chum

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.

FB-Salmon Come Home ad Poster 8 5x11.jpg

Volunteers head into Hoy Creek for Stream Clean 2017

Cleaning Hoy Creek under the bridge on Guildford in Coquitlam

Cleaning Hoy Creek under the bridge on Guildford in Coquitlam

Each summer members of our society gear up and head into the creek to remove trash and assess and prune areas which may be overgrown by invasives plants, which could impede the return of salmon in October. Himalayan Blackberry is the main invasive which cover areas of the creek.

July or August is the best time for this exercise as the creek is free of fish eggs.

Volunteers focuses on the heavy traffic area of Hoy Creek from the hatchery to the Johnson and Glen intersection.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society members head back with trash and tools after creek clean 2017

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society members head back with trash and tools after creek clean 2017

The most unusual trash find was syringes.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society activities will ramp up over into October when rains rise the creek levels and spawning salmon begin to make their way home. Save the date for Salmon Come Home, held in conjunction with the City of Coquitlam on Sunday, October 22.  Approximately 2000 people came out in 2016 and there was a good show of chum salmon in the stream.  Prime viewing is middle of October through early November.

Trash is seperated once back at the Hoy Creek Hatchery

Trash is seperated once back at the Hoy Creek Hatchery

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society members release chum salmon fry

HSWS members met at dusk to release the chum salmon fry. Rodney Lee, hatchery manager (seen center) provides direction.

HSWS members met at dusk to release the chum salmon fry. Rodney Lee, hatchery manager (seen center) provides direction.

On March 19th, members of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society met near dusk at the Hoy Creek Hatchery to release 26,363 chum salmon fry.  This was an historic moment as the society has not raised chum salmon since the mid-90s. Fry were netted into buckets in the Capilano trough room, and hand carried to be released into Hoy Creek.  The process was led by hatchery manager, Rodney Lee.

"The 2016 brood stock season was super busy with our hatchery introducing a program to rear Chum salmon in addition to the Coho salmon that we've traditionally raised," said hatchery manager Rodney Lee. "The really warm October had creek temperatures in the 13C range which made for quick incubation early in the season, but then we had the really cold temperatures (creek temp lows under 3C) throughout much of the winter which really slowed development."

"We have approximately 12,000 Coho fry and the last alevins are beginning to 'swim up'.  We will be shutting down and cleaning out our incubators for the season."

"Our Coho fingerlings from the 2015 brood stock season have really started their Spring growth.  With water temperatures rising, their metabolism increases, and they eat at lot more and grow rapidly.  We are focusing on getting them to target release weight in anticipation of our Salmon Leave Home event on May 7th."

Photos were taken by society members: Nathen Blower, Lilian Elliott and Arno Hazebroek

See all our photos in our Facebook album HERE.

Albino chum discovered at Hoy Creek Hatchery

An albino chum salmon fry seen next to normal chum fry

An albino chum salmon fry seen next to normal chum fry

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society's hatchery manager, Rodney Lee discovered a rare albino chum salmon fry this past week while assessing fish in the incubation room at Hoy Creek hatchery in Coquitlam.

Last year we found a conjoined twin coho fry

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.

Chum salmon program now underway at Hoy Creek Hatchery

Department of Fisheries reps led by Scott Ducharme (right) lead HSWS members through a chum egg take on October 26th at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

Department of Fisheries reps led by Scott Ducharme (right) lead HSWS members through a chum egg take on October 26th at Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society began incubating chum eggs in October and November.  The Society had only been raising coho salmon for the past twenty-years or so.  The addition of chum was made possible through the generous support of the Pacific Salmon Foundation enabling us to purchase and install a new incubation stack and piping for our Capilano trough room. Thanks also to the DFO and City of Coquitlam.

The hatchery has not raised chum since the mid 1990s and applied to do so again in 2015.

"Most of the chum eggs are now eyed and doing great. We had a poor survival rate in 2 of the trays, but the remainder looked good," said hatchery manager Rodney Lee. Coho egg-takes are our next focus and are now underway.

The new chum egg incubation stack is now incubating over 36,000 eggs.  Thanks to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, DFO and the City of Coquitlam for contributions to complete the project.

The new chum egg incubation stack is now incubating over 36,000 eggs.  Thanks to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, DFO and the City of Coquitlam for contributions to complete the project.

 

In the videos below, eggs from 4 chum salmon are fertilized by hand at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam. Guided by Scott Ducharme of the DFO.  See MORE PHOTOS on our Facebook page.

Coquitlam to host, Salmon Come Home on October 25th

 

The salmon are back in Hoy Creek!  Join the City of Coquitlam and the Hoy-Scott Creek Watershed Society to celebrate their return at the annual Salmon Come Home gathering at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Sunday, October 25th 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 demonstrationsand displays.

Enjoy music, children's crafts, costume parade and story telling with Angela Brown, prize fish pond, face painting,  music by Tri-City Radio, 98.7 CKPM FM, and the Creative Café 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. Participating is: Burke Mountain Naturalists; City of Coquitlam - Bad Seed; City of Coquitlam - Solid Waste and Recycling; City of Coquitlam - Urban Wildlife; City of Coquitlam - 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; Canadian Sound Therapy Arts Society - Wild Salmon Creative Café; Vancity Pinetree Branch; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and the Port Moody Ecological Society.

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 location on your cell phone map app, Google "Hoy Creek Hatchery." Location via Google maps

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.

 

Salmon Come Home, 2014

Salmon Come Home, 2014

Join our Facebook Event Page to keep updates, and be sure to invite your family and friends...  Our event hashtag is #salmoncomehome.

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