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

 

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

Sooke RCMP seized cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, prescription pills, $6,000 cash, a machete and pepper spray during a bust June 15. (Courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
Sooke RCMP seize drugs, machete, pepper spray

Man arrested near Evergreen Centre following drug deal

Sooke Fire Rescue firefighters evacuate an injured hiker on Mount Manuel Quimper in March 2021. Sooke will soon be moving to a new fire dispatch service. (Facebook – Sooke Fire Rescue)
Proposed fire dispatch deal could save Sooke thousands of dollars

New dispatch needed after Langford drops out of CRD service

Alex Fiset and Cooper Oakes, both Grade 4, running to the finish, raising money for the ALS Society of B.C. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
John Muir students rally for ALS support

‘Hey ALS. Nobody likes you!’ the students yelled

BC Housing has brought in sanitation trailers to the former Mount Tolmie Hospital site so its current residents can access clean water, showers, sinks and toilets after a collapsed sewer pipe impacted water service to the building. (Google Streetview)
Mount Tolmie Hospital homelessness shelter using sanitation trailers after pipe collapse

Travelodge shelter residents faced intermittent hot water supply in late May, early June

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Most Read