The Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining and building salmon stocks in local waterways and facilitating public education regarding salmonid habitat and life cycles.

Summer 2024 Operations Update

As of June 2024, we have incubated, reared, and released approximately 107,000 Pink fry, 22,000 adipose fin clipped Coho smolts, and 14,000 Chinook smolts into Chapman Creek this season.

Currently, we are holding 19,000 Coho fry at the hatchery, where they will remain until May or June 2025. In October, these Coho will have their adipose fins clipped, this will identify them as “hatchery fish”. Sport fishers are permitted to retain hatchery Coho, while those caught with their adipose fins intact must be released unharmed so they are able to continue their journey to the spawning grounds. These intact-finned Coho are considered wild.

This past winter/spring, we purchased and installed a backup generator and associated equipment to automatically power the entire hatchery during a power failure. Previously, we did not have this capability. The primary reason for installing a backup power supply is to ensure we can pump groundwater from any of three on-site wells to the fish containers. If the power goes out while we are pumping water, it can harm the fish in two ways:

  1. The pumped water supply flow stops, depleting oxygen levels in the rearing containers, which can become lethal within minutes if someone isn’t there right away to put them onto the creek water supply. Additionally at times during summer drought conditions the creek water may not be available and pumped water its the only source.
  2. Our groundwater temperature remains constant at 10°C year-round, whereas the creek water varies from just above 0°C in the winter to over 20°C in the summer. We mix these two sources at the upper and lower creek water temperature extremes to maintain an optimal temperature for the salmon, ideally between 2°C and 14°C, depending on the time of year. By suddenly having to change water sources during a power failure the rapid temperature change can physically harm the fish or eggs, with larger temperature differences causing more significant harm, potentially becoming lethal. When creek water temperatures reach 18°C or higher, the potential for mortality increases. Temperatures above this threshold can cause significant stress to the fish, potentially leading to increased mortality, reduced growth rates, and higher susceptibility to disease.

The backup power supply will prevent these scenarios from occurring.

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Chapman Creek Hatchery

2023 Salmon Release Festival

  • Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society
  • 4381 Parkway Dr, Sechelt, BC V7Z 0G8
  • (604) 885-4136 Toll Free: 1 887-330-4326
  • Office Hours: M-F, 9 AM to 3 PM, Closed Weekends and Stat Holidays. Closed for Lunch Noon to 1 PM.
  • Visitor Hours 7 Days a Week - 9 AM to 3:30 PM. Please come and see the operations.