watershed

HSWS participates in Walton Elementary Earth Day event

Stewart and Chris at the Walton Elementary Earth Day event.

Stewart and Chris at the Walton Elementary Earth Day event.

Members of the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) participated in the Earth Day Swap Meet event put on by Walton Elementary School on April 28. The schoo is a short walk through the forest to Hoy Creek Hatchery. 

"It's important for the students, parents, and teachers to be aware of the salmon sanctuary that is so close to their school," said president of the Society, Robbin Whachell. "Many of the families walk through the watershed along Hoy Trail on their way to and from school, so it's important that they have an awareness that each of us have a role to play in protecting our watershed, which in turn assists in the preservation of our salmon." 

Robbin and Lani at Walton Elementary 

Robbin and Lani at Walton Elementary 

"It was wonderful to talk to parents who have observed changes in the watershed, or who have witnessed wildlife. The watershed is a wonderful place to explore."

A big thanks to Society volunteers, Chris Hamming and Stewart Brotchie who interacted with participants on Friday evening, and to Lani Lehun who represented the Society on Saturday with Robbin. 

HSWS applauds the organizers for leading an important event that not only supports their school but helps open eyes and minds to the wonders and sensitivities of our environment. 

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.

Yvonne from Walton Elementary thanks the Society at Salmon Leave Home

Yvonne from Walton Elementary thanks the Society at Salmon Leave Home

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

 

 

Hair Ice a Beautiful Discovery in the Watershed

Hair ice or frost seen in Hoy Trail, Coquitlam, BC, Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Hair ice or frost seen in Hoy Trail, Coquitlam, BC, Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Walking along Hoy Trail on a chilly zero-degree snow-less January 2015 morning, Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) member Robbin was delighted to spot Haareis or “Hair Ice” which is an ice or frost formation. 

"I was picking up trash along the trail and at first thought it was dropped Kleenex tissue. I went to pick itup and was amazed at what I saw," said Robbin. "I was so excited to keep spotting it, I even called a man over who was walking his dog."

Hair ice is said to only grow on humid winter nights when the temperature is just below 0°C. When there is no snow it's easy to spot, but many pass it by thinking it is simply snow.

Hair ice spotted in January 2017 along Hoy Trail (Photo: Robbin Whachell /HSWS)

Hair ice spotted in January 2017 along Hoy Trail (Photo: Robbin Whachell /HSWS)

“Hair Ice is ice that grows outward from the surface of the wood, as super-cooled water emerges from the wood, freezes and adds to the hairs from the base,” says Dr. James R. Carter, Professor Emeritus, at Illinois State University, who wrote about Hair Ice on his website(HERE) and interestingly enough, many of his photos are from Vancouver Island, Canada.

“… the hairs of ice do not grow from linear fissures in a stem but rather appear to come out of pores in the wood.  As such they are similar to hair on a head,” writes Dr. Carter.

In 2015, BBC wrote about the mysterious ice formation, saying that scientists have discovered that the formations are actually caused by a fungus called Exidiopsis effusa found on rotting wood.

See more photos of hair ice and watch a time-lapse video of it forming HERE.

We encourage the community to keep an eye out for hair ice when they are in the watershed.

Hair ice pushing out from inside a twig(Photo: Robbin Whachell /HSWS)

Hair ice pushing out from inside a twig(Photo: Robbin Whachell /HSWS)

Hair ice in the early morning along Hoy Trail, Coquitlam, B.C. Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Hair ice in the early morning along Hoy Trail, Coquitlam, B.C. Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

Coquitlam to host, Salmon Come Home on October 25th

 

The salmon are back in Hoy Creek!  Join the City of Coquitlam and the Hoy-Scott Creek Watershed Society to celebrate their return at the annual Salmon Come Home gathering at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Sunday, October 25th from 11 am to 3 pm. Bring your family and friends to participate in this exciting community event which attracts thousands of people to view spawning chum salmon in-stream, and learn about this amazing fish through educational demonstrationsand displays.

Enjoy music, children's crafts, costume parade and story telling with Angela Brown, prize fish pond, face painting,  music by Tri-City Radio, 98.7 CKPM FM, and the Creative Café will be serving up fun and Spirit Bear Coffee.

The free, family event runs rain or shine and provides a great opportunity to learn about the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society's salmon enhancement program, as well as the work of many other local stewardship groups. Participating is: Burke Mountain Naturalists; City of Coquitlam - Bad Seed; City of Coquitlam - Solid Waste and Recycling; City of Coquitlam - Urban Wildlife; City of Coquitlam - 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; Canadian Sound Therapy Arts Society - Wild Salmon Creative Café; Vancity Pinetree Branch; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and the Port Moody Ecological Society.

Hoy Creek Hatchery is located off of Princess Crescent, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex and the Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam.  Parking is available at City Hall or at Douglas College David Lam Campus where you can enjoy a short walk inland to the hatchery via Hoy Creek Trail. To find the location on your cell phone map app, Google "Hoy Creek Hatchery." Location via Google maps

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.

 

Salmon Come Home, 2014

Salmon Come Home, 2014

Join our Facebook Event Page to keep updates, and be sure to invite your family and friends...  Our event hashtag is #salmoncomehome.

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 hoyscottcreeks.org

Salmon Come Home is environmentally-themed and designed to promote public awareness about conservation and spawning salmon that migrate back to Coquitlam. For more information on Salmon Come Home, please visit coquitlam.ca/enviroevents