Lang Bay Hatchery and Nature Garden

Lang Bay Hatchery and Nature Garden
by David Bedry
, 17 October 2021

We met at Lang creek on a drizzly morning where we were met by Phil and Tesarlatwo of the hatchery’s staff.  With our overnight down pour they had been up all night.  They had been monitoring the rising creek levels and keeping the water intake for the building free of debris.

Phil gave an introductory talk about the facility.  It is where eggs and milt are harvested from the fish.  The eggs and milt are then transported to the hatchery which is at the paper mill.  Four species return to Lang creek.  Pink salmon are left to spawn on their own while chinook, coho and chum are sorted and stored in the egg take collection building.  Eggs are harvested when the eggs mature for the different species.  Chinook mature first followed by the chum and then the coho.

All the fish are diverted through the building where a count of the fish occurs. After the eggs and milt of selected fish of each species are collected, the rest of the fish in storage are released back to the creek to continue their trip up the creek to spawn on their own.

Micheal Stewart then gave a talk on the Native Plant Garden which is beside the parking lot.  A recent donation from Powell River Community Forest allowed the Naitive plant society to install new plant identification signs.


Lang Creek Fish Hatchery and Native Plant Garden

Lang Creek Fish Hatchery and Native Plant Garden
by Paul Miniato, 6 Oct

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!

Lang Creek Hatchery

Lang Creek Hatchery
by David Bedry, 30 Sept 2017. 

About a dozen people met at Lang Creek to see the returning salmon and learn about the Lang Creek egg collection facility run by the Powell River Salmon Society.  With only two paid staff the PRESS relies on alot of volunteer help, especially at this time of year.

With recent rains and on shore winds the salmon have been making a steady return.  About three quarters of this years’s brood stock are already being held in the facility until they are ready to harvest the eggs.  The other fish are allowed to swim up stream to spawn in various locations of Lang Creek.

Michael Stuart finished off the morning with short talk about the Lang Creek Native Plant Garden, and the variety of plantings there.