Salmon Spawning & Lunch at Rowena’s

July 22, 2013 − by Ron − in Programs from Past Years − 1 Comments

Friday November 15th/13                                                         

Cost: Member $25 / $35 Non-member

Meet at LLCS for 9:30 am bus   departure – Wear good walking shoes, bring a camera and dress for the weather.

Pre-register early for all bus tours

 

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Chehalis River Hatchery is a salmonid enhancement facility operated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Government of Canada) near Harrison Mills in the province of British Columbian Canada. We use modern fish culture techniques to produce coho salmon, chinook salmon, chum salmon, pink salmon, steelhead trout, and sea-run cutthroat trout. The juvenile fish are reared for two months to one year (depending on the species) at the hatchery and then released into the Chehalis River and the Harrison River. The juveniles then migrate to the Fraser River and out to the Pacific Ocean. The fish grow in the ocean from a few months up to four or five years. Those that have not been caught in various commercial and sport fisheries then return to the Chehalis River, the Harrison River, and the hatchery to spawn. Hatchery statistics and hatchery benefits provide detailed information. A current fishing report is also available.

Since 1982, the Chehalis River Hatchery has been a Fisheries and Oceans operated facility.

Costing a total $6.5 million to build, this federally run facility uses modern fish culture techniques to enhance salmonid populations in the Harrison River system, including that of:

  • coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch),
  • chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha),
  • chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta),
  • pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha),
  • steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and
  • anadromous cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki).

Depending on species, juvenile fish, called fry, are reared for two months to a year. They are released into the Chehalis and Harrison rivers where they migrate to the Fraser River and then to the Pacific Ocean. Again depending on species, they will spend up to four years in salt water and then return to the Chehalis River to spawn.

The hatchery provides a considerable year-round freshwater sport fishery with the production of coho, summer and fall chinook, summer and winter steelhead, and cutthroat trout. It also provides fishermen with daily information on local water conditions, access, angling success, and fish numbers. The saltwater commercial and sport fisheries benefit from the chinook, coho, and chum that are produced. In addition to fishermen, the facility is visited by hundreds of tourists, school children, and the general public for educational and recreational purposes.

The Chehalis River Hatchery is rearing trout for the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery, which is run by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. The adult trout are spawned at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery facility. These trout include rainbow, summer and winter steelhead, and cutthroat. Juvenile trout are transported using the society’s Live Trout tank trucks to the Chehalis River Hatchery where they are held for 6 months to 2 years. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC then takes the rainbow trout and distributes them to approximately 20 lakes throughout the lower mainland. The cutthroat trout are taken to Weaver Creek, Harrison River and the remainder are released from the hatchery. All steelhead are released from the Chehalis Hatchery. This provincial fish-stocking program is crucial to the recreational fishing in the lower mainland.

The Chehalis First Nation and the Chehalis River Hatchery also work together. The Chehalis First Nation helps the hatchery with fry production and also harvests surplus returns of chum and coho that return to the hatchery

 Click here to link with Hatchery

 

We’ve been told that Rivers Edge Restaurant (Rowendas) is the Fraser Valley’s preferred destination restaurant.

The Fraser Valley is heaven for those passionate about the calibre of ingredients. The fertile grounds of local farms and vineyards produce stunning flavours, colours and scents.

Other Bus Trips Friday  September 27th – White Rock Museum  and Beach.  Cost: $35 Member/ $40 non-member– Tues. Oct. 8 Minter Gardens Cost: $45/$55 Monday October 21st – O.W.L. Delta, Afternoon in Ladner. Cost: Member $35 /$40 non-memberFriday  December 6th – Vancouver   Planetarium. Cost: $40 member /   $45 on-member
Pre-register early for all bus tours Call, e-mail or check our website for details. Meet at LLCS for bus  departure – Wear good walking shoes, bring a camera and dress for the weather.

Lifetime Learning Centre Society Eagle Festival Bus Tour

Written by Cindy Crane, Practicuum Student

 Friday November 15 dawned dismal, wet and grey, yet the cheery sounds of laughter and conversation on the Lifetime Learning Centre’s Busy Bus lifted our spirits irrespective of the ever-present mist concealing the tops of the mountains. Thirteen intrepid seniors including Lexi and myself were eagerly anticipating our first destination at the Chehalis Flats Salmon and Eagle Enhancement Preserve. One eagle eyed (pardon the pun) traveller spotted four beautiful white birds in a field, which she quickly identified as trumpeter swans.

Upon arriving at the Hatchery, we all donned umbrellas and embarked on our self-guided tour. Since the salmon are spawning right now, we not only were able to read about the various phases in the salmon processing procedures, we witnessed masses of them, swimming in the channels. While we watched the strong young men sexing the fish, they patiently answered our questions. Then we followed a young man driving a forklift with a huge yellow tub. We were close enough to hear him ask his boss, “These are male, right?” I am assuming that would be a very important distinction to make at that point!

As we all piled back into the bus, raincoats dripping, I noticed a couple in the back sitting with a nice hand knit quilt over their knees. Then I saw a stack of nice warm blankets in the roof rack and grabbed a nice one for myself and two for the ladies sitting in front of me. It was then I heard a voice saying, “Oh stewardess, could I please have a G&T?” The whole bus erupted in laughter. Another gentleman asked me for a sandwich. Such great camaraderie; I can’t wait to retire.

With the bus heater wafting the smell of wet leather through the air, we bounced off down the hill to the Pretty Estates Resort. Even in the pouring rain and wind, the quaint old house, the little water feature with the bronze herons and water nymph, and the green grass of the golf course looked stunning. River’s Edge Restaurant was gorgeous, with its well-appointed décor, carved birds and very friendly waitresses. While we ate our salmon cakes and salads, we were able to watch two bald eagles sitting at the water’s edge on the web cam monitor. I glanced around our table and noticed the other groups of twos and fours, chatting and thoroughly enjoying each other’s presence.

I was fortunate enough to sit at the same table as Wendy, who is a volunteer with the Fraser Valley Eagle Festival. She told us fascinating stories about how the white feathers in the eagle’s head are prismatic and give off an aura-like signature that other eagles can recognize. She also told an amazing story of what happens when an eagle in effect grabs too many cookies in the cookie jar. When they have locked their talons onto a fish that is too heavy to lift out of the water, they enact a clever plan. With their outstretched wings acting like sails, they navigate the swimming fish toward the shore. Once at the shore they are able to kill and eat the fish. Wendy also told us about the man behind the festival, David Hancock. Her stories about him made us desire to take in all his upcoming talks at various locations for the remainder of the festival. He sounds like he is part eagle.

After lunch a few of us braved the horizontal rainfall to walk down to the shore and were rewarded by seeing several eagles thermalling, somewhat unsuccessfully, due to the lack of warmth. We also heard an eagle in the trees, calling out in a budgie-like cackling. Perhaps he questioning our sanity; as compared to those who remained in the warmth of the restaurant.

Fortified with a warm lunch, we were all ready to meet Arnold and Henry at the next hatchery. Inch Creek Hatchery provided us with a water resistant guide, who made this tour even more interesting and informative than Chehalis. She had real samples of salmon eggs, the embryos at alevin and fry stages and tiny sturgeon eggs. We learned all about the process of extracting the eggs from the females and the milt from the males. Again we saw many, many salmon swimming back to their place of birth. Such a mystery; that was the only question she couldn’t answer with 100% certainty. Those of us who followed her around in the rain were introduced to the two ancient sturgeons, Arnold and Henry. They live and work (in order to find out what their job description is, you will have to visit the hatchery) in a pond and were clearly visible in the water. All eight feet of them!  Later, the guide was kind enough to restate her talk on the bus for the benefit of the seniors who wisely elected to stay warm and dry.

After six hours of bonding with twelve other great folks on this tour, we headed back to Lifetime Learning Centre location and reluctantly parted ways. I am sure I am not the only one who will impatiently await the Centre’s next scheduled bus adventure. It was both fascinatingly educational and a real community builder. For future tours, I highly recommend rubber boots, raincoats and rain pants and perhaps your own warm blankie.





One Comment

  1. The hatchery provides a considerable year-round freshwater sport fishery with the production of coho, summer and fall chinook, summer and winter steelhead, and cutthroat trout. It also provides fishermen with daily information on local water conditions, access, angling success, and fish numbers. The saltwater commercial and sport fisheries benefit from the chinook, coho, and chum that are produced. In addition to fishermen, the facility is visited by hundreds of tourists, school children, and the general public for educational and recreational purposes.

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