Members of Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society collect fish at Sooke River's Pemberton Pool.

CRD celebrates salmon, new parkland in Sooke

Parkland provides access to Pemberton Pool which has provided salmon stock for salmon enhancement for decades.

The Capital Regional District hosted a celebration of its most recent parkland acquisition Saturday along the Sooke River.

The parkland provides access to Pemberton Pool which has provided chinook and coho brood stock for the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society for decades. The pool is critical for the future of the Sooke River Salmon stock, say CRD officials.

The 6.47-hectare of parkland was bought in May for $1.2 million.

In addition to salmon enhancement, the property is situated close to the Galloping Goose Trail and has some old-growth trees.

More than 100 people took part in the invite-only celebration, which was presided over by CRD regional parks committee chair and Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks.

Special guests included T’Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordon Planes and Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan.

“The CRD directors felt that it was imperative to secure this property for the future of the salmon stocks, Sooke River, T’Sou-ke Nation and South Island residents,” Hicks told those who gathered for the celebration.

After the speeches, the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society seined for brood stock.

The property is not open to the public. The CRD will be developing a plan for future use of the site before it is opened to the public.