The Sunshine coast Salmonid Enhancement Society has been enhancing Chapman Creek with pink, coho and chinook salmon for 25 years. Historically there was no pink salmon or a chinook run in Chapman Creek. Every two years Chapman Creek pink salmon stocks are augmented from Quinsam Hatchery stocks.
This year Canadian Tire generously donated transport, manpower and $300 for the return ferry trip from Campbell River to collect pink salmon eggs that were spawned on September 24.
On Friday Nov 6 at 7:30 AM David Burnett manager of the Chapman Creek Hatchery and Michael Jurens, service manager of Canadian Tire collected 300,000 eyed pink salmon eggs from Quinsam Hatchery in Campbell River for live transport back to the Chapman Creek Hatchery.
The eyed pink salmon eggs were packed with damp paper towel and stacked in boxes for the long ferry trip back to the Sunshine Coast. “It’s absolutely amazing that salmon eggs can survive out of water for over 9 hours transport in a vehicle with no mortalities.” It really is a miracle of life!
Upon arrival at 4:00 PM in Sechelt the pink salmon eggs were placed in heath trays in the hatchery incubation building. Due to the cold water temperatures of Chapman Creek the eggs will hatch in about one to two months’ time. During this time staff and volunteers pick dying eggs caused from excessive silt in the water to ensure low egg mortality rates. The hatched pink fry will then be released into Chapman Creek spending time in the estuary prior to going to sea.
Enhanced Salmon benefits everyone on the Sunshine Coast
Enhanced pink salmon add much needed nutrients to the creek. First Nations, Sport Fishing and Commercial Fisheries all reap the rewards from salmon enhancement on the Sunshine Coast. As of 2015 fishers old and new can for the first time ever retain four pink salmon per day on Chapman Creek. The pink salmon from Quinsam Hatchery will return as adults to Chapman Creek from the ocean in the fall of 2017 as they are imprinted on the water from Chapman Creek.
If you have some time over the next few months our hatchery volunteers need some help to pick close to 500,000 pink, coho and chinook eggs on a daily basis. Without the support of the community and our volunteers, salmon enhancement on the Sunshine Coast would not be possible. Please contact the Chapman Creek Hatchery if you have some time to spare.
By David Burnett
Executive Director / Hatchery Manager
Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society