hoy-scott watershed society

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)

Hoy/Scott Watershed Society Loses Founding Member

Chris Hamming in 2018 during Salmon Come Home.

Chris Hamming in 2018 during Salmon Come Home.

Our society is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our founding members, Chris Hamming who passed away this month. Chris was a beloved retired school teacher and salmon educator; and a hard-working volunteer of not only the Hoy Creek Hatchery but Tynehead Hatchery as well. Chris also volunteered for many years at Science World.

In 2018 the Society honoured Chris for his many years of service. The photo above was taken during Salmon Come Home in 2018.

“Chris was such an extraordinary person,” said Keith Kozak, founding member of the Society. “His energies, inspiration, and dedication to his passions, and teaching was something to be admired. Chris was an invaluable resource for the formation of HSWS. When I was president, and our group decided to officially form a society, the time and numerous meetings with Chris for his feedback were extremely vital to our agenda.”

“I am sure that all Hoy members who knew Chris will miss his warm smile and positive attitude,” said founding member Linda Gorsline who now lives in Ontario. “He was a natural teacher, a lover of nature and was always interested in the opinions and ideas of others. He was always willing to help in Hoy projects. I am sad to know he has left us, but will always have happy memories of him and I am very pleased that I was lucky to know him.”

"Chris was one of the original members that encouraged me to get involved," said Tim Tyler, a former HSWS president. "He led with that smile and by doing, and was a pleasure to deal with: funny, enthusiastic, practical, optimistic and always willing to ‘lift his end of the log’ so to speak. A runner and rower, it was not widely known that as an educator he was also involved in the Science Fair on a regular basis. He was one of the good ones and his passing is a loss to us all. My condolences to his family."

His memorial service was held at Tapestry Mundy Park Church in Coquitlam on June 5. Hoy-Scott Watershed Society president Robbin Whachell spoke on behalf of the society. Read her remarks here.

Chris Hamming was knows as the “Salmon Educator” (seen here in 2015 at Salmon Come Home)

Chris Hamming was knows as the “Salmon Educator” (seen here in 2015 at Salmon Come Home)

Chris being interviewed on radio in 2015.

Chris being interviewed on radio in 2015.

Salmon Left Home Thanks to Many Volunteers

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery - Left to right: Pinetree student, Lucas; Elder Beverly and Chief Ed Hall of  Kwikwetlem First Nation . (Photo: HSWS)

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery - Left to right: Pinetree student, Lucas; Elder Beverly and Chief Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation. (Photo: HSWS)

Mother's Day was extra special this year as we released our coho smolts during an idyllic temperature day on May 12 at the Hoy Creek Hatchery.

Hundreds came out to take part in our Salmon Leave Home event, where 5000 coho smolts found their new home in Hoy Creek. From the creek, the smolts begin their journey to the ocean: Hoy Creek → Scott Creek → Coquitlam River → Fraser River → Strait of Georgia / Pacific Ocean!  

A student volunteer guides a boy in releasing a coho smolt at Salmon Leave Home

A student volunteer guides a boy in releasing a coho smolt at Salmon Leave Home

The student volunteers of the Pinetree Secondary School Community Club, and our own HSWS student volunteers played a huge part in the success of the event. They helped members hand out buckets of fish, kept the crowds directed to salmon release areas, assisted in safe salmon release, and led Mother’s Day themed plant crafts, as well as provided face-painting throughout the day. Thank you!

Honoured guests, Chief Ed Hall and Elder Beverly of Kwikwetlem First Nation were on hand for opening words and to release our first fish.

Thanks to all that took part in making this day special. Be sure to save the date, and join us in the fall for Salmon Come Home on October 20.

See more photos on our Facebook album.

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery -- THANK YOU Student Volunteers!

Salmon Leave Home 2019 at Hoy Creek Hatchery -- THANK YOU Student Volunteers!

Salmon Come Home a Success Despite Lack of Fish

SCH HSWS Team with Ed Hall.jpg

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.

SCH Rodney Lee Hatchery manageer.jpg
SCH Angela Brown.jpg
SCH Chris Salmon Talks.jpg






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." 

Certificate of Appreciation.jpg

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!

Aquatic-Invertebrate.jpg

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