Salmon Come Home

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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Hoy-Scott Watershed Society Says Thank-you to Caresse Selk

President of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell presents Caresse Selk, former Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, City of Coquitlam with a certificate of appreciation on December 16, 2017, during the Socety's Christmas social. 

President of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, Robbin Whachell presents Caresse Selk, former Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, City of Coquitlam with a certificate of appreciation on December 16, 2017, during the Socety's Christmas social. 

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held their annual Christmas social on December 16 at Milestone's Restaurant. It was the perfect opportunity to thank Caresse Selk, former Environmental Stewardship Coordinator for the City of Coquitlam.

Caresse has worked with HSWS for 13 years as the key contact for the Coquitlam's signature event, Salmon Come Home, as well the Society was updated by her on creek spills, tree removals, and trail or park enhancements. 

"We're going to miss working with Caresse on Salmon Come Home," said president Robbin Whachell, "but we'd like to congratulate her on her new position as Urban Forestry and Park Services Manager at the City of Coquitlam. We're happy we'll still be connected to her through her new position."
 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society Christmas social 2017 at Milestone's Restaurant in Coquitlam on December 16.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society Christmas social 2017 at Milestone's Restaurant in Coquitlam on December 16.

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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Vancity supports the 25th Salmon Come Home event in Coquitlam

Vancity manager Omar (left) presents a $500 cheque to HSWS secretary Emily (center with daughter Joan) and HSWS president Robbin (right) for Salmon Come Home. 

Vancity manager Omar (left) presents a $500 cheque to HSWS secretary Emily (center with daughter Joan) and HSWS president Robbin (right) for Salmon Come Home. 

A huge thank you to Vancity Credit Union, Pinetree branch in Coquitlam, for their continued support of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, as earlier this month they donated $500.00 toward Salmon Come Home, one of the City of Coquitlam's signature events held this year on Sunday, October 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the community event which is a collaboration between the Municipality and the Society. 

"As a non-profit group, we really appreciate and encourage local business support with any or all of our initiatives," said Robbin Whachell, President, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. "Thank you Vancity for helping us highlight the importance of our environment and the wonder of the salmon."

The salmon is a unique creature in that it returns to the exact stream that is was born to spawn and die.  Peak viewing of salmon spawning in Hoy Creek is between mid-October and December. 

Salmon Come Home attracts thousands of people who come out to celebrate the salmon return and learn about the work of the Society, as well as other local environmental groups.  Participating thisyear is the following:

Articipation,
BC Hydro Power Smart Outreach,
Burke Mountain Naturalists,
City of Coquitlam - Bad Seed/Urban Forestry,
City of Coquitlam - Solid Waste and Recycling,
City of Coquitlam - Urban Wildlife,
City of Coquitlam - Water Conservation,
Coquitlam Riverwatch,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC,
Friends of DeBoville Slough,
Hoy/Scott Watershed Society,
Hyde Creek Watershed Society,
Kintec,
Maple Creek Watershed Streamkeepers ,
MetroVancouver Regional Parks,
Port Moody Ecological Society,
Vancity Pinetree Branch,
Watershed Watch Salmon Society, and
Wild Salmon Creative Café.

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.

HSWS featured in Tri-City News 'Saving our Salmon' (SOS) series

Thank you for your support, Tri-City News!

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society was quoted in the The Tri-City News on November 16th, 2016, along with other stewardship groups, on how we can all do our part in protecting wild salmon.

"Get to know your watershed. Salmon and their habitat can’t protect themselves - we need to care and advocate for both. Visit a stream, talk to your local stewardship group, and view the fish and habitat. Understand the issues. Monitor and report suspicious activity." - HSWS

Part 1

We were also featured on November 19th through a site visit by reporter Sarah Payne. Both HSWS president, Robbin Whachell, and vice president and hatchery manager, Rodney Lee were interviewed for the article.

Kwikwetlem councillor Ed Hall speaks at Salmon Come Home 2016

Kwikwetlem First Nation Councillor Ed Hall returned for our event Salmon Come Home held in conjunction with the City of Coquitlam, after visiting us earlier in 2016 for a blessing of the salmon at Salmon Leave Home last May. 

This year's Salmon Come Home was held on October 23rd to a great return of chum salmon visibly swimming through, spawning, and dying in Hoy Creek. Read more about the event HERE.

Councillor Hall was accompanied by First Nation Elder, Beverley Mrockowski.

It is always an honour to include Kwikwetlem First Nation at our events.  The name Kwikwetlem means "red fish up the river." Words were offered standing on the bridge adjacent to the Hoy Creek Hatchery overlooking the spawning salmon.

Listen as Councillor Hall welcomes the salmon (and guests) to the ancestral unceded lands of the Kwikwetlem people.

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.  (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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Salmon Come Home well supported by the community

Children paint a mural with the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable to welcome home the salmon.

The chum salmon started arriving back in Hoy Creek around mid-October, and on October 25th the community of the Tri-Cities came out to celebrate at the annual Salmon Come Home festival put on by the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society and the City of Coquitlam.  The festival is environmentally-themed and designed to promote public awareness about conservation and spawning salmon that migrate back to Coquitlam.

The weather was optimal and approximately 2200 people passed through to get a glimpse of spawning chum salmon in Hoy Creek and take in the activities set up around Hoy Creek Hatchery. The event was held during a dry weather spell so the chum numbers could have been higher for viewing, but people were able to see one or two throughout the day. The Society also had several large chum in the hatchery's Capilano trough for closer viewing, as well as several on-land demos with live salmon where held as Maurice Coulter-Boisvert from the Department of Fisheries answered questions.

Cookies made by Melanie Lee

There were many other educational displays and activities for the entire family. Salmon educator, Chris Hamming provided an ongoing tutorial about the salmon over by the rearing pond, and other participating groups who provided interesting activities and education were Burke Mountain Naturalists; City of Coquitlam - Bad Seed, Solid Waste and Recycling, Urban Wildlife, and Water Conservation; Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable; Coquitlam Riverwatch; Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC; Friends of DeBoville Slough; Hoy/Scott Watershed Society; Hyde Creek Watershed Society; Kintec; Maple Creek Streamkeepers; South Coast Conservation Program; Vancity Pinetree Branch; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and the Port Moody Ecological Society.

Jay Peachy serves up Spirit Bear coffee while Etienne Siew performs.

The day would not have had such a festive-feel if it were not for the music! The Canadian Sound Therapy Arts Society's Wild Salmon Creative Café were out providing piping hot Spirit Bear Coffee, and entertainment by The Bird and the Lion, Etienne Siew, and a DJ. 

The four-hour event had kids crafts, costume parade and story telling with Angela Brown, as well as a prize fish pond provided by Kintec. Children enjoyed painting a mural with the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable. 

Everyone oohed and awed over the salmon cookies made by HSWS member, Melanie Lee, with all sales from the cookies going toward the Society.

Hoy Creek Hatchery manager Rodney Lee holds up a salmon during the on land demonstrations led by the Department of Fisheries

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society would like to thank all those that made the event possible! A big thank you to our partners at the City of Coquitlam, in particular Caresse Selk. Thanks also to CKPM FM Tri-City Radio; the many volunteers who lent a hand; and all the community groups that took part.

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

Check out MORE photos on our Facebook page.

HSWS founding member and salmon educator, Chris Hamming

Approximately 2200 came through to enjoy SALMON COME HOME at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Hoy Trail