creek

Salmon Leave Home at Hoy Creek on Mother's Day

A young boy releases a coho smolt on the edge of Hoy Creek, while a volunteer assists and looks on - at Salmon Leave Home 2018. (Photo: HSWS)

A young boy releases a coho smolt on the edge of Hoy Creek, while a volunteer assists and looks on - at Salmon Leave Home 2018. (Photo: HSWS)

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society invites the community out for their annual Salmon Leave Home event on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam.  People of all ages will have the opportunity to help release 18-month-old coho smolts into Hoy Creek.

“Salmon Leave Home is a great way for families to connect with nature, and brings awareness to our delicate ecosystem, right here in Coquitlam,” said society president, Robbin Whachell.  “Once the salmon are released, they make their way downstream to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, the Fraser River - which empties into the Strait of Georgia on the Pacific Ocean. They take about a year to get to the ocean, and then return in approximately 2 years to the same location where they were spawned.”  

The family-friendly free outdoor event will run rain or shine and the society will have families engaged in fishy fun. Students from the Pinetree Secondary community club will be providing face painting, and a family walk through the watershed is always beautiful at this time of year.

The event is a great opportunity to learn about the local fish hatchery and get information on the year-round volunteer-run salmon enhancement program, which includes work with plants in the riparian area of Hoy and Scott Creeks. 20,000 coho fry will also be on display.

The hatchery is located in the Hoy Creek Linear Park behind Douglas College and north of Guildford, a few minutes walk inland, and is only a ten-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas skytrain station.  To find the exact location, simply Google “Hoy Creek Hatchery.”

RSVP to the Facebook event page to receive updates and a reminder.


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.

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 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.

Coquitlam residents help release coho at Salmon Leave Home

A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

The weather was perfect for our annual Salmon Leave Home event on May 6! Well over a thousand residents participated.

We'd like to thank everyone who came out to lend a hand and give their well wishes and good thoughts to our 5000 coho smolts who now make Hoy Creek their home.  The fish will now make the creeks, or the Coquitlam or Fraser rivers their home for about a year before making it to the ocean. 

Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

A big thank you to special guests, the Kwikwetlem First Nation who provided comment during the opening ceremony and released our first fish into Hoy Creek. Thanks also to the Wild Salmon Caravan for providing entertainment and art activities. The kids loved painting the salmon van!  The Pinetree Secondary School students were a great help on site, and also provided face painting. 

The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

CBC News came out to provide coverage of the event on the evening news that day. 

After the event closed, the rearing pond was cleaned out in preparation for the next broodstock which will make the location their home in June. The approximately 6-month old salmon will live there until the next Salmon Leave Home event in May 2019. 

To view our all of our photos of the event, check out our Facebook album. If you are not a Facebook user, we have a Google photo album too.

We'll see you at Salmon Come Home in October!

Spill reported in Hoy Creek on June 3

Suspected paint in Hoy Creek on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Suspected paint in Hoy Creek on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

On June 3, 2017, one of our members was alerted of a spill in Hoy Creek. It was a Saturday evening before 6pm.

The spill was reported immediately to the authorities and our member also went to review the situation and took the photos seen here. It appeared to be white paint.  Hoping to soak up the paint he placed white boards across the spill area.

While we cannot be 100 percent certain, a storm drain by the trail near Walton Ave did have a white substance on it.  He also took a photo of that.

The water in the Capilano trough at the hatchery was white, but the fish were behaving normally. The PH level of the water was between 7-8.

Hoy Creek after a spill on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek / HSWS)

Hoy Creek after a spill on June 3 (Photo: Arno Hazebroek / HSWS)

The City of Coquitlam reported back to Hoy-Creek Watershed Society that:

June 3 - Staff attended, put out three booms at first outfall behind 2978 Walton along the trail.  Minimal flow entering creek, but it is milky coming out of outfall.  Suspect latex paint.  Checked upstream manholes and area, could not find any source.  C/B's are also full of white cotton hindering ability to see clearly into them.  Upon return to outfall, water appeared to be running more clear, so it was dissipating out, spoke with some people in area and asked if they knew of anyone doing any construction/painting in area, no luck.
 
June 3- 20:30 - another call received, caller said at the beginning of his walk this evening, the creek looked somewhat contaminated, not too noticeable.  Within the last 30 minutes, he said it has gotten 10x worse and is almost white.

Staff informed, and will attend again.  Staff reported state of creek has improved since last time at site.
 
June 4 - Booms collecting milky substance still in place.  Someone has placed plywood across the creek to dam it to collect substance, may want to remove this. Checked upstream m/h and c/b's, everything looks ok.
 
Environmental Services and Worksite Bylaw Officers were out on June 4 investigating the catch basins on White Pine Place cul-de-sac.

Unfortunately the source or culprits were not found.

If you see a spill in either Hoy or Scott Creek please call the City of Coquitlam - Municipality’s 24 hour reporting line (604) 927-3500.

Coho fry swimming in the Capilano trough at Hoy Creek Hatchery after the spill (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Coho fry swimming in the Capilano trough at Hoy Creek Hatchery after the spill (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Suspect storm drain with white substance near trail by Walton Avenue (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

Suspect storm drain with white substance near trail by Walton Avenue (Photo: Arno Hazebroek)

 

 

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

 

 

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.

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.

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