Chinook salmon stocks will see the benefit of the new hatchery being constructed in Sooke. (file photo)

New hatchery in Sooke a boon to salmon stocks

The facility will raise fry count to half a million

The construction of Sooke’s new $1 million salmon hatchery is on schedule and well on its way to becoming one of the few such facilities in Canada.

It hasn’t been an easy road for the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society and the Juan de Fuca Salmon Society’s initiative, particularly since the project, to this point at least, has been entirely self-funded.

“Of course, we would welcome the Province or the federal government to step up and help, but nothing has been coming our way as yet,” said Mike Hicks, the CRD’s Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director and one of the driving forces behind the hatchery project.

“I asked the Minister of Fisheries for help three months ago and haven’t even had a reply to the request. We haven’t gotten so much as a postcard back, so we’re just not going to sit and wait.”

RELATED: NEW HATCHERY ANNOUNCED

Still, Hicks describes the new partnership between the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society and the Juan de Fuca Salmon Society as “a formidable force” and said that they will proceed without help if necessary.

The construction at the new site along the Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre has been progressing with the help of some local businesses and the tireless work of Sooke volunteers.

“The base is done…the site is cleared and the rock foundation is in and the next step is to build the foundation and pour it,” said Hicks.

“That’s being done with the help of Clarkston Construction and Butler Concrete and the generosity of a lot of other people who have donated to the project.”

The construction process to this date has been no small task as the group had to first complete all the permit applications and engineering requirements. Then came the task of creating a proper base upon which the foundation could be poured.

“Butler contributed 80 truckloads of rock that they donated. That was a huge help for us,” said Hicks.

The timing of the construction is critical as well, given that the societies have to wait until the immature salmon currently in tanks are old enough to be released from the existing Jack Brooks Hatchery.

“They’ll be releasing all their fish and at that point, we can move all the tanks and hatchery equipment over to the new site.

That’s why our goal is to have the foundation poured in March and the construction completed in time to move the operation this year,” explained Hicks.

The new hatchery will have the benefit of a new agreement with the Capital Region district that will see the increase of the Sooke reservoir water supply to the new hatchery.“This is going to be invaluable for the Sooke River Chinook and that, in turn, is good for the southern resident killer whales, recreation and commercial fishermen and the First Nations fishery,” said Hicks.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Sooke cannabis report does little to answer production questions

Council is trying to get ahead of the issue

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

Lawyer says policy could compromise charter rights and personal liberties

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read