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 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.
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.