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!

Tla’amin Fish Hatchery Tour

Tla’amin Fish Hatchery Tour
by Cindy Dalcourt, 5 Nov
. 2018

28 Members made their way to the Hatchery this morning where we met up with Lee George, the Hatchery manager. There were a lot of fish, both dead and alive in the river as well as in the spawning channel and the fish ladder. We did not get to see the actual egg taking as they finished that work last week. George spoke to us in front of the community smoke house where he told us all about the life cycle of the salmon, what happens at the hatchery and how they are working towards raising and releasing more and more fish in this river and in the area. The statistics were astounding. He was an interesting and informative speaker who has a real passion for the salmon. He told us that many different types of salmon come to spawn in this same river at different times.

At a table an elder quickly butchered a Chum salmon and showed us the traditional way of attaching it to a spit with cedar sticks so it was ready to be placed in front of a fire for cooking or into the smoke house for smoking. We moved on to the open fire where there was another band member speaking about the bar-B-Qing of the fish and other interesting facts. From there we went to the underground/underwater viewing area and could see the salmon swimming. Some already looked to be in very rough shape. We walked the grounds and banks of the river and eventually made our way to the community gym where we were treated to fish soup, bannok and barBQed salmon. There were some handicraft displays but we missed the drumming, dancing etc. as we had spent extra time at the hatchery as it was so interesting. Some of us finished off by going down to the ocean to see where the fish were actually entering the river. There were eagles too numerous to count as well as seabirds and sea lions taking advantage of all the fish.

What a wonderful way to spend the morning. I was very impressed with everything the hatchery is doing to keep the salmon returning to this area for all to enjoy.

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.

Salmon at Sliammon

Salmon at Sliammon
by David Bedry, 10 October 2015.

Ten hardy people braved the miserable weather to see the Sliammon hatchery.

Lee George, the hatchery manager, talked to us about the returning salmon, the harvesting of eggs, rearing the fish and their final release back into the river. We also saw the rebuilt weir over the stream. Besides seeing chum salmon in the water we were treated to a mother bear and her cub.

Lee also talked about community involvement with the hatchery. There is a smoke house the community uses, as well as school groups coming and spending a day at the facility-usually the beginning of November.  Water quality is also a major concern for rearing the salmon.