Salmon Leave Home to be held Sunday, May 7th


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)


Record attendance at our Salmon Leave Home event

Honourary guests from Kwikwetlem First Nation, Ed Hall, Councillor and elder Beverley Mrockowski speak at the opening of Salmon Leave Home on May 1st (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

On a beautiful spring day, May 1st,  the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) held our annual Salmon Leave Home event at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam with record attendance. Our lineups to collect fish in our rearing pond went past the hatchery building at peek times of the day, and we had to open up a second release point on the creek to keep things flowing.  

Honourary guests were Kwikwetlem First Nation councillor Ed Hall, and elder Beverley Mrockowski who both spoke at a brief opening ceremony, and then released the first coho smolts into Hoy Creek.

"Kwikwetlem means 'red fish up the river'," said Ed Hall who spoke of his elders sharing stories of when the local creeks and rivers were teaming with salmon.  "It's a rare opportunity to see fish leave their local habitat and return."

It was an extra-special day as HSWS honoured one of our own, as Len Meneghello, who recently retired was celebrated after giving 12 years of service to the Society.

Kwikwetlem councillor, Ed Hall releases some of the first salmon on May 1st at Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home.

Kwikwetlem councillor, Ed Hall releases some of the first salmon on May 1st at Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home.

The Society was pleased to welcome a group of Coquitlam's newest Syrian immigrant children attending with Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart, and councillor Teri Towner. They participated in the salmon release and learned how to build bird boxes and bee houses.  

Councillor Teri Towner (back left), new immigrant Mohammed Kurdi (back middle) and Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart (back right) attended with newly settled Syrian immigrant children. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

The society wishes to thank the community for their interest and support.  Special thanks goes out to Kwikwetlem First Nation, CKPM 98.7 Tri-City Radio; Pinetree Secondary School, Sustainable Youth Canada, Coquitlam Farmer's Market Society, and Rocky Point Ice Cream.

ALL of our photos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, 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. They are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education and preservation.  If you would like to become a volunteer, please let us know HERE.

Listen to councillor Ed Hall speak at the opening ceremony.


A great time was had by all!  Thanks to all our amazing volunteers!

Salmon Leave Home featured on Shaw TV

A big THANKS to Shaw TV Vancouver who came out in March to film for their "Around Town" segment, which will be promoting our upcoming #SalmonLeaveHome event! Click the above image / arrow to watch it.

Seen here is Hoy-Scott Watershed director and PR coordinator, Robbin Whachell with Jim Price, Producer, "Around Town" for Shaw TV. The segment is airing on Shaw for two weeks leading up to the event.

For more information on our Salmon Leave Home event set for Sunday, May 1st check out our Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/910777229039505/

Shaw TV on location at Hoy Creek Hatchery with Robbin Whachell / HSWS director. (Photo: Keith Kozak/ HSWS)

Hoy-Scott Watershed director and PR coordinator, Robbin Whachell with Jim Price, Producer, "Around Town" for Shaw TV (Photo: Keith Kozak / HSWS)

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