coho salmon

Expanded Salmon Come Home Event Sunday, Oct. 20

HSWS volunteer, AJ holds up a chum salmon for viewing at Salmon Come Home (Photo: City of Coquitlam)

HSWS volunteer, AJ holds up a chum salmon for viewing at Salmon Come Home (Photo: City of Coquitlam)

COQUITLAM, BC, Oct. 9, 2019 – Coquitlam residents are invited to celebrate the annual fall return of chum and coho salmon to Hoy Creek at the popular Salmon Come Home event held on Sunday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Event Details

Co-hosted by the City of Coquitlam and Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, the free family event has an expanded site this year.

  • New this year are expanded interactive exhibits, musical entertainment, children’s crafts, activities, face painting and food vendors.

  • BC Taco, the Jerk Shack, and Spirit Bear Mobile Café will be at Pinetree Community Centre rear parking lot (1260 Pinetree Way) located immediately adjacent to one of the pedestrian entry paths to Hoy Creek Trail.

  • Hoy Creek Hatchery has streamside live salmon viewing, informative talks, expanded hatchery tours, crafts and the always-popular Nylon Zoo kids’ costume parade.

  • Visitors can enjoy a 'Watershed Walk' and a children's scavenger hunt between the hatchery and Pinetree Community Centre rear parking lot along the Hoy Creek Linear Park Trail that will also be populated with informative signs about the Hoy Creek watershed.

Attendees are advised to dress for the weather, as the event runs rain or shine. See photos of last year’s event.

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 are encouraged to start their visit at Pinetree Community Centre and enjoy the 'Watershed Walk' to the hatchery. 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.  

 

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

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society Initiates Storm Drain Education Campaign

HSWS volunteers, Ririka, Lani and Steven (and Robbin behind the camera) were out going door-to-door, and plan more outreach over the summer. . (HSWS photo)

HSWS volunteers, Ririka, Lani and Steven (and Robbin behind the camera) were out going door-to-door, and plan more outreach over the summer. . (HSWS photo)

It has been approximately six weeks since the Hoy Creek Hatchery and Hoy Creek suffered a fishkill due to a contaminant in the stream, which happened on May 28. (See video here)

Unfortunately no source was found, and test results showed there was no water quality parameter that was identified as the culprit, but the ammonia levels at a Hoy Creek storm outfall north of the hatchery had considerably high levels which would could point to high concentrations of bleach or chlorine.

In an effort to continue community education, volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society took to the streets north of the hatchery on July 13 to go door-to-door with educational material and a community notice with an aim to speak to anyone that was out on a Saturday morning about the fish kill in May.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society community notice. If you’d like one please email us at hoyscottcreeks@gmail.com. We have them in English, French, Farsi, Chinese, and Punjabi. See PUBLIC NOTICE links below in a variety of languages. .

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society community notice. If you’d like one please email us at hoyscottcreeks@gmail.com. We have them in English, French, Farsi, Chinese, and Punjabi. See PUBLIC NOTICE links below in a variety of languages. .

The fishkill affected a loss of over half of the hatchery fish. While 2700 have survived, the tragic event is a good reminder of how precious our ecosystem is.

The society also wishes to thanks the public and hatchery / watershed neighbours who look out for spills and report any thing out of the ordinary.

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

TRANSLATED PUBLIC NOTICES: English /French; Farsi/Chinese/Korean)

Thank you to Tri-Cities Community TV for this interview below on the fish kill with society president, Robbin Whachell.

Volunteer, Lani Lehun pounding down a yellow fish decal by a storm drain. (HSWS photo)

Volunteer, Lani Lehun pounding down a yellow fish decal by a storm drain. (HSWS photo)

A new fish marker by a storm drain. HSWS members will be updating storm drains on streets north of the hatchery over the summer months. (HSWS photo)

A new fish marker by a storm drain. HSWS members will be updating storm drains on streets north of the hatchery over the summer months. (HSWS photo)

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

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)