Rodney Lee

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 Hatchery Manager Opening in Coquitlam

Hoy Creek Hatchery is located east of Douglas College David Lam campus in Coquitlam, along Hoy Trail.

Hoy Creek Hatchery is located east of Douglas College David Lam campus in Coquitlam, along Hoy Trail.

(APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED — Thank you for your interest. If you’d like to volunteer with us, click our “Get Involved'“ button)

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) in Coquitlam, B.C. is seeking a fish hatchery manager. The individual will be trained by the current hatchery manager, Rodney Lee starting mid-September 2019 and will eventually assume the managing activities at the hatchery. No previous experience is needed, just reliability, an interest in fish and an appetite for learning and ability to coordinate.

This role will train in all aspects of managing the hatchery including broodstock collection, egg takes, equipment operation and maintenance, egg incubation and caring for the alevins and fry.

Interested persons should provide a brief essay stating interest, previous experience (if any) and why you would like this role. Please note that all volunteers working at the Hoy Creek Hatchery are members of the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society. This is a volunteer position.

Responsibilities:

  • Learn how the hatchery operates

  • Learn how to start-up and maintain equipment

  • Learn about salmon and primarily the 2 species we will be incubating - Chum and Coho

  • Learn how to capture and care for broodstock

  • Learn about and conduct the egg-take and fertilization process.

  • Learn about and maintain biosecurity protocol for the facility.

  • Assist with weekly and season maintenance activities

  • Assist with the care and feeding of all generations of fish

  • Assist with fish length and weight sampling including started fish health calculations

  • Assist with taking water quality measurements

  • Assist with operation of the rearing pond including the operation of the lower pond and outlet weir.

  • Learn about aquaculture in the context of the Salmon Enhancement Program through Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

  • Assist with planning and execution of fish marking (adipose clipping).

  • Assist with transport and release of surplus Coho fry to Upper Hoy and Upper Scott if necessary.

  • Provide a brief hatchery update to HSWS executive for monthly meetings (Sept. – June)

  • Assist at our public events: Salmon Come Home (October); Salmon Leave Home (May)

  • Act as the backup for the current hatchery manager, Rodney Lee until able to resume full responsibility as a hatchery manager.

Time commitment: Hours vary but would typically require at least 3 hours one morning per week September through June. Training would take place on Saturday mornings. This commitment starts with preparatory work for the broodstock capturing season and goes through to fin-clipping and transfer to the hatchery rearing pond; to the annual release of smolts in May. Summer months are less busy. The selected candidate must be available to attend to hatchery duties as they arise and needs vary a lot in the season. Living relatively close to the hatchery is a necessity.

Communication: Needs to be available by cell phone and text message as a primary means of communication. Email is secondary.

Benefits of the position:

  • 1 year free training from current manager of 11 years

  • Opportunity to learn from the Department of Fisheries staff to support one of the most significant sub-watersheds in the Coquitlam River watershed

  • Development opportunities available, including attendance at Pacific Streamkeepers Federation workshops / SEP conference

  • Rewarding work with a fun, friendly, committed group of volunteers

  • Volunteering looks great on a resume!

Please email the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society with questions or to state your interest in this role: hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com.

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. Learn more at our website: hoyscottcreeks.org

Fishkill at Hoy Creek Hatchery a Reminder of How Precious Our Ecosystem Is

Photo taken approximately 4:30 p.m. on May 29, 2019 (HSWS photo)

Photo taken approximately 4:30 p.m. on May 29, 2019 (HSWS photo)

On May 29, president of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell was alerted by the City that a resident had reported dead fish in Hoy Creek. An hour later photos of the fish in stream were emailed to her.

At 4 p.m. she went down to the hatchery to investigate, finding that much of the fish in the hatchery Capilano trough were dead. These fish were coho salmon fry about 5-6 month old. She alerted the hatchery manager, Rodney Lee, who joined her there. It appeared that about 80% of the fish were lost.

The hatchery manager did an assessment of the creek north and south of the hatchery taking photos, trying to locate the source. The storm drain outfall at the foot bridge north of the hatchery close to Walton School did show bubbly foamy substance, and ammonia levels there could point to high concentrations of bleach or chlorine. Here is his hatchery manager’s report.

In review of social media messages later, it was discovered that one resident reported the dead fish at 6:30 p.m. on May 28 to the HSWS Facebook page.

The City of Coquitlam took a water sample the night of the 29th. HSWS president was around the area for about 2 hours and reported smelling a chemical similar to chlorine or ammonia, and could also taste chemical on her tongue.

The following day the hatchery was visited by various media houses and in the afternoon the dead fish were removed and buried.

The society was advised that the City looked into homes that have pools.

A week later the remaining fish were fin-clipped and another count was done. We’re pleased to report that 2700 fish survived. There is no way of knowing how many fish, crawfish, and lamprey died in the stream.

A report of the water testing was provided to the Society in June, but there was no water quality parameter that was identified as the culprit, but the ammonia levels at Hoy creek storm outfall north of the hatchery had considerably high levels which would could point to high concentrations of bleach or chlorine.

A community door-to-door education initiative will be planned by the society and hatchery manager Rodney Lee sent the following Letter to the Editor:

It only takes the carelessness, thoughtlessness or malicious action of a single individual to destroy life in our waterways. Unfortunately, this occurred on Hoy Creek last week. A highly toxic substance was dumped into a storm drain. This substance proceeded to kill thousands of fish and other aquatic animals in Hoy Creek. The loss of our hatchery salmon were dramatic. We, as hatchery volunteers, have spent countless hours raising our fish. We lost a good many of them in an instant. The losses amongst the wild fish populations truly heartbreaking as these are the populations we work hard to protect. They are priceless.

It’s been a week since this has occurred. I return to look at the Creek to find a single Coho fry present at the Hatchery bridge — a place where hundreds of wild fish lived a short while ago.

Please be mindful - everything entering a storm drain ends up in a creek. Creeks contain aquatic life that can’t survive pollution being dumped into the habitat. As members of the public, we all have a duty to steward and protect the environment that we live in. Should you witness any suspected pollution being dumped into a storm drain, please take immediate action to report it to the authorities:

  • City of Coquitlam Engineering 24 hour emergency (Municipal): 604-927-3500

  • Observe, Record, Report (Federal): 1-800-465-4336

  • Report all poachers and polluters (Provincial): 1-877-952-RAPP

My heartfelt thanks,

Rodney Lee
Hatchery Manager, Hoy Creek Hatchery
Vice President, Hoy/Scott Watershed Society

Global News: Pollution suspected in mass fish die off in Coquitlam

Tri-City News: Toxic Water Kills Hundreds of Fish in Coquitlam Creek

CTV News: Hundreds of Fish Die at Coquitlam Hatchery

Tri-City News: Coquitlam trying to fInd the source of fish kill

Daily Hive: Unknown Pollutant Causes Mass Death of Salmon in Coquitlam Hatchery

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 Come Home a Success Despite Lack of Fish

SCH HSWS Team with Ed Hall.jpg

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.

SCH Live Salmon.jpg

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.

SCH Rodney Lee Hatchery manageer.jpg
SCH Angela Brown.jpg
SCH Chris Salmon Talks.jpg






Hatchery and watershed tour provided to Douglas College

HSWS College tour 1.jpg

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. 

Back pond reinforced at Hoy Creek Hatchery

Pond-bagging-Rodney-Lee-HSWS.jpg

Over a few weeks in May 2018, the back rearing pond  (west of the screened rearing pond) was partially drained and inspected. This has not been done in many years. 

A new liner was added to the pond, and the banks were reinforced with new sandbags. Work sessions took place on Saturday mornings and during the week.

It was discovered that a small channel had formed around the pond's outflow area and salmon were getting confused by it since it didn't lead to the creek. It's all good now - we fixed it! 

What the pond area looks like with most of the water drained. 

What the pond area looks like with most of the water drained. 

Leo and Steven working hard to fill sand bags to secure the pond area. 

Leo and Steven working hard to fill sand bags to secure the pond area. 

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. 

HSWS attends JOTT 21 - Jamboree on the Trail

Boy scouts check out creepy crawlies from Hoy Creek at the Jamboree in Belcarra Regional Park. 

Boy scouts check out creepy crawlies from Hoy Creek at the Jamboree in Belcarra Regional Park. 

A big thank you to Scouts Canada for inviting Hoy - Scott Watershed Society to participate in JOTT 21, the Jamboree on the Trail event held at Belcarra Park on Saturday, May 12.

HSWS members, Rodney and Lani brought along some very cool friends we found in the pond - 2 Lamprey, a Crayfish and some Caddisfly bugs. Yes, those are in our creeks!

It was a really fun day with the kids. All the creepy crawlers were returned to Hoy Creek that afternoon!

A crayfish from Hoy Creek

A crayfish from Hoy Creek

A lamprey from Hoy Creek

A lamprey from Hoy Creek

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.  Learn more at our website: hoyscottcreeks.org

Vice president and hatchery manager for Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Rodney Lee talks to boy scouts at JOTT21 - Jamboree on the Trail in Belcarra Park. 

Vice president and hatchery manager for Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Rodney Lee talks to boy scouts at JOTT21 - Jamboree on the Trail in Belcarra Park.