Canada

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.




Expanded Salmon Come Home Event Sunday, Oct. 20

HSWS volunteer, AJ holds up a chum salmon for viewing at Salmon Come Home (Photo: City of Coquitlam)

HSWS volunteer, AJ holds up a chum salmon for viewing at Salmon Come Home (Photo: City of Coquitlam)

COQUITLAM, BC, Oct. 9, 2019 – Coquitlam residents are invited to celebrate the annual fall return of chum and coho salmon to Hoy Creek at the popular Salmon Come Home event held on Sunday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Event Details

Co-hosted by the City of Coquitlam and Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, the free family event has an expanded site this year.

  • New this year are expanded interactive exhibits, musical entertainment, children’s crafts, activities, face painting and food vendors.

  • BC Taco, the Jerk Shack, and Spirit Bear Mobile Café will be at Pinetree Community Centre rear parking lot (1260 Pinetree Way) located immediately adjacent to one of the pedestrian entry paths to Hoy Creek Trail.

  • Hoy Creek Hatchery has streamside live salmon viewing, informative talks, expanded hatchery tours, crafts and the always-popular Nylon Zoo kids’ costume parade.

  • Visitors can enjoy a 'Watershed Walk' and a children's scavenger hunt between the hatchery and Pinetree Community Centre rear parking lot along the Hoy Creek Linear Park Trail that will also be populated with informative signs about the Hoy Creek watershed.

Attendees are advised to dress for the weather, as the event runs rain or shine. See photos of last year’s event.

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 are encouraged to start their visit at Pinetree Community Centre and enjoy the 'Watershed Walk' to the hatchery. 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.  

 

Communities in Bloom Judges Visit Hoy Creek Hatchery

Communities in Bloom tour: (left to right) Maurice Cornelius; Maya Uno; CiB judge Alex Pearl; CiB judge John Lohuis; and president of Hoy/Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell.

Communities in Bloom tour: (left to right) Maurice Cornelius; Maya Uno; CiB judge Alex Pearl; CiB judge John Lohuis; and president of Hoy/Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell.

On July 18 we had another visit from the judges of Communities in Bloom - Collectivités en fleurs competition, of which the City of Coquitlam is a competitor.

Thanks to our youth volunteer Maya Uno who led our tour! Maya has been volunteering at Hoy Creek Hatchery since she was in grade 5. She's now in grade 12 and is a recipient of a Coquitlam environmental award.

Maya was assisted by Maurice Cornelius.

"Communities in Bloom - Collectivités en fleurs is about greening through environmental, natural heritage conservation and horticultural actions that involve citizens, businesses, institutions, and municipalities.  The program is focused on environmental stewardship through enhancement of green spaces."

On July 18 Alex Pearl and John Lohuis spent a busy day visiting City parks and locations and the salmon hatchery is one of the key places in the city that exemplify their ethos.

Feeding the coho fry at Hoy Creek Hatchery rearing pond. CiB judges Alex Pearl and John Lohuis. Communities in Bloom tour.

Feeding the coho fry at Hoy Creek Hatchery rearing pond. CiB judges Alex Pearl and John Lohuis. Communities in Bloom tour.

Hoy/Scott Watershed Society Announces 2019 Executive

Voted in from left to right: Lilian Elliott, Director; Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; and Sandra Uno, Director. The four join the existing executive already serving terms: Rodney Lee, Vice President & Hatchery Manager; Emily Rossi, Secretary; and Kyle Uno, Treasurer.

Voted in from left to right: Lilian Elliott, Director; Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; and Sandra Uno, Director. The four join the existing executive already serving terms: Rodney Lee, Vice President & Hatchery Manager; Emily Rossi, Secretary; and Kyle Uno, Treasurer.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held an annual general meeting on May 15, 2019 at the Coquitlam City Centre library.

Congratulations to the new and returning executive. Voted in was:

President - Robbin Whachell
Director - Lilian Elliott
Director - Sandra Uno
Director - Lani Lehun

The fore-mentioned join existing executive already serving terms: Rodney Lee, Vice President/Hatchery Manager; Emily Rossi, Secretary; and Kyle Uno, Treasurer.

"Our team of dedicated volunteers are to be commended for their time spent in keeping this Society progressing in our initiatives,” said re-elected president Robbin Whachell.  “This is not the time to take things lightly when it comes to our salmon. As a city grows, the environment must be at the top of our priorities.”

The Society is always seeking new membership and assistance. To get involved check our sign up page; or email hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation. Find us on Facebook.


Salmon Leave Home at Hoy Creek on Mother's Day

A young boy releases a coho smolt on the edge of Hoy Creek, while a volunteer assists and looks on - at Salmon Leave Home 2018. (Photo: HSWS)

A young boy releases a coho smolt on the edge of Hoy Creek, while a volunteer assists and looks on - at Salmon Leave Home 2018. (Photo: HSWS)

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society invites the community out for their annual Salmon Leave Home event on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam.  People of all ages will have the opportunity to help release 18-month-old coho smolts into Hoy Creek.

“Salmon Leave Home is a great way for families to connect with nature, and brings awareness to our delicate ecosystem, right here in Coquitlam,” said society president, Robbin Whachell.  “Once the salmon are released, they make their way downstream to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, the Fraser River - which empties into the Strait of Georgia on the Pacific Ocean. They take about a year to get to the ocean, and then return in approximately 2 years to the same location where they were spawned.”  

The family-friendly free outdoor event will run rain or shine and the society will have families engaged in fishy fun. Students from the Pinetree Secondary community club will be providing face painting, and a family walk through the watershed is always beautiful at this time of year.

The event is a great opportunity to learn about the local fish hatchery and get information on the year-round volunteer-run salmon enhancement program, which includes work with plants in the riparian area of Hoy and Scott Creeks. 20,000 coho fry will also be on display.

The hatchery is located in the Hoy Creek Linear Park behind Douglas College and north of Guildford, a few minutes walk inland, and is only a ten-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas skytrain station.  To find the exact location, simply Google “Hoy Creek Hatchery.”

RSVP to the Facebook event page to receive updates and a reminder.


Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education and preservation.

Salmon Come Home to Focus on Watershed Protection

Salmon educator Chris Hamming

Salmon educator Chris Hamming

Enjoy the fall colours, celebrate the salmon, and learn about your environment at the twenty-sixth annual Salmon Come Home at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Sunday, Oct. 21.

Co-hosted by the City of Coquitlam and Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS), the free family event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with music, face painting, crafts, displays and conversation with local environmental groups, food, and Angela Brown's Nylon Zoo costume parades.

Fall is the time that salmon return to Hoy and Scott Creeks, and rain is an essential element that raises creek levels, allowing the salmon to swim upstream to the area they were born to complete their life-cycle, spawn and die. Prime viewing of returning salmon is usually from mid-October to early November.

“With no rain expected before the event, it may be unlikely that we’ll see salmon instream, however, this will not take away from the purpose of the event,” said Hoy-Scott Watershed Society president, Robbin Whachell, “that is to educate about the salmon and bring awareness to preserving our habitat to ensure its return in the years to come.”

Salmon educator and HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming will be on hand to offer interesting and fun facts on salmon, one of nature’s great wonders.  Hatchery tours will be conducted – the facility is home to 5000 young coho which will be released in May 2019. Hoy Creek is also home to wild baby salmon often visible in the shadows or seen under the bridge ways. Hoy Trail offers a beautiful walk featuring towering trees and active birdlife.

The hatchery is home to 5000 young coho which will be released in May 2019.

The hatchery is home to 5000 young coho which will be released in May 2019.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Streamkeepers formed a society in 1992, with a mandate to promote watershed restoration and public awareness of the need to preserve the creek and surrounding habitat. With the support of the Department of Fisheries & Oceans, the society works to increase both coho and chum salmon populations.

A clear warm weather day is in the forecast for Oct. 21, however 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.

Receive a reminder by RSVPing to the event’s Facebook page, or go to hoyscottcreeks.org for more information.

It’s a beautiful time of year to explore Hoy Trail.

It’s a beautiful time of year to explore Hoy Trail.

SCH 2018 Final Poster.png





Hatchery tour provided to Communities in Bloom judges

Left to right: Maya Uno of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Jim Baird and Evelyn Alemanni of Communities in Bloom. 

Left to right: Maya Uno of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Jim Baird and Evelyn Alemanni of Communities in Bloom. 

Hoy Creek Hatchery was once again a point of interest for visiting judges of the Communities in Bloom competition.  

"Communities in Bloom - Collectivités en fleurs is about greening through environmental, natural heritage conservation and horticultural actions that involve citizens, businesses, institutions, and municipalities.  The program is focused on environmental stewardship through enhancement of green spaces."

On July 19 Jim Baird (USA) and Evelyn Alemanni (USA) spent a busy day visiting City parks and locations and the salmon hatchery is one of the key places in the city that exemplify their ethos.

Leading the tour for the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society was Maya Uno, a City of Coquitlam environmental award recipient.

HSWS member and environtmental award recipient, Maya Uno at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

HSWS member and environtmental award recipient, Maya Uno at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society announces 2018 executive

Left to right: Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; Chris Hamming, Director; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; Sandra Uno, Director; and Rodney Lee, President. (Missing from photo: Emily Rossi and Arno Hazebroek)

Left to right: Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; Chris Hamming, Director; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; Sandra Uno, Director; and Rodney Lee, President. (Missing from photo: Emily Rossi and Arno Hazebroek)

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held an annual general meeting on May 15, 2018 at the Coquitlam library and voted in the following executive: 

Vice President - Rodney Lee
Director - Chris Hamming
Director - Sandra Uno
Director - Arno Hazebroek
Director - Lani Lehun

On June 19, Emily Rossi was voted in as secretary... 

"We have a great group of dedicated individuals on our executive, who volunteer their time to keep this Society going and progressing in our initiatives," said Robbin Whachell, the current president of the Society.  

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation.

Annual adipose fin-clip held at Hoy Creek Hatchery

Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Close to 6000 coho salmon had their adipose fin clipped as part of a Department of Fisheries Canada encouraged exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam on June 20.  The salmon are approximately 6 months old. The adipose fin is a soft, fleshy fin found on the top of the salmon, on the back behind the dorsal fin and just forward of the caudal fin.

Although it's not mandatory, the DFO strongly advise hatcheries to clip the adipose fins for several reasons:

  • When salmon return to spawn, the clipped fins allow hatcheries to monitor their return
  • Most sports fisherman know that clipped coho can be kept, while wild coho must be returned
  • Clipped fish returns help DFO assess overall returns, helping to ensure the wild salmon are more dominant.
  • The procedure also allows for a manual fish count, whereas previously only weight sample counts took place. 
Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Overseen by DFO fisheries technician, Tyler Thibault, a group of about ten Hoy-Scott Watershed Society volunteers came out to help in the operation.  Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee explained the procedure to a few people who were clipping their first time. 

First, the fish are anesthetized in small batches. Once in the solution, they become sleepy within minutes. The volunteers stand ready around a table equipped with a trough with flowing water and beds of water for the fish to lay in. Volunteers work quickly and very carefully to clip fins with disinfected surgical scissors before they wake up, which is within about a minute. Fish are put into the outside trough and end up in the bucket at the end of the table. They are returned to the hatchery to recover. 

Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

The fish will soon be transferred from the hatchery Capilano trough room, and will live in the rearing pond until Salmon Leave Home in May 2019. Once they are released, they stay about a year in the stream making their way to the ocean. Fish from this brood could then return in about 2.5 years.

Thanks to all those who helped out this year!

(Watch our VIDEO below).

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. 

Coquitlam residents help release coho at Salmon Leave Home

A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

The weather was perfect for our annual Salmon Leave Home event on May 6! Well over a thousand residents participated.

We'd like to thank everyone who came out to lend a hand and give their well wishes and good thoughts to our 5000 coho smolts who now make Hoy Creek their home.  The fish will now make the creeks, or the Coquitlam or Fraser rivers their home for about a year before making it to the ocean. 

Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

A big thank you to special guests, the Kwikwetlem First Nation who provided comment during the opening ceremony and released our first fish into Hoy Creek. Thanks also to the Wild Salmon Caravan for providing entertainment and art activities. The kids loved painting the salmon van!  The Pinetree Secondary School students were a great help on site, and also provided face painting. 

The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

CBC News came out to provide coverage of the event on the evening news that day. 

After the event closed, the rearing pond was cleaned out in preparation for the next broodstock which will make the location their home in June. The approximately 6-month old salmon will live there until the next Salmon Leave Home event in May 2019. 

To view our all of our photos of the event, check out our Facebook album. If you are not a Facebook user, we have a Google photo album too.

We'll see you at Salmon Come Home in October!