Scott Creek

Fishy Fun at 2017 Salmon Leave Home

A mother and son peek at a coho fingerling held by a HSWS volunteer at Salmon Leave Home (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A mother and son peek at a coho fingerling held by a HSWS volunteer at Salmon Leave Home (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

And they're gone!

Coho smolts that had their start in life at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam are well on their way to adapting to life in the stream.  Approximately 5000 smolts were released at Hoy-Scott Watershed Society's Salmon Leave Home event on May 7th.

When ready, they will make their way from Hoy Creek to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, then to the Fraser River, and then on to the Straight of Georgia and the Pacific Ocean.

A father and son set to release coho smolts into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home on May 7th, 2017. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A father and son set to release coho smolts into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home on May 7th, 2017. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

The weather was perfect for the family fun free community event, and there was a steady flow of people throughout the day.  Patrons learned about the life-cycle of the salmon, viewed hatchery facilities, and had fun building bird boxes, getting face-painted, and doing fish-crafts.  Music was provided by 98.7 The Point radio. Watershed Watch Salmon Society was also on had with crafts for the kids and education for all. Jay Peachy honoured the Kwikwetlem First Nation traditional territory and delivered the "Salmon Song" accompanied by drumming.

The highlight of the day was the release of the smolts, as children of all ages delighted in carrying young salmon in buckets from the rearing pond a short distance to release them into Hoy Creek.

Face-painting, building bird boxes, and fish crafts...

Face-painting, building bird boxes, and fish crafts...

The society wishes to thank all of our hard working volunteers from Pinetree Secondary.

Over the summer things generally slow down at the hatchery, but volunteers still continue to oversee the care of some 25,000 coho fry, approximately 5 months old, who will be transferred into the rearing pond before June.

The bird box building station at Salmon Leave Home. 

The bird box building station at Salmon Leave Home. 

See ALL of our photos from Salmon Leave Home on our Facebook album HERE.

Work also continues in the riparian areas of the watershed to ensure invasive species are reduced and native plants are thriving. A healthy riparian area ensures a healthy creek.

In July or August the society also does a stream cleanup, removing trash and debris from Scott and Hoy Creeks. To get involved, click our "Get Involved" button, or email the Society at hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com

 

 

Salmon Leave Home to be held Sunday, May 7th

Poster-Salmon-Leave-Home-2017

Join the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society on Sunday, May 7th for Salmon Leave Home at the Hoy Creek Hatchery which is located in the woods behind Douglas College north of Guildford Way in Coquitlam.   Salmon Leave Home provides the community the opportunity to help release coho smolts into Hoy Creek.  The salmon are approximately 17 months old and can range in length from 4 to 8 inches. Since their incubation, they have been living in a freshwater stream environment at hatchery.

The annual event takes place from 11am to 2pm and will go 'rain or shine'.  Society volunteers will net and bucket the fish from the rearing pond, and children of all ages will carry the buckets a short distance to the creek to release the salmon.

From there, the smolts begin their journey to the sea via Hoy Creek, then Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, then the Fraser River, and finally into the Strait of Georgia at the Pacific Ocean! 

This free family event will also offer educational activities, and music will be provided by 98.7 The Point.

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is located on Hoy Creek Trail, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex at the corner of Pinetree and Guildford Way.

Hoy Trail has a several entrances:
- Walk in from Princess Crescent;
- Walk in from behind Douglas College;
- Walk in from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree);
- Walk in from Walton Avenue, or behind Walton Elementary;
- Walk in from the foot of Lasalle Place.

To find the exact location simply Google, "Hoy Creek Hatchery."

Stay notified via our Facebook page and be sure to invite your family and friends!  Our event hashtag is #salmonleavehome, so if you attend, feel free to tweet or share, and check out what others are posting with our event hashtag.

(Photos from last year)

 

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.

Fish kill in Scott Creek reported

Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS

Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS

On August 22nd, the City of Coquitlam Environmental Services Division reported a salmonid fish kill on August 22nd in Scott Creek of approximately 200 juvenile fish.

"This was most likely due to extreme heat, (30 C plus degrees) experienced last week in combination of the introduction of fire foam and contaminants to the creek through the storm sewer as a result of a large multiple vehicle fire on August 19th in the area of Lansdowne and Charter Hall," said the notice advising the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. The notice also stated, "The condition of the fish indicated they had been dead for several days, and the location was along Scott Creek from Eagleridge Drive to Guildford."

"Not all pollutants entering the storm drain are intentional, but they still kill fish," said Rodney Lee of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. "Research has indicated that contaminants from roadways (e.g. wiper fluid, automotive fluids, brake dust etc) kill fish.  Individuals may occasionally, deliberately dispose of contaminants like paint, concrete wash water etc into a storm drain which also kill fish.  However, this occurs less frequently as the public has become knowledgeable about acceptable waste disposal practices. It's quite possible that the combination of products used to fight fires (pollutants), low water levels (pollutants stay in the water longer) and high stream temperatures (reduce dissolved oxygen levels in the stream causing stress on fish and reduce their ability to cope with poorer water quality) all contributed to the fish kill."

The public is encouraged to be mindful of storm drains, which are meant for rainwater, and not for refuse disposal.   Individuals observing a fish kill in our streams or the presence of any other possible pollutants are encouraged to immediately report the event to the Fisheries & Oceans Canada "Observe, Record, Report" (ORR) 1-800-465-4336 [Call: 1-800-465-4336] or in Greater Vancouver: 604-607-4186 [Call: 604-607-4186]   http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/points/ORR-ONS-eng.html

HSWS volunteers walk Hoy Creek in annual cleanup

Ryan, Kyle, Nathen, and Chris with the trash hauled from Hoy Creek

Ryan, Kyle, Nathen, and Chris with the trash hauled from Hoy Creek

Every summer, usually in August, the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society cleans a section of either Hoy Creek and/or Scott Creek. It's the safest time of year to walk in stream without disturbing fish and eggs.

On August 10th we spent 4 hours walking along Hoy Creek clearing out garbage, starting downstream from Pinewood Street and ending just south of Guildford Way. This area was cleared two years ago, so trash was not as heavy, but a good haul was removed, as you can see from our photo.

The 'creek crawl' as we like to call it, can be hard going in places as sometimes we crouch to move under bridges, or climb over fallen trees. It's a good time for us to assess (and clear) heavy invasive species areas blocking the stream, and check for any wind fall blockages which could restrain the returning salmon from making their way upstream in the fall.

Thanks to Chris, Ryan, Kyle, Nathen, and Robbin for a job well done!

See more photos on our Facebook album.

Hoy-Scott Watershed volunteers clean trash in Hoy Creek during the summer

Hoy-Scott Watershed volunteers clean trash in Hoy Creek during the summer

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society releases surplus salmon fry

A Hoy-Scott Watershed Society volunteer releases surplus coho fry into upper Scott Creek (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)

A Hoy-Scott Watershed Society volunteer releases surplus coho fry into upper Scott Creek (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)

In May 2016, we had approximately 19,000 coho fry at Hoy Creek Hatchery.  Hoy-Scott Watershed Society's annual aquaculture license with federal fisheries allows us to incubate up to 25,000 eggs but only release 5,000 1-year-old Coho smolts from that brood year in May.  

Any excess are released to the Upper Hoy and Scott Creeks to areas of the stream where wild fry are not present. In addition, fry are released to Pinnacle Pond. From those locations, the Coho fry can make use of the habitat, grow and eventually make their way out to the ocean to complete their lifecycle.

On May 23rd, HSWS volunteers (Rodney, Chris F, Alex, Dulce & Ed) weighed and counted out our surplus and loaded up the truck for transport and released them at 5 different locations.  The fry weighed approximately 1.3 grams and were about 5 months old.

Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee looks over his son releasing surplus salmon into the creek on May 23rd in Coquitlam.  (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)

Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee looks over his son releasing surplus salmon into the creek on May 23rd in Coquitlam.  (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)

While at these release sites, we observed some larger trout with the smallest being 4-5" and the largest 6-7" but no small fry were present. We also saw a black bear.

The locations we released the surplus coho fry to on Monday, May 23rd were:

Upper Hoy - Camelback Ct off of Plateau; Upper Scott - Panorama by Bramblewood; Upper Hoy - by Plateau Village at Johnson and Plateau; Upper Scott - Hydro pond at the top of Eagle Mountain Drive; and Pinnacle Pond.

Dulce releases surplus salmon into Scott Creek(Photo: Ed Paulino)

Dulce releases surplus salmon into Scott Creek(Photo: Ed Paulino)

Once our remaining fry grow to 2 -3 grams they will be ready for marking, and will have their adipose fins clipped to identify them as hatchery fish. Our hatchery fry continue to be hand fed twice per day.

See MORE PHOTOS from the release on our Facebook album.

This healthy looking black bear was spotted by our team beside Pinnacle Pond, Coquitlam (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)

This healthy looking black bear was spotted by our team beside Pinnacle Pond, Coquitlam (Photo: Ed Paulino / HSWS)