Angela Brown

Rain Forecast Hopeful for Salmon Coming Home

Broodstock collection: A coho salmon caught in 2018 for the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society’s salmon enhancement program. (HSWS photo)

Broodstock collection: A coho salmon caught in 2018 for the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society’s salmon enhancement program. (HSWS photo)

The annual event hosted by the City of Coquitlam and the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society takes place this Sunday, Oct. 20 covering an expanded area. The main festival site will be set up behind Pinetree Community Centre between Douglas College David Lam Campus and Pinetree Secondary School, which is just steps away from the Hoy Trail where residents can take a ‘watershed walk’ along Hoy Trail to Hoy Creek Hatchery.

“We’re excited about this year’s new layout,” said the president of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell. “The event attracts a lot of people, and it had become quite tight around the hatchery and creek, in particular with the growth of the surrounding trees. Now we have so much more space, and everyone can enjoy the forest walk from Pinetree which provides some close views of Hoy Creek. Once at the hatchery, which is adjacent to the creek, hatchery volunteers will provide educational talks with live salmon and give hatchery tours.”

The big question everyone is already asking is, “Where are the salmon?”

“We’ve been checking the creek daily for signs of return. Steam water levels are low again, and we’re hoping the rain forecast for this week will bring the salmon home. We have heard salmon are in the Coquitlam River, so they are almost here,“ said Whachell.

Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee providing a talk on the salmon life cycle in 2018 in front of the hatchery rearing pond.

Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee providing a talk on the salmon life cycle in 2018 in front of the hatchery rearing pond.

The Society runs a year-round salmon enhancement program focusing on chum and coho stocks and has already prepared for the upcoming broodstock collection.

Even if the salmon do not return in time for the event, it will be an excellent opportunity to explore the watershed and learn from local environmental groups. The hatchery rearing pond has close to 3000 fingerlings, just short from the usual 5000 after the fish kill incident in May. Young wild salmon can also be spotted in the stream in various areas.

“With the environment taking such a strong focus in world news today, one can’t help but worry about the salmon return. Nature is resilient, however, and every year the salmon do arrive. It’s hard to remain patient,” said Whachell. “We have people emailing us asking what day they will arrive, and the best thing to do is keep tabs on our Facebook page. We’ll announce as soon as they show up.”

Visitors are encouraged to start their visit to Salmon Come Home on Sunday at Pinetree Community Centre and enjoy the 'Watershed Walk' to the hatchery. Visitors can use this handy event map to assist with their visit. The event runs rain or shine from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Salmon viewing

There will also be food trucks, live entertainment, a scavenger hunt, face-painting and more.

Maple Creek Watershed Streamkeepers will be attending again performing a salmon dissection.

Maple Creek Watershed Streamkeepers will be attending again performing a salmon dissection.

Location & Parking

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is located in Hoy Creek Linear Park, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex, 1210 Pinetree Way (Pinetree and Guildford Way) and the Pinetree Community Centre, located at 1260 Pinetree Way, just north of Douglas College.

Free parking is available at Coquitlam City Hall, Pinetree Community Centre and Douglas College. Both Pinetree Community Centre and the Hoy Creek Hatchery are also a 7-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.

Visitors can use this handy event map to assist with their visit.

More information is available at www.coquitlam.ca/salmoncomehome and  www.hoyscottcreeks.org.  

Thank you to Vancity, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, and the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program.

RSVP TO THE FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

Angela Brown’s nylon zoo red salmon will be spawning at Salmon Come Home on Oct. 20, 2019. Come inside, hear a story and dress up in costumes provided for a parade in the watershed.

Angela Brown’s nylon zoo red salmon will be spawning at Salmon Come Home on Oct. 20, 2019. Come inside, hear a story and dress up in costumes provided for a parade in the watershed.




Salmon Come Home a Success Despite Lack of Fish

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The twenty-sixth annual Salmon Come Home event was a huge success as over 2000 people attended the environmentally focused festival to celebrate the return of salmon at Hoy Creek Hatchery on October 21.

Despite no sightings of mature salmon in the stream due to the long dry spell prior to the event, the crowds had much to ponder as it relates to the protection of our local habitat.

Exhibitors included Articipation (John Lewis), Burke Mountain Naturalists, City of Coquitlam (Urban Wildlife, Waste Reduction and Water Conservation), Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable, Coquitlam Riverwatch, Friends of DeBoville Slough, Kintec, Maple Creek Watershed Streamkeepers, Vancity Pinetree Branch, 13th Burnaby Venturers Scouts, and St. John Ambulance.

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The event, which is co hosted with the City of Coquitlam opened with words from Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation.

Children’s entertainer, Angela Brown provided stories and had little ones and parents dressed up in costumes of animals, insects and birds for parades and storytelling in her giant inflatable salmon.

The Wil D. Salmon show featured the sounds of local entertainers Zoey Levin, Etienne Siew, Julia DePieri, and Joyelle Brandt.

The society provided tours of the hatchery and hourly salmon education talks with founding member, Chris Hamming and hatchery manager, with Rodney Lee.

HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming. Presented with a gift by HSWS secretary, Emily Rossi

HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming. Presented with a gift by HSWS secretary, Emily Rossi

The highlight of the day was a special presentation to Chris Hamming for his years of service to Hoy-Scott Watershed Society.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who assisted with event setup, take-down, face painting and games, mascots and more. Special thanks to the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, Vancity, and Fisheries & Oceans Canada.

Since the event, the rains have returned and both coho and chum salmon are now returning to Hoy and Scott Creeks. Prime viewing of returning salmon is usually from mid-October to early November.

“The watershed is a beautiful place to explore nature, Everyone is encouraged to take time to witness this awe-inspiring spectacle at any of the local creeks, most of which run through public spaces and are accessible to everyone.

Wil D Salmon and singer Etienne Siew

Wil D Salmon and singer Etienne Siew

Hoy Creek Hatchery is home to 5000 young coho housed in the outdoor rearing pond which will be released in May 2019 at Salmon Leave Home. Hoy Trail offers a beautiful walk featuring towering trees and active bird life. You can watch for the great blue heron that fishes at Hoy Creek near the hatchery most evenings.

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.

View EVENT PHOTO ALBUM on Facebook.

Follow the Society on their Facebook page.

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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. 

THROWBACK: A 2004 Tri-City News ad for Salmon Come Home

THROWBACK: A 2004 Tri-City News ad for Salmon Come Home

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. 

Excellent chum return for Salmon Come Home 2016

Left to right: Maurice Coulter-Boisvert, DFO; Caresse Selk, City of Coquitlam; Ed Hall, Kwikwetlem First Nation; Beverley Mrockowski, Kwikwetlem First Nation; and Rodney Lee, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (Photo: Robbin Whachell /HSWS)

Left to right: Maurice Coulter-Boisvert, DFO; Caresse Selk, City of Coquitlam; Ed Hall, Kwikwetlem First Nation; Beverley Mrockowski, Kwikwetlem First Nation; and Rodney Lee, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (Photo: Robbin Whachell /HSWS)

Hoy Creek was teaming with chum salmon during the annual signature event for both Hoy-Scott Watershed Society and the City of Coquitlam, as residents of the tri-cities came out to enjoy a day in nature and learn from many local environmental groups at the Salmon Come Home festival. The rain held off and children and adults were delighted to witness the jumping and spawning salmon traveling up the creek. 

Opening words were offered by special guests, Kwikwetlem First Nation Councillor Ed Hall, and Elder Beverley Mrockowski.  Also providing words of welcome was Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart. Society volunteers held several live salmon demonstrations where Department of Fisheries community advisor for Lower Fraser Salmon Enhancement Program, Maurice Coulter-Boisvert, offered commentary and answered questions. Salmon educator and founding HSWS member, Chris Hamming kept children active and busy by the rearing pond learning about the salmon and its life cycle.

AJ, a volunteer with Hoy-Scott Watershed Society shows the underside of a chum salmon while Maurice from the DFO commentates. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

AJ, a volunteer with Hoy-Scott Watershed Society shows the underside of a chum salmon while Maurice from the DFO commentates. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Angela Brown and her nylon circus was enjoyed by little ones as they dressed up their parents and paraded through the festival grounds. The Creative Café and guest artists, Elaina Buenaventura, Etienne Siew, and Alana Crockett provided continuous musical entertainment and Spirit Bear Coffee was served.

Hosted by the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, and the City of Coquitlam who had their Bad Seed/Urban Forestry; Park Spark; Solid Waste and Recycling; and Water Conservation Departments out, other exhibitors included: Articipation; BC Salmon Marketing Council; Burke Mountain Naturalists; Coexisting with Coyotes; Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable; Coquitlam Riverwatch; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC; Kintec; Maple Creek Streamkeepers; and Port Moody Ecological Society.

Residents gather along Hoy Creek to view the return and spawning of chum salmon at Salmon Leave Home on October 23rd.  (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Residents gather along Hoy Creek to view the return and spawning of chum salmon at Salmon Leave Home on October 23rd.  (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

VIEW MORE Photos on our Facebook album HERE.

Click < arrows > to scroll through photos below...

Enjoy a video overview BELOW of the day's activates courtesy of the Tri-Cities Community TV.

Salmon Come Home returns to Coquitlam on Sunday, October 23rd

Hoy-Scott Watershed volunteer Kyle Uno holds up a chum salmon for others to see at Salmon Come Home 2015.&nbsp; (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)

Hoy-Scott Watershed volunteer Kyle Uno holds up a chum salmon for others to see at Salmon Come Home 2015.  (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)

The salmon are coming!  Join the City of Coquitlam and the Hoy-Scott Creek Watershed Society to celebrate the return of the salmon to Hoy Creek at the annual Salmon Come Home at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Sunday, October 23rd from 11 am to 3 pm. Bring your family and friends to participate in this exciting community event which attracts thousands of people to view spawning chum salmon in-stream, and learn about this amazing fish through educational demonstrations and displays.

Enjoy music, children's crafts, costume parade and story telling with Angela Brown, prize fish pond, face painting,  music by CKPM FM 98.7 The Point, and the Creative Café and guest artists will be serving up fun and Spirit Bear Coffee.

The free, family event runs rain or shine and provides a great opportunity to learn about the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society's salmon enhancement program, as well as the work of many other local stewardship groups who attend.

Hosted by the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, and the City of Coquitlam who will have their Bad Seed/Urban Forestry; Park Spark; Solid Waste and Recycling; and Water Conservation Departments out. Other participants include Articipation; BC Salmon Marketing Council; Burke Mountain Naturalists; Coexisting with Coyotes; Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable; Coquitlam Riverwatch; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC; Kintec; Maple Creek Streamkeepers; Port Moody Ecological Society; and Kwikwetlem First Nation.

Hoy Creek Hatchery is located off of Princess Crescent, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex and the Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam.  Parking is available at City Hall or at Douglas College David Lam Campus where you can enjoy a short walk inland to the hatchery via Hoy Creek Trail. To find the exact location simply Google "Hoy Creek Hatchery."

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society has been in operation since 2002 and is a volunteer run society that operates a small salmon hatchery, and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  The Society also works to restore and maintain the riparian habitat in the watershed by removing invasive plant species and re-planting with native plant species. Learn more about the Society at hoyscottcreeks.org

Salmon Come Home is environmentally-themed and designed to promote public awareness about conservation and spawning salmon that migrate back to Coquitlam. For more information on Salmon Come Home, please visit coquitlam.ca/enviroevents

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