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 Creek Hatchery 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 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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. Let us know your coming, or invite your family and friends on our Facebook event page.

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. It's a short 10 minute walk from the Douglas-Lafarge Lake skytrain station.

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 Says Thank-you to Caresse Selk

 President of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell presents Caresse Selk, former Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, City of Coquitlam with a certificate of appreciation on December 16, 2017, during the Socety's Christmas social. 

President of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell presents Caresse Selk, former Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, City of Coquitlam with a certificate of appreciation on December 16, 2017, during the Socety's Christmas social. 

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held their annual Christmas social on December 16 at Milestone's Restaurant. It was the perfect opportunity to thank Caresse Selk, former Environmental Stewardship Coordinator for the City of Coquitlam.

Caresse has worked with HSWS for 13 years as the key contact for the Coquitlam's signature event, Salmon Come Home, as well the Society was updated by her on creek spills, tree removals, and trail or park enhancements. 

"We're going to miss working with Caresse on Salmon Come Home," said president Robbin Whachell, "but we'd like to congratulate her on her new position as Urban Forestry and Park Services Manager at the City of Coquitlam. We're happy we'll still be connected to her through her new position."
 

 Hoy-Scott Watershed Society Christmas social 2017 at Milestone's Restaurant in Coquitlam on December 16.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society Christmas social 2017 at Milestone's Restaurant in Coquitlam on December 16.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society President Speaks in Australia

 Seen left to right at Curtin University: Jeff Hansen, Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia; writer Marilyn R. Wilson, Canada; Edwina Huang, CEO Vivify Textiles, UK; Dr. Anne Farren, Curtin University Fashion Dept., Australia; Jane Milburn, Textile Beat Australia; Ben Lazzaro, Deputy Chief Executive and Marketing and Communications Manager, Australian Made Campaign Ltd.; and Robbin Whachell, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Canada. Photo credit to Aidan Green for Eco Fashion Week Australia 

Seen left to right at Curtin University: Jeff Hansen, Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia; writer Marilyn R. Wilson, Canada; Edwina Huang, CEO Vivify Textiles, UK; Dr. Anne Farren, Curtin University Fashion Dept., Australia; Jane Milburn, Textile Beat Australia; Ben Lazzaro, Deputy Chief Executive and Marketing and Communications Manager, Australian Made Campaign Ltd.; and Robbin Whachell, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Canada. Photo credit to Aidan Green for Eco Fashion Week Australia 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) president, Robbin Whachell spoke on Salmon and Sustainablity in Perth, Western Australia on November 25.

The Disposable Planet Seminar at Curtin University was part of the inaugural Eco Fashion Week Australia which raises awareness for environmentally conscious fashion

While most speakers spoke on ethical fashion techniques like upcycling, recycling and reducing fashion consumption, as well as zero waste techniques, another conservation group was represented by Jeff Hansen, Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia who spoke on the impact of fashion on the oceans;

 President of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society speaking in Perth, Australia on November 25, 2017 at Curtin University.  (Photo: Aiden Green for Eco Fashion Week Australia)

President of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society speaking in Perth, Australia on November 25, 2017 at Curtin University.  (Photo: Aiden Green for Eco Fashion Week Australia)

Ms. Whachell spoke about her personal experience of discovering salmon in her city stream, and how she became involved with the Society. She also spoke about the work HSWS does throughout the year. 

Other speakers included Edwina Huang, CEO Vivify Textiles, UK; Dr. Anne Farren, Curtin University Fashion Dept., Australia; Jane Milburn, Textile Beat Australia; Ben Lazzaro, Deputy Chief Executive and Marketing and Communications Manager, Australian Made Campaign Ltd.; and me, Robbin Whachell, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Canada. Photo credit to Aidan Green for Eco Fashion Week Australia.

Watch a Blue Heron Eat a Lamprey in Hoy Creek

Check out this blue heron who frequents Hoy Creek for his evening meals.  This video was taken by by the Hoy Creek salmon hatchery by a Hoy-Scott Watershed Society member.

The blue heron catches a lamprey, and through patience, perseverance and careful beak skills he finally consumes his take.

The snake-like lamprey put up a good fight!  

"Lampreys are any jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes, placed in the superclass Cyclostomata. The adult lamprey may be characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. " - Wikipedia

 

25th Salmon Come Home Draws Record Attendance in Coquitlam

 25 years!  A group photo and cake to commemorate 25 years of "Salmon Come Home."  Seen left to right: Maya Uno (front), Tyler Thibault, Rodney Lee, Robbin Whachell (front), AJ Currie (back), Dave Bennie, Earl Elliott, Tony Matahlija, Scott Ducharme, Caresse Selk, Kyle Uno (back), Sandra Uno, Lilian Elliott (back), Dr. Elaine Golds, and Chris Hamming. 

25 years!  A group photo and cake to commemorate 25 years of "Salmon Come Home."  Seen left to right: Maya Uno (front), Tyler Thibault, Rodney Lee, Robbin Whachell (front), AJ Currie (back), Dave Bennie, Earl Elliott, Tony Matahlija, Scott Ducharme, Caresse Selk, Kyle Uno (back), Sandra Uno, Lilian Elliott (back), Dr. Elaine Golds, and Chris Hamming. 

The 25th instalment of Salmon Come Home on August 22 at the Hoy Creek Hatchery had close to 4000  people turn out to celebrate the return of the salmon.

After a very dry summer and fall, rains did come through in time for salmon viewing although not in the same numbers as years prior. 

One patron said, "What an awesome event it was! Thank you for all that you planned and thanks to the gorgeous salmon who gave us all quite the show!"

A great time was had by all as people enjoyed seeing live salmon demonstrations, a salmon dissection, live entertainment by the Wild Salmon Creative Café featuring Raymond Matthew, Lana Crockett, Etienne Siew, Amy Lubik, and First Nation spoken word artist, Ostwelve (a Kwikwetlem descendant). 

The ever popular Angela Brown: The Ta Daa Lady & The Nylon Zoo entertained children of all ages with stories and a costume parade of woodland creatures. 

 A live chum salmon. (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

A live chum salmon. (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

A celebratory cake was served, with an official photo to commemorate the 25th year of the event which is a collaboration between Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) and the City of Coquitlam. Founding HSWS member, Chris Hamming was there to help cut the cake along with Dr. Elaine Golds of the Burke Mountain Naturalists, and Tony Matahlija from the North Fraser Salmon Assistance Project who was one of those who helped build the hatchery. 

When the festival started in 1992, today’s Hoy-Scott Watershed Society was known as the Hoy-Scott Watershed Streamkeepers and the hatchery did not yet exist. The event was in its fifth year when the hatchery was built in 1997 on the grounds of a former trout-rearing facility on the old Frederick Brewer property. The site was restored in 1995 with help from the City, federal government and volunteers, and the pond that used to rear trout now helps raise salmon.

 Cutting the cake for 25 years of Salmon Come Home - left to right: Dr. Elaine Golds of Burke Mountain Naturalists who have been coming to Salmon Come Home probably since day 1, Tony Matahlija from North Fraser Salmon Assistance Project, who helped build the hatchery, and HSWS founding member and salmon educator, Chris Hamming.

Cutting the cake for 25 years of Salmon Come Home - left to right: Dr. Elaine Golds of Burke Mountain Naturalists who have been coming to Salmon Come Home probably since day 1, Tony Matahlija from North Fraser Salmon Assistance Project, who helped build the hatchery, and HSWS founding member and salmon educator, Chris Hamming.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Streamkeepers formed a society in 1992, with an expanded mandate to promote watershed restoration and public awareness of the need to preserve the creek and surrounding habitat. Having met the original goal of rebuilding the coho population, the society extended its focus in 2015 to include chum salmon. 

A big thank you to this year's sponsors, Vancity and 98 7 The Point radio. 

 Visitors and residents of Coquitlam view salmon in Hoy Creek during Salmon Come Home - salmon viewing is at its peak into December.  (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

Visitors and residents of Coquitlam view salmon in Hoy Creek during Salmon Come Home - salmon viewing is at its peak into December.  (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

 Close to 4000 came out from far and wide for Salmon Come Home 2017! (HSWS photo)

Close to 4000 came out from far and wide for Salmon Come Home 2017! (HSWS photo)

See more photos below or view the City of Coquitlam Facebook album HERE
View more candid photos in the HSWS Facebook album HERE.

Photos seen below were taken by Tina-Louise Harris. 

Salmon Come Home to Celebrate 25th Anniversary on October 22

 Rodney Lee, hatchery manager for HSWS holds a chum salmon for all to see at a previous Salmon Come Home event.  (City of Coquitlam photo) 

Rodney Lee, hatchery manager for HSWS holds a chum salmon for all to see at a previous Salmon Come Home event.  (City of Coquitlam photo) 

COQUITLAM, BC – Watching salmon fight their way upstream to spawn each fall is an awe-inspiring experience – even after a quarter century.

This year’s Salmon Come Home event at Hoy Creek Hatchery Oct. 22 celebrates 25 years of welcoming the salmon back to their spawning grounds, and educating the public about the lifecycle of salmon and the watershed that supports it.   

Co-hosted by the City of Coquitlam and Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, the free family event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes hatchery tours, music, crafts, environmental displays, food, and children’s activities such as a costume parade and storytelling. 

The highlight is witnessing the return of chum and coho salmon to the creek where they were spawned, after living most of their adult lives at sea. Prime viewing of the returning salmon is from mid-October to early November.

When the festival started in 1992, today’s Hoy-Scott Watershed Society was known as the Hoy-Scott Watershed Streamkeepers and the hatchery did not yet exist. The event was in its fifth year when the hatchery was built in 1997 on the grounds of a former trout-rearing facility on the old Frederick Brewer property. The site was restored in 1995 with help from the City, federal government and volunteers, and the pond that used to rear trout now helps raise salmon.

 Salmon educator and HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming. (City of Coquitlam photo) 

Salmon educator and HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming. (City of Coquitlam photo) 

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Streamkeepers formed a society in 1992, with an expanded mandate to promote watershed restoration and public awareness of the need to preserve the creek and surrounding habitat. Having met the original goal of rebuilding the coho population, the society extended its focus in 2015 to include chum salmon. 

While Salmon Come Home has evolved and grown over the years – now typically attracting thousands each year – at its heart it has always been a celebration of one of nature’s wonders: the salmon’s annual return to its spawning grounds. 

Those attending on Oct. 22 are advised to dress for the weather. The event runs rain or shine. 

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is in Hoy Creek Linear Park, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex (Pinetree and Guildford Way), and is a seven-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.

Visitors can walk in from a variety of locations: from Princess Crescent, from behind Douglas College; from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree), from Walton Avenue or behind Walton Elementary, or from the foot of Lasalle Place.

Free parking is available at Coquitlam City Hall, Pinetree Community Centre and Douglas College.

For the Google location map, click HERE.
RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

FB-Salmon Come Home ad Poster 8 5x11.jpg

Aquatic Invertebrate Survey Conducted at Hoy Creek

Invertebrate sampling

On Saturday, September 23, approximately 8 volunteers from of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society took part in an invertebrate survey, of which details were provided to the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation 'Streamkeepers Database.' Numerous curious members of the public, who happened to be walking by the area also participated. 

To start, two 30x30 cm samples were taken from Hoy Creek immediately upstream of the Hoy Creek hatchery using a D frame net designed for invertebrate surveys.

Water containing the invertebrates from the creek (the samples) was divided into several wash basin sized samples. Kids and adults then patiently inspected each sample, capturing all the aquatic invertebrates using a spoon or pipette, placing them into an ice cube square according to the type of invertebrate.

Nearly 400 invertebrates from the two 30x30 cm samples were counted and sorted into 12 different groups (taxa).  That works out to a density of over 2000 aquatic invertebrates per square metre of creek bed!

Aquatic-Invertebrate.jpg

The observations were then used to conduct basic water quality and diversity assessments of the creek using several different indices (e.g. Pollution Tolerant Index, EPT Index, Predominant Taxon Ratio).

Our sample achieved a 'good' rating (the highest rating) across all four indices.

The most abundant aquatic invertebrates in the samples were caddisflies. Their cases (houses they build themselves and attach to rocks) could be seen all over the rocks where the samples were taken.

There were also mayflies, scuds, aquatic works, leeches, water mites and stoneflies captured.

The prize catch of the day were two giant stoneflies, which measured nearly 5 cm in length.

 A great find! Two large stoneflies. 

A great find! Two large stoneflies. 

Data was uploaded to the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation website and is available HERE.

Vancity supports the 25th Salmon Come Home event in Coquitlam

 Vancity manager Omar (left) presents a $500 cheque to HSWS secretary Emily (center with daughter Joan) and HSWS president Robbin (right) for Salmon Come Home. 

Vancity manager Omar (left) presents a $500 cheque to HSWS secretary Emily (center with daughter Joan) and HSWS president Robbin (right) for Salmon Come Home. 

A huge thank you to Vancity Credit Union, Pinetree branch in Coquitlam, for their continued support of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, as earlier this month they donated $500.00 toward Salmon Come Home, one of the City of Coquitlam's signature events held this year on Sunday, October 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the community event which is a collaboration between the Municipality and the Society. 

"As a non-profit group, we really appreciate and encourage local business support with any or all of our initiatives," said Robbin Whachell, President, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. "Thank you Vancity for helping us highlight the importance of our environment and the wonder of the salmon."

The salmon is a unique creature in that it returns to the exact stream that is was born to spawn and die.  Peak viewing of salmon spawning in Hoy Creek is between mid-October and December. 

Salmon Come Home attracts thousands of people who come out to celebrate the salmon return and learn about the work of the Society, as well as other local environmental groups.  Participating thisyear is the following:

Articipation,
BC Hydro Power Smart Outreach,
Burke Mountain Naturalists,
City of Coquitlam - Bad Seed/Urban Forestry,
City of Coquitlam - Solid Waste and Recycling,
City of Coquitlam - Urban Wildlife,
City of Coquitlam - Water Conservation,
Coquitlam Riverwatch,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC,
Friends of DeBoville Slough,
Hoy/Scott Watershed Society,
Hyde Creek Watershed Society,
Kintec,
Maple Creek Watershed Streamkeepers ,
MetroVancouver Regional Parks,
Port Moody Ecological Society,
Vancity Pinetree Branch,
Watershed Watch Salmon Society, and
Wild Salmon Creative Café.

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is in Hoy Creek Linear Park, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex (Pinetree and Guildford Way), and is a seven-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.

Visitors can walk in from a variety of locations: from Princess Crescent, from behind Douglas College; from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree), from Walton Avenue or behind Walton Elementary, or from the foot of Lasalle Place.

Free parking is available at Coquitlam City Hall, Pinetree Community Centre and Douglas College.

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.