authorities and our member also went to review the situation and took the photos seen here. It appeared to be white paint.  Hoping to soak up the paint he placed white boards across the spill area.

While we cannot be 100 percent certain, a storm drain by the trail near Walton Ave did have a white substance on it.  He also took a photo of that.

The water in the Capilano trough at the hatchery was white, but the fish were behaving normally. The PH level of the water was between 7-8.

Hoy Creek after a spill on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek / HSWS)

Hoy Creek after a spill on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek / HSWS)

The City of Coquitlam reported back to Hoy-Creek Watershed Society that:

June 3 - Staff attended, put out three booms at first outfall behind 2978 Walton along the trail.  Minimal flow entering creek, but it is milky coming out of outfall.  Suspect latex paint.  Checked upstream manholes and area, could not find any source.  C/B's are also full of white cotton hindering ability to see clearly into them.  Upon return to outfall, water appeared to be running more clear, so it was dissipating out, spoke with some people in area and asked if they knew of anyone doing any construction/painting in area, no luck.
 
June 3- 20:30 - another call received, caller said at the beginning of his walk this evening, the creek looked somewhat contaminated, not too noticeable.  Within the last 30 minutes, he said it has gotten 10x worse and is almost white.

Staff informed, and will attend again.  Staff reported state of creek has improved since last time at site.
 
June 4 - Booms collecting milky substance still in place.  Someone has placed plywood across the creek to dam it to collect substance, may want to remove this. Checked upstream m/h and c/b's, everything looks ok.
 
Environmental Services and Worksite Bylaw Officers were out on June 4 investigating the catch basins on White Pine Place cul-de-sac.

Unfortunately the source or culprits were not found.

If you see a spill in either Hoy or Scott Creek please call the City of Coquitlam - Municipality’s 24 hour reporting line (604) 927-3500.

Coho fry swimming in the Capilano trough at Hoy Creek Hatchery after the spill (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Coho fry swimming in the Capilano trough at Hoy Creek Hatchery after the spill (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Suspect storm drain with white substance near trail by Walton Avenue (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Suspect storm drain with white substance near trail by Walton Avenue (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

 

 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society welcomes new directors

left to right is: Arno Hazebroek, Sandra Uno, and Chris Hamming

left to right is: Arno Hazebroek, Sandra Uno, and Chris Hamming

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held their annual general meeting on Wednesday, May 17th at the Coquitlam Library. It was well attended, and we wish to thanks all those that came out to support our Society.

We are pleased to announce our new directors who will join our executive team.

Seen here after the meeting from left to right is: Arno Hazebroek, Sandra Uno, and Chris Hamming (who is a HSWS founding member).

The directors join Robbin Whachell, President; Rodney Lee, Vice President; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; and Emily Rossi, Secretary to complete the HSWS executive board.

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

Fishy Fun at 2017 Salmon Leave Home

A mother and son peek at a coho fingerling held by a HSWS volunteer at Salmon Leave Home (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A mother and son peek at a coho fingerling held by a HSWS volunteer at Salmon Leave Home (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

And they're gone!

Coho smolts that had their start in life at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam are well on their way to adapting to life in the stream.  Approximately 5000 smolts were released at Hoy-Scott Watershed Society's Salmon Leave Home event on May 7th.

When ready, they will make their way from Hoy Creek to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, then to the Fraser River, and then on to the Straight of Georgia and the Pacific Ocean.

A father and son set to release coho smolts into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home on May 7th, 2017. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A father and son set to release coho smolts into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home on May 7th, 2017. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

The weather was perfect for the family fun free community event, and there was a steady flow of people throughout the day.  Patrons learned about the life-cycle of the salmon, viewed hatchery facilities, and had fun building bird boxes, getting face-painted, and doing fish-crafts.  Music was provided by 98.7 The Point radio. Watershed Watch Salmon Society was also on had with crafts for the kids and education for all. Jay Peachy honoured the Kwikwetlem First Nation traditional territory and delivered the "Salmon Song" accompanied by drumming.

The highlight of the day was the release of the smolts, as children of all ages delighted in carrying young salmon in buckets from the rearing pond a short distance to release them into Hoy Creek.

Face-painting, building bird boxes, and fish crafts...

Face-painting, building bird boxes, and fish crafts...

The society wishes to thank all of our hard working volunteers from Pinetree Secondary.

Over the summer things generally slow down at the hatchery, but volunteers still continue to oversee the care of some 25,000 coho fry, approximately 5 months old, who will be transferred into the rearing pond before June.

The bird box building station at Salmon Leave Home. 

The bird box building station at Salmon Leave Home. 

See ALL of our photos from Salmon Leave Home on our Facebook album HERE.

Work also continues in the riparian areas of the watershed to ensure invasive species are reduced and native plants are thriving. A healthy riparian area ensures a healthy creek.

In July or August the society also does a stream cleanup, removing trash and debris from Scott and Hoy Creeks. To get involved, click our "Get Involved" button, or email the Society at hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com

 

 

New Art Fixture Installed at Hoy Creek Hatchery

A new dragonfly metal art-piece is proudly displayed above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery contributed by local artist, Patricia Gaspar.  All three of the pieces here were created over the years by the same artist.

A new dragonfly metal art-piece is proudly displayed above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery contributed by local artist, Patricia Gaspar.  All three of the pieces here were created over the years by the same artist.

The local salmon hatchery in Coquitlam, nestled in Hoy Creek Linear Park and operated by the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) has just welcomed a new art piece by local artist, Patricia Gaspar.

The metal dragonfly was installed in time for Salmon Leave Home on May 7th.

The sparkling and bejeweled dragonfly is mounted above the rearing pond which houses coho from May to May of each year before they are released into Hoy Creek at Salmon Leave Home.

"We are so pleased to have yet another charming piece of artwork from Patricia on the hatchery grounds," said HSWS president Robbin Whachell.  "Patricia's artwork can be enjoyed by the entire community, and is in sync with our objective of bringing public awareness and education toward the restoration and preservation of our local habitat."

View other artwork at Hoy Creek Hatchery by Patricia Gaspar HERE.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society executive would highly recommend Patricia Gaspar for any art projects, in particular those that benefit the community.  Visit the artist's website HERE.

The rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam. Home to our coho salmon from May through May.  When grown to smolts, the salmon are released into the creek at Salmon Leave Home.

The rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam. Home to our coho salmon from May through May.  When grown to smolts, the salmon are released into the creek at Salmon Leave Home.

The new dragonfly art piece by Patricia Gaspar, mounted above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

The new dragonfly art piece by Patricia Gaspar, mounted above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

Pinetree Secondary School Assists in Invasive Plant Removal

Pinetree Secondary School students helping clear invasive Himalayan blackberry along Hoy Creek (Photo: Kyle Uno / HSWS)

Pinetree Secondary School students helping clear invasive Himalayan blackberry along Hoy Creek (Photo: Kyle Uno / HSWS)

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society spent another morning removing invasive Himalayan blackberry with the enthusiastic help of students from Pinetree Secondary School on April 1st, 2017. An area along Hoy Creek was cleared. Work was wet, muddy, and prickly with the thorny brambles.

"The students from Pinetree Secondary have been very helpful with our work in the riparian area," said Rodney Lee, Vice President, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. "Rain or shine, they come out and get muddy with us; and many hands make light work.  They provide a welcomed and appreciated contribution!"  See more photos on the HSWS Google Photos page.

Wet, muddy and prickly work, as Pinetree Secondary student clip the invasive Himayalan blackberry along Hoy Creek. (Photo: Kyle Uno / HSWS)

Wet, muddy and prickly work, as Pinetree Secondary student clip the invasive Himayalan blackberry along Hoy Creek. (Photo: Kyle Uno / HSWS)

Aside from the salmon enhancement program, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society works within the riparian area to enhance the creek system. Invasive plants can overtake native plants. Healthy native plants ensure the health of the creek, protecting the water from heavy sunlight, ensuring cooler temperatures for fish and bug life.

To get involved with the Society, click the "Get Involved" button on the upper right-hand-side of our website, or email the Society at hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com

Salmon Leave Home to be held Sunday, May 7th

Poster-Salmon-Leave-Home-2017

Join the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society on Sunday, May 7th for Salmon Leave Home at the Hoy Creek Hatchery which is located in the woods behind Douglas College north of Guildford Way in Coquitlam.   Salmon Leave Home provides the community the opportunity to help release coho smolts into Hoy Creek.  The salmon are approximately 17 months old and can range in length from 4 to 8 inches. Since their incubation, they have been living in a freshwater stream environment at hatchery.

The annual event takes place from 11am to 2pm and will go 'rain or shine'.  Society volunteers will net and bucket the fish from the rearing pond, and children of all ages will carry the buckets a short distance to the creek to release the salmon.

From there, the smolts begin their journey to the sea via Hoy Creek, then Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, then the Fraser River, and finally into the Strait of Georgia at the Pacific Ocean! 

This free family event will also offer educational activities, and music will be provided by 98.7 The Point.

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is located on Hoy Creek Trail, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex at the corner of Pinetree and Guildford Way.

Hoy Trail has a 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.

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

Stay notified via our Facebook page and be sure to invite your family and friends!  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)

 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society members release chum salmon fry

HSWS members met at dusk to release the chum salmon fry. Rodney Lee, hatchery manager (seen center) provides direction.

HSWS members met at dusk to release the chum salmon fry. Rodney Lee, hatchery manager (seen center) provides direction.

On March 19th, members of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society met near dusk at the Hoy Creek Hatchery to release 26,363 chum salmon fry.  This was an historic moment as the society has not raised chum salmon since the mid-90s. Fry were netted into buckets in the Capilano trough room, and hand carried to be released into Hoy Creek.  The process was led by hatchery manager, Rodney Lee.

"The 2016 brood stock season was super busy with our hatchery introducing a program to rear Chum salmon in addition to the Coho salmon that we've traditionally raised," said hatchery manager Rodney Lee. "The really warm October had creek temperatures in the 13C range which made for quick incubation early in the season, but then we had the really cold temperatures (creek temp lows under 3C) throughout much of the winter which really slowed development."

"We have approximately 12,000 Coho fry and the last alevins are beginning to 'swim up'.  We will be shutting down and cleaning out our incubators for the season."

"Our Coho fingerlings from the 2015 brood stock season have really started their Spring growth.  With water temperatures rising, their metabolism increases, and they eat at lot more and grow rapidly.  We are focusing on getting them to target release weight in anticipation of our Salmon Leave Home event on May 7th."

Photos were taken by society members: Nathen Blower, Lilian Elliott and Arno Hazebroek

See all our photos in our Facebook album HERE.