Lang Creek Fish Hatchery and Native Plant Garden
by Paul Miniato, 6 Oct 2019
A warm sun pushed through the clouds as about 15 of us began our tour of the Hatchery. David Bedry explained how the operation of the facility meshed with the lifecycle of the salmon.
Needing different water temperatures, the various species – except Sockeye, which can’t spawn in this watershed – would naturally push varying degrees upstream. Now, all fish are diverted through the monitored facility, where Chinook, Chum, and Coho are counted, sorted, and processed to harvest eggs or sperm for incubation. Tyler from the Powell River Salmon Society showed us a couple of salmon awaiting their turn in the building, while more waited below the diversion. Pink Salmon are left to spawn naturally, and a few were visible in the man-made spawning channel nearby. David explained that the PRSS has an enviable record for egg survival rates.
No bears appeared, although they are expected along with the eagles as the Coho run surges later in October. As we toured the beautiful grounds, we were entertained by the croak of a startled heron, as well as cartwheeling ravens. We ended our walk in the Native Plant Garden, where Michael Stewart recapped the history of the ten-year-old garden as well as plans for new signage to make it more accessible to school groups. Michael was on-hand to answer questions about native plant gardening. We learned how challenging it can be to know you are planting endemic species rather than hybrids.
Thank you, David and Michael, and to all the volunteers who have put so much into this area. Both leaders stressed the need for new volunteers as existing ones fall away and the workload remains. Offers appreciated!