Hoy Creek Hatchery

Salmon Left Home Thanks to Many Volunteers

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery - Left to right: Pinetree student, Lucas; Elder Beverly and Chief Ed Hall of  Kwikwetlem First Nation . (Photo: HSWS)

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery - Left to right: Pinetree student, Lucas; Elder Beverly and Chief Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation. (Photo: HSWS)

Mother's Day was extra special this year as we released our coho smolts during an idyllic temperature day on May 12 at the Hoy Creek Hatchery.

Hundreds came out to take part in our Salmon Leave Home event, where 5000 coho smolts found their new home in Hoy Creek. From the creek, the smolts begin their journey to the ocean: Hoy Creek → Scott Creek → Coquitlam River → Fraser River → Strait of Georgia / Pacific Ocean!  

A student volunteer guides a boy in releasing a coho smolt at Salmon Leave Home

A student volunteer guides a boy in releasing a coho smolt at Salmon Leave Home

The student volunteers of the Pinetree Secondary School Community Club, and our own HSWS student volunteers played a huge part in the success of the event. They helped members hand out buckets of fish, kept the crowds directed to salmon release areas, assisted in safe salmon release, and led Mother’s Day themed plant crafts, as well as provided face-painting throughout the day. Thank you!

Honoured guests, Chief Ed Hall and Elder Beverly of Kwikwetlem First Nation were on hand for opening words and to release our first fish.

Thanks to all that took part in making this day special. Be sure to save the date, and join us in the fall for Salmon Come Home on October 20.

See more photos on our Facebook album.

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery -- THANK YOU Student Volunteers!

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery -- THANK YOU Student Volunteers!

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.

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Hatchery and watershed tour provided to Douglas College

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Dubbed, "A Walk to Remember - Hoy Creek Salmon Hatchery Tour" students, faculty and friends of the IUE – the Institute of Urban Ecology of Douglas College in Coquitlam were given a casual and interactive 2-hour tour of the Hoy Creek salmon hatchery and surrounding area on July 19.

Led by hatchery manager, Rodney Lee, who was assisted by Hoy-Scott Watershed Society director, Lani Lehun, the tour provided information on the year-round operations of the hatchery, the salmon raised there, and the processes. 

The tour was concluded with a walk along Hoy Creek Trail were the riparian area, and invasive and non-invasive plant life were observed and discussed. 

Hoy - Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a 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.

Tour at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Hoy Trail, Coquitlam.

Tour at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Hoy Trail, Coquitlam.

Rodney shows the salmon rearing pond. 

Rodney shows the salmon rearing pond. 

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!

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.

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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!

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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.