The Port Renfrew salmon hatchery puts almost one million fish into the water annually. (Contributed photo)

The Port Renfrew salmon hatchery puts almost one million fish into the water annually. (Contributed photo)

Port Renfrew’s salmon hatchery enters a new era

Community support is critical to a quiet but efficient operation

Despite its 41-year history, the San Juan Salmon Enhancement Society’s work was often overshadowed by its Sooke counterpart.

But for the people of Port Renfrew, it’s their local salmon hatchery that’s the model for environmental stewardship and it’s the support of the community that has kept the hatchery moving forward.

Most recently, part of moving forward has involved the dissolution of the founding society and the establishment of the 4Mile Creek Enhancement Society, which has now taken over the operation.

RELATED: Closures have hurt Port Renfrew

“Over the past four months, the (old) society was phased out and a new society has taken over,” Shane Bruinsma, the manager of the hatchery, said.

“Morris Tremblay has been running it since 1976, but at 87 years old, he’s decided it’s time to pass the operation on,” Bruinsma said.

“I’m now managing the site along with Lisa Margetish, and we’ve got some exciting things planned. We know that the community’s support is at the heart of our ability to move forward.”

To illustrate support, Bruinsma recently issued a statement thanking Port Renfrew Marina for its unflagging support of the hatchery operation.

“The 4Mile Creek Enhancement Society would like to thank Port Renfrew Marina for the more than 20 years (of support). Their patrons and everyone involved in raising their $12,000 donation toward hatchery projects this year were greatly appreciated,” Bruinsma wrote in a prepared statement.

He pointed out the marina has traditionally donated between $6,000 and $7,000 a year and that the increase in this year’s donation was even more of an indication of the community’s support.

“We do our work quietly and efficiently – getting the job done – without fuss and without fanfare,” Bruinsma said.

Rex Coburn, the owner and operator of the Port Renfrew Marina, said the real heroes behind the donation are the guests and customers of the marina.

“We raise a lot of money (for the hatchery) through our fishing derbies. For example, in September we raised $1,900 in our coho derby,” Coburn said.

“So the donation is not just from Port Renfrew Marina, but from all of our guests.”

ALSO READ: Port Renfrew reborn

Coburn said the Port Renfrew hatchery has a special relationship with the community.

“It’s just very close to home so it makes sense for us to offer them our support. It’s a worthwhile cause that we believe in, and we’re firm believers that more money should go into the operation,” Coburn said.

Bruinsma said the changing of the guard at the hatchery has meant they have to develop a new three to five-year plan for how the operations should develop.

“One example is power generation. We’re four miles out of town and have no power transmission lines out there, so we had to create a water turbine system to generate our power. Now one of our administrators is taking a course on solar power, and next year we’ll be looking at solar” Bruinsma said.

One thing that won’t change, Bruinsma said, is the care the operation takes in fertilizing and raising the million salmon it adds to the ecosystem every year.

“Our system is about as close to natural as you can get, and it’s something we’re very proud of. We plan to keep that up and make sure we’re around for another 40 years and beyond.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

New salmon pens are only one of the initiatives being implemented at Port Renfrew’s salmon hatchery. (Contributed photo)

New salmon pens are only one of the initiatives being implemented at Port Renfrew’s salmon hatchery. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Central Saanich installed a temporary portable along Lochside Trail near Michell’s Farm Market and remains in discussion with the Capital Regional District about finding what Mayor Ryan Windsor called a ‘permanent solution’ to ensuring washroom access at the popular location. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich in talks with CRD about ‘permanent’ washroom facility near Lochside Trail

The municipality installed a temporary portable washroom near Michell’s Farm Market last week

(Black Press Media file photo)
Bylaw officers called to Saanich park for COVID-19 protocol violations on pickleball court

Raquet sport players reminded to avoid doubles play amid pandemic

A video captured by Twitter user Teddy Jenner of a fire in Beacon Hill Park the night of Jan. 21, 2021. (Twitter/@OfftheCrosseBar)
Victoria police say no injuries after tent fire in Beacon Hill Park

Victoria police, fire responded to fire Thursday evening

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Reader’s Lens
The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this photo on a recent windy day in Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this… Continue reading

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read