Another salmon season has come and gone with apparent average returns to Hoy Creek. The following is an overview by Rodney Lee, Hatchery Manager:
Pink: This was a Pink salmon return year and to the lower Fraser, returns were on the low end of the forecasted range. Water levels in Scott Creek and Hoy Creek were also low, which likely inhibited Pink salmon from entering Scott Creek. The past two cycles saw a small number of Pinks up to the Hoy Creek hatchery area. Pink salmon fry releases had also not continued with the last release occurring 2 cycles ago.
Chum: Chum salmon returns were much better than the previous 2 years making it an average year for chum returns. We were unsuccessful at capturing brood stock and will be adjusting our approach for next year.
Coho: Coho salmon returns appear average with a few remaining fish still in Hoy Creek. Returns to the creek appear to be average this season and we were successful with our brood stock capture program having taken the maximum # of eggs to incubate that our aquaculture licensing would allow. This season also marks the first returns of adipose clipped 'hatchery' Coho jacks. We identified 4 fish. We will add the number we capture next year to provide an estimated survival rate from the smolt to adult stage given we released just over 1800 fish from this brood year.
In addition to these 3 salmon species, we also saw some Chinook salmon in Hoy Creek which is not typical, but likely occurred during one of the many high water rain events that occurred this past fall. They are Coquitlam River fish that strayed into Scott Creek and Hoy Creek. Also, juvenile cutthroat and rainbow trout.
Coho egg incubation: We are raising 7 trays of eggs and estimate to have 24,500. The oldest eggs that were fertilized in mid-November are now in the 'eyed' egg stage. It'll still be a number of weeks before they hatch.