Archived Reports

2013

An excellent Christmas gift after two years without chum: 190,390 eyed chum eggs arrived on December 22, 2012. The eggs hatched on February 2 and were an exceptionally healthy bunch, with a mortality rate of about 0.3%.

We ponded chum on March 30 and released them on April 25 and 26 into Rodgers, McDonald, Eagle, Nelson, Willow and Cypress creeks. The fry weighed an average of 0.66 grams at release.

Just over 60,000 coho eggs arrived from Capilano River Hatchery on February 11. The eggs hatched on March 17 and the mortality rate was about 1%. The coho were ponded on April 28. A few thousand were released in special events at Parc Verdun (Wood Creek) on May 9 and the Capilano Golf Course (Hadden Creek) on May 13. The majority were released across the municipality on May 14 (Eagle, Nelson, Larson, Caulfield, Willow, Cypress, Rodgers, McDonald, Lawson and West Brothers creeks). The coho weighed almost half a gram at release.

Coho smolts from the Capilano River Hatchery were released to lower McDonald Creek at Memorial Park for the Adopt-A-Fish event on April 27.

It was a bumper year for tailed frog tadpoles at our Nelson Creek hatchery. Approximately 700 tadpoles were swept into the troughs through the water system. Hatchery volunteers carefully collected them and placed them into Nelson Creek downstream of the intake.

This spring we tried a new system to fill the tank truck used to transport the salmon fry. We borrowed a fire hose from the municipality and reworked a dead end in the plumbing system. It worked well, and saved the backs of volunteers who used to supplement the slow garden hose with buckets of water. Other changes included erecting sign frame recycled from the District that we will use for public information. The District plans to replace the valve into the settling tank to improve water regulation from Nelson Creek. Thank you to all the helpful and interested District employees!

Fry release report 2013

2012

On January 27 we received 60,000 eyed coho eggs from the Capilano Hatchery.  In the past we have also obtained chum eggs from the Tenderfoot Hatchery in Squamish.  However for the second year in a row we did not receive chum eggs due to poor regional returns of chum.

The coho eggs were all hatched by March 20th.  The total number of picked dead eggs was 1437, or two percent.  The alevin buttoned and were ponded on April 26.  The fry were large and healthy and enthusiastic feeders.  A thousand fry were let go into Wood Creek  at Parc Verdun by Eagle Harbour School students on May 25th.  On May 29 and 30 the bulk of the coho were released into Larson, Nelson, Eagle, Caulfield, Rodgers, Pipe, McDonald, Lawson and West Brothers creeks.  The remaining 4000 coho went to Hadden Creek at the Capilano Golf Course on May 31.

Coho smolts from the Capilano Hatchery were released into lower McDonald Creek for Adopt-A-Fish on April 30. 

The District of West Vancouver has completed a number of improvements to the hatchery area and water system.  The changes include cleaning and upgrading the water delivery system, installing a seasonal back up water delivery system and low water alarm, and improving the security around the hatchery area.

A full summary of the 2012 fry releases is available here.

2011

On January 26th 2011 we received 67,000 eyed coho eggs from the Capilano Hatchery. In other years we have also obtained chum eggs from the Tenderfoot Hatchery in Squamish. However, the chum returns in the fall of 2010 were less than ten percent of normal levels, so there were no chum eggs to spare for our hatchery.

We knew beforehand that the coho eggs had thin and fragile shells, an occasional natural occurrence. Our volunteers gently coddled the eggs through to the alevin stage and lost just under thirteen percent, leaving us with about 59,000 coho. The eggs hatched to alevin on March 14. The alevin buttoned and were ponded on April 29th. Our fry were very healthy and aggressive feeders, and like natural jumpers that coho are, they were often observed trying to jump up the falling water entering the troughs. The coho averaged 1.4 grams at release.

West Vancouver District staff removed the silt from the settling tank upstream of the hatchery on June 9th without first contacting hatchery staff or DFO. Water flow to the hatchery was cut off during the cleaning, and the result was the deaths of approximately 15,000 coho, one quarter of the fish at the hatchery. Volunteers were devastated. The District has proposed several improvements and changes to the hatchery system to lessen the possibility that this will happen in the future.

The Nelson Creek Hatchery coho were released on June 12th to Eagle, Nelson, Willow, Cypress, Lawson and McDonald creeks. A few hundred coho were released to Wood Creek at Parc Verdun on June 10th with the help of school children from Eagle Harbour Primary School and other neighbourhood kids. Surplus coho fry from the Capilano Hatchery were released to West Brothers, Brothers, Marr, Godman, Pipe, Caulfield, Larson and Hadden creeks. A small number of coho smolts were released to McDonald Creek at Memorial Park as a children’s fish release on April 30th.

A full summary of the 2011 fry releases is available here.

2010

A severe storm and resultant debris flow in late December damaged the intake dam and blocked the water pipe. The municipality worked to get the water flowing, but not in time to transfer this year’s chum eggs from the Tenderfoot Hatchery. As this was not the first time the intake has been blocked by small debris (see summary for 2007) DFO decided that the hatchery would not receive salmon eggs in 2010. Instead, the hatchery received newly emerged fry and raised them before releasing them to creeks across West Vancouver. Chum fry were released to Eagle, Rodgers and McDonald creeks. Coho fry were released to Cypress, McDonald, Rodgers, Lawson, Eagle, Willow, Wood, Nelson, Godman, Hadden, West Brothers, and Brothers creeks. Pink salmon fry were released to Brothers and Cypress creeks. Fry releases also included newly emerged coho fry from the Capilano Hatchery and pinks from the Seymour Hatchery. A full summary of 2010 fry releases are available here.

2009

On December 31st 2008 we received 100,750 chum eggs from the Tenderfoot Hatchery. On January 16th, approximately 64,000 eyed coho eggs arrived from the Capilano Hatchery. The cold winter and spring weather slowed development of the coho and chum fry. All the chum were hatched by February 20th and the coho were hatched by the end of March. The chums were ponded into the troughs on April 19th and the coho were ponded on May 5th- three weeks later than usual!

On May 1st about half the chum fry were released to Larson, Eagle, Willow, Claymore and Cypress creeks. The rest were released to Rodgers, McDonald and Lawson creeks on May 2nd. The coho were released on May 19th and 21st to Hadden, McBeth, Lawson, McDonald, Rodgers, Cypress, Willow, Eagle, Nelson and Lawson creeks. The popular Eagle Harbour neighbourhood fry release of 600 coho was on June 2nd in Parc Verdun.

2008

On January 2nd we received 50,300 eyed chum eggs from the Tenderfoot Hatchery in Squamish. A poor chum return in the fall of 2007 resulted in our hatchery receiving about one quarter of the usual number of chum eggs. On January 24 68,800 eyed coho eggs arrived from Capilano Hatchery. All the chum were hatched by February 16th, and the coho were hatched by March 24th. The chums were ponded April 12th and the coho were ponded on May 4th. Nelson Creek hatchery chum smolts are usually used for Adopt A Fish on McDonald Creek in Memorial Park, however this year the chum were so newly ponded that 600 coho smolts from the Capilano Hatchery were released instead.

On April 29th the chum smolts divided among Larson, Rodgers, Lawson & McDonald creeks.

The Nelson Creek hatchery coho fry were released to Larson, Nelson, Eagle, Claymore, Willow, Cypress, Rodgers, McDonald and Lawson creeks on May 15th and 16th.
Approximately 140,000 surplus coho fry from the Capilano Hatchery were released to West Vancouver creeks on May 2nd and May 6th. The fry were placed in Hadden Creek at the Capilano Golf course, Brothers Tributary at Palmerston, and upper Brothers , Godman, Caulfield, Pipe and Marr creeks. And finally, just over 1000 of the Nelson Creek coho fry were released to Wood Creek at Parc Verdun as a neighbourhood event with the Eagle Harbour Primary school children on May 28th.

2007

The Nelson Creek Hatchery received about 177,000 eyed chum eggs from the Tenderfoot Hatchery on January 4th, and 60,000 eyed coho eggs from the Capilano Hatchery on January 9th. The chum eggs hatched in mid-February and the coho eggs hatched in early March. Unfortunately in late March small organic debris and silt from the windy winter storms blocked the intake on Nelson Creek and cut off the water supply. Over 90 percent of the coho and chum alevins died. The survivors were ponded immediately into the troughs and later released to Eagle Creek, a creek with a good record of salmon returns.

Unfed fry from the Capilano Hatchery were released to most of the creeks across West Vancouver. Capilano Hatchery also generously donated coho smolts for release in McDonald Creek for Adopt-A-Fish day. One thousand coho fry from the Capilano Hatchery were fed at the Nelson Creek Hatchery for a few weeks before being let go into Wood Creek for the Parc Verdun children’s fish release.

2006

The Nelson Creek Hatchery received about 200,000 chum eggs from the Tenderfoot Hatchery on January 4th, and 56,000 coho eggs from the Capilano Hatchery on February 10th. The chum were all ponded by early April. The chum fry were released in late April to Lawson, McDonald, Cypress, Willow, Claymore, Wood, Eagle, Nelson, Larson and Rodgers creeks.

The coho eggs hatched in late March and were ready to be ponded in early May. The coho fry were released in mid to late May to West Brothers tributary, Lawson, McDonald, Cypress, Willow, Claymore, Wood, Eagle, Nelson, Larson and Rodgers creeks.
Unfed surplus coho fry from the Capilano Hatchery were released to upper Brothers, West Brothers tributary, Lawson, McDonald, Marr, upper Cypress, Pipe and Rodgers creeks.

Prior to the release of any hatchery fish, wild spawned coho fry were observed in Dogwood, Lawson, Rodgers and Eagle creeks.