BIFWC volunteers have been busy over the last year. With the help of our partners Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO), the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Metro Vancouver Parks, the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation, and Bowen Island Municipality we upgraded the Terminal Creek Salmon Hatchery in Crippen Park and repaired several important components of the hatchery water system. Volunteers completed this work in the summer when water levels were low. We always try to employ local businesses and, in this case, I’d like to thank Peter Ryan of Ryan Metalworks and Ed Weismiller of J&E Backhoe.
Last month we received 100,000 pink salmon eggs from DFO which are now incubating at the hatchery. Volunteers care for them every day. The chum salmon return was very poor this fall so we will not receive our usual allotment of chum eggs. We will receive coho eggs in late January or early February.
Exciting news flash! Returning coho spawners are difficult to observe because their dark reddish colour makes them hard to see in the water, they are fast swimmers, and coho like to travel and spawn at night. Over the last few weeks residents have seen coho swimming under the Causeway from Mannion Bay into the Lagoon. A few hardy BIFWC volunteers with bright flashlights have observed coho late at night and early in the morning. Coho are strong swimmers and will climb the Bridal Veil Falls fish ladders to spawn in Terminal Creek. On the west side of Bowen coho will swim up climbing pools to Explosives Creek from Tunstall Bay. The coho spawn will likely last until the end of December.
BIFWC volunteers wish to thank the Bowen community and our partners for supporting wild salmon and protecting salmon habitat.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.