hoy-scott watershed society

Salmon Come Home a Success Despite Lack of Fish

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The twenty-sixth annual Salmon Come Home event was a huge success as over 2000 people attended the environmentally focused festival to celebrate the return of salmon at Hoy Creek Hatchery on October 21.

Despite no sightings of mature salmon in the stream due to the long dry spell prior to the event, the crowds had much to ponder as it relates to the protection of our local habitat.

Exhibitors included Articipation (John Lewis), Burke Mountain Naturalists, City of Coquitlam (Urban Wildlife, Waste Reduction and Water Conservation), Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable, Coquitlam Riverwatch, Friends of DeBoville Slough, Kintec, Maple Creek Watershed Streamkeepers, Vancity Pinetree Branch, 13th Burnaby Venturers Scouts, and St. John Ambulance.

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The event, which is co hosted with the City of Coquitlam opened with words from Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation.

Children’s entertainer, Angela Brown provided stories and had little ones and parents dressed up in costumes of animals, insects and birds for parades and storytelling in her giant inflatable salmon.

The Wil D. Salmon show featured the sounds of local entertainers Zoey Levin, Etienne Siew, Julia DePieri, and Joyelle Brandt.

The society provided tours of the hatchery and hourly salmon education talks with founding member, Chris Hamming and hatchery manager, with Rodney Lee.

HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming. Presented with a gift by HSWS secretary, Emily Rossi

HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming. Presented with a gift by HSWS secretary, Emily Rossi

The highlight of the day was a special presentation to Chris Hamming for his years of service to Hoy-Scott Watershed Society.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who assisted with event setup, take-down, face painting and games, mascots and more. Special thanks to the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, Vancity, and Fisheries & Oceans Canada.

Since the event, the rains have returned and both coho and chum salmon are now returning to Hoy and Scott Creeks. Prime viewing of returning salmon is usually from mid-October to early November.

“The watershed is a beautiful place to explore nature, Everyone is encouraged to take time to witness this awe-inspiring spectacle at any of the local creeks, most of which run through public spaces and are accessible to everyone.

Wil D Salmon and singer Etienne Siew

Wil D Salmon and singer Etienne Siew

Hoy Creek Hatchery is home to 5000 young coho housed in the outdoor rearing pond which will be released in May 2019 at Salmon Leave Home. Hoy Trail offers a beautiful walk featuring towering trees and active bird life. You can watch for the great blue heron that fishes at Hoy Creek near the hatchery most evenings.

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.

View EVENT PHOTO ALBUM on Facebook.

Follow the Society on their Facebook page.

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Hoy-Scott Watershed Society acknowledged at City environmental awards

Members of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with their certificate of appreciation pose with Hucklebeary at Coquitlam city hall. 

Members of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with their certificate of appreciation pose with Hucklebeary at Coquitlam city hall. 

The City of Coquitlam held its fourteenth Environmental Achievement Award celebration on Sunday, June 24 recognizing community volunteers who excel in the areas of conservation, public awareness, environmental education, habitat enhancement and sustainable living.  In addition, the award recipients show initiative and leadership while volunteering for projects that have long-term environmental benefits for the community.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) received a certificate of appreciation for the volunteer work that we do. 

Representing the Society at the event held at City Hall, was the president, Robbin Whachell; director Lani Lehun; past director, Nathen Blower; longtime members Earl and Lilian Elliott; and newcomers, Steven Wang, and Leo Li. 

"It's wonderful to connect with like-minded groups at this annual event and learn about the wonderful things others are doing," said Robbin Whachell. "It's definitely motivation for our team, and, while not everyone was able to attend, they are appreciated. It means a lot to be recognized for the effort we put in." 

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Below is a video produced by the City of Coquitlam showcasing local environmental groups. 

For a full list of recipients, check out the City's press release HERE.

Salmon Leave Home on Sunday, May 6

A young boy releases a fingerling coho salmon into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A young boy releases a fingerling coho salmon into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Join the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society on Sunday, May 6 for Salmon Leave Home at the Hoy

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society invites the community out for their annual Salmon Leave Home event on Sunday, May 6 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 special event for families with small children. The kids find so much delight in releasing fish into the creek,” 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 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 environmental club will be providing face painting, while the Wild Salmon Creative Cafe will be serving up Spirit Bear coffees and will host an art build activity.

It’s a great opportunity to learn about the local fish hatchery and get information on the year-round salmon enhancement program, which includes work with plants in the riparian area of Hoy and Scott Creeks.  Our 5-month old 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.”  

Let us know you're coming, or invite your family and friends on our Facebook event page.

Hoy Trail has 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.

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.

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

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)

 

Watch a Blue Heron Eat a Lamprey in Hoy Creek

Check out this blue heron who frequents Hoy Creek for his evening meals.  This video was taken by by the Hoy Creek salmon hatchery by a Hoy-Scott Watershed Society member.

The blue heron catches a lamprey, and through patience, perseverance and careful beak skills he finally consumes his take.

The snake-like lamprey put up a good fight!  

"Lampreys are any jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes, placed in the superclass Cyclostomata. The adult lamprey may be characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. " - Wikipedia

 

25th Salmon Come Home Draws Record Attendance in Coquitlam

25 years!  A group photo and cake to commemorate 25 years of "Salmon Come Home."  Seen left to right: Maya Uno (front), Tyler Thibault, Rodney Lee, Robbin Whachell (front), AJ Currie (back), Dave Bennie, Earl Elliott, Tony Matahlija, Scott Ducharme, Caresse Selk, Kyle Uno (back), Sandra Uno, Lilian Elliott (back), Dr. Elaine Golds, and Chris Hamming. 

25 years!  A group photo and cake to commemorate 25 years of "Salmon Come Home."  Seen left to right: Maya Uno (front), Tyler Thibault, Rodney Lee, Robbin Whachell (front), AJ Currie (back), Dave Bennie, Earl Elliott, Tony Matahlija, Scott Ducharme, Caresse Selk, Kyle Uno (back), Sandra Uno, Lilian Elliott (back), Dr. Elaine Golds, and Chris Hamming. 

The 25th instalment of Salmon Come Home on August 22 at the Hoy Creek Hatchery had close to 4000  people turn out to celebrate the return of the salmon.

After a very dry summer and fall, rains did come through in time for salmon viewing although not in the same numbers as years prior. 

THROWBACK: A 2004 Tri-City News ad for Salmon Come Home

THROWBACK: A 2004 Tri-City News ad for Salmon Come Home

One patron said, "What an awesome event it was! Thank you for all that you planned and thanks to the gorgeous salmon who gave us all quite the show!"

A great time was had by all as people enjoyed seeing live salmon demonstrations, a salmon dissection, live entertainment by the Wild Salmon Creative Café featuring Raymond Matthew, Lana Crockett, Etienne Siew, Amy Lubik, and First Nation spoken word artist, Ostwelve (a Kwikwetlem descendant). 

The ever popular Angela Brown: The Ta Daa Lady & The Nylon Zoo entertained children of all ages with stories and a costume parade of woodland creatures. 

A live chum salmon. (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

A live chum salmon. (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

A celebratory cake was served, with an official photo to commemorate the 25th year of the event which is a collaboration between Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) and the City of Coquitlam. Founding HSWS member, Chris Hamming was there to help cut the cake along with Dr. Elaine Golds of the Burke Mountain Naturalists, and Tony Matahlija from the North Fraser Salmon Assistance Project who was one of those who helped build the hatchery. 

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.

Cutting the cake for 25 years of Salmon Come Home - left to right: Dr. Elaine Golds of Burke Mountain Naturalists who have been coming to Salmon Come Home probably since day 1, Tony Matahlija from North Fraser Salmon Assistance Project, who helped build the hatchery, and HSWS founding member and salmon educator, Chris Hamming.

Cutting the cake for 25 years of Salmon Come Home - left to right: Dr. Elaine Golds of Burke Mountain Naturalists who have been coming to Salmon Come Home probably since day 1, Tony Matahlija from North Fraser Salmon Assistance Project, who helped build the hatchery, and HSWS founding member and salmon educator, Chris Hamming.

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. 

A big thank you to this year's sponsors, Vancity and 98 7 The Point radio. 

Visitors and residents of Coquitlam view salmon in Hoy Creek during Salmon Come Home - salmon viewing is at its peak into December.  (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

Visitors and residents of Coquitlam view salmon in Hoy Creek during Salmon Come Home - salmon viewing is at its peak into December.  (Photo: Tina-Louise Harris) 

Close to 4000 came out from far and wide for Salmon Come Home 2017! (HSWS photo)

Close to 4000 came out from far and wide for Salmon Come Home 2017! (HSWS photo)

See more photos below or view the City of Coquitlam Facebook album HERE
View more candid photos in the HSWS Facebook album HERE.

Photos seen below were taken by Tina-Louise Harris. 

Aquatic Invertebrate Survey Conducted at Hoy Creek

Invertebrate sampling

On Saturday, September 23, approximately 8 volunteers from of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society took part in an invertebrate survey, of which details were provided to the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation 'Streamkeepers Database.' Numerous curious members of the public, who happened to be walking by the area also participated. 

To start, two 30x30 cm samples were taken from Hoy Creek immediately upstream of the Hoy Creek hatchery using a D frame net designed for invertebrate surveys.

Water containing the invertebrates from the creek (the samples) was divided into several wash basin sized samples. Kids and adults then patiently inspected each sample, capturing all the aquatic invertebrates using a spoon or pipette, placing them into an ice cube square according to the type of invertebrate.

Nearly 400 invertebrates from the two 30x30 cm samples were counted and sorted into 12 different groups (taxa).  That works out to a density of over 2000 aquatic invertebrates per square metre of creek bed!

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The observations were then used to conduct basic water quality and diversity assessments of the creek using several different indices (e.g. Pollution Tolerant Index, EPT Index, Predominant Taxon Ratio).

Our sample achieved a 'good' rating (the highest rating) across all four indices.

The most abundant aquatic invertebrates in the samples were caddisflies. Their cases (houses they build themselves and attach to rocks) could be seen all over the rocks where the samples were taken.

There were also mayflies, scuds, aquatic works, leeches, water mites and stoneflies captured.

The prize catch of the day were two giant stoneflies, which measured nearly 5 cm in length.

A great find! Two large stoneflies. 

A great find! Two large stoneflies. 

Data was uploaded to the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation website and is available HERE.

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

Fourth annual fin clipping exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery

Volunteers carefully snip the adipose fin off a sedated coho fry

Volunteers carefully snip the adipose fin off a sedated coho fry

On June 15, 2017 we performed our fourth fin clipping exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery for our coho salmon fry.

The adipose fin is removed after the fish are sedated. It's a fast process and many careful hands make light work.

The entire procedure is overseen by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. All fry recovered expect one of approximately 5500 fishmarked.  The markings help the society identify hatchery fish during returns in the fall.

Thanks to Hoy-Scott Watershed members who provided the photos seen here.

Many hands make light and fast work! Hoy-Scott Watershed Volunteers during our fourth annual fin-clipping exercise

Many hands make light and fast work! Hoy-Scott Watershed Volunteers during our fourth annual fin-clipping exercise

Sedated coho fry. 

Sedated coho fry. 

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)

 

 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society welcomes new directors

left to right is: Arno Hazebroek, Sandra Uno, and Chris Hamming

left to right is: Arno Hazebroek, Sandra Uno, and Chris Hamming

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held their annual general meeting on Wednesday, May 17th at the Coquitlam Library. It was well attended, and we wish to thanks all those that came out to support our Society.

We are pleased to announce our new directors who will join our executive team.

Seen here after the meeting from left to right is: Arno Hazebroek, Sandra Uno, and Chris Hamming (who is a HSWS founding member).

The directors join Robbin Whachell, President; Rodney Lee, Vice President; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; and Emily Rossi, Secretary to complete the HSWS executive board.

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