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.”


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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Mary Winspear offers out-of-this-world evening with Chris Hadfield

Tickets on sale March 22 for Colonel Chris Hadfield visit May 7

Metchosin driver striking a deer heralds a need for caution

Vehicle incident likely not the last of its kind in Greater Victoria

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Most Read