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Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

Chilliwack River Juvenile Steelhead Release

Published on Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Last week, Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery and Chilliwack Salmon Hatchery teamed up for the annual juvenile steelhead release in the Chilliwack/Vedder River system. Each year, approximately 125,000 juvenile steelhead which have been raised at the hatchery are released into the river. These fish will spend the next few years in the ocean and return as adult steelhead in the winter months.

For more information about the program, please watch this video.

Collecting Eggs and Milt

Published on Monday, October 29th, 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be part of a rather fun, or dirty, project on the Alouette River. Students from BCIT were learning the process of collecting chum salmon eggs and milt for the Seymour Salmon Hatchery, and I was invited to document it.

As mentioned in an earlier article, 2012’s Fraser River chum salmon run has been better than average so far. 3 to 3.5 million fish are estimated to make their way into the system by the end of the year. Just the Alouette River alone can see up to 250,000 spawning fish returning. I was blown away by the amount of fish that have reached the counting fence at the hatchery.

Each year, Seymour Salmon Hatchery collects eggs and milt from the Alouette River to boost Seymour River’s chum salmon stock. The run has been poor for many usual reasons, including the existing dam, urbanization and poaching. By transplanting more fish, the hope is to rebuild this run to possibly what it once was.

Here are some photographs. Stay tuned for the video feature!

Big School of Spawning Chum Salmon

Collecting Chum Salmon Broods

Dead Chum Salmon

Return of Salmon at Kanaka Creek

Published on Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This past weekend, we decided to put our fishing rods down and attended a very worthy local event in Maple Ridge. On Sunday, at Kanaka Creek, volunteers from Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society (K.E.E.P.S.) displayed salmon that are currently returning to this system at the fish counting fence.

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a spawned out chum salmon

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a chum salmon

Kanaka Creek is a small river system. Unlike larger systems such as the Chilliwack River, it only sees the return of several hundreds to thousands of salmon each year. Meanders through a rapidly developing part of Metro Vancouver, it faces many challenges, including pollution, river discharge fluctuation and poaching. Collectively, these challenges can impact the fragile salmon population if actions are not taken.

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a chum salmon

K.E.E.P.S. is an active stewardship group that ensures the survival of this stream and its inhabitants. By ongoing work at the Bell-Irving Hatchery, habitat enhancement, river patrol and various outreach programs, it has been responsible for the return of these fish each year.

Chum salmon eggs

While we were at the event, visitors also received an extra treat when a black bear decided to make a surprising appearance. I managed to capture the last portion of its visit on video.

Surplus brood trout release

Published on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Yesterday, we followed Kurt and Barry from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to Green Timbers Lake, where they released 150 brood rainbow trout. These trout, which have been used for producing catchable Fraser Valley rainbow trout that anglers enjoy catching at urban lakes, weigh up to 8lb. They are released at the end of each year as their production lifespan comes to an end. Rather than just disposing them, they are usually released into a few selected Lower Mainland urban lakes, where new and young anglers have an opportunity to catch a big trout.

This was also our first shooting with a new video camera that will follow us around in future fishing outings. The finished product was satisfactory. My apology in advance of the shakes, which will be worked on in future video. Other than that, I am quite pleased with it. I hope that you find the video informative. Kurt and Barry will be releasing another batch of these fish into Mill Lake today. Good luck if you decide to head down to Green Timbers Lake or the other urban lakes in the next several weeks.

Peamouth chub vs northern pikeminnow

Published on Monday, July 20th, 2009

Peamouth chub and northern pikeminnow are the most common fish species that are found in the Tidal Fraser River during the summer months. They belong in the same family and are closely related, therefore they look pretty similar to each other. Identifying the two is not difficult, because there are little but distinct differences that can be used to distinguish the two, as this video demonstrates.