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B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
Hatchery Project Update for Rivers Inlet Nov. 23rd

A few weeks back our crew of dedicated anglers were up at the Head of Rivers Inlet in one of the three main Rivers that feeds Rivers Inlet, the Wannock River. The purpose was to get the eggs and milk from the spawning salmon to hatch some babies for our private hatchery that is funded by our Lodge Association. Not only were they battling these might Rivers Inlet chinook salmon on rod and reel they were battling the stormy fall weather.

There were several BIG females taken including this 48 lbs. salmon that you can see pictured below. In just 2 days the crew estimated that they were able to harvest over 300,000 eggs which they mixed with the milk and are incubating right now at the hatchery. They figure that the run was stronger this year by the numbers of fish they encountered. We know that from the summer of great fishing that we have at the mouth of Rivers Inlet. The crew will have a better idea of the size of the run when they do the "head pitch count" in a few weeks. Counting the dead salmon carcasses on the river bank is another good way to estimate the number of fish that have returned.

Thanks to all of you who supported our hatchery this year
by purchasing tickets in the hatchery derby.
Past Updates
As many of you know, for over 25 years our Association of Rivers Inlet lodges has operated a privately funded hatchery to raise salmon.

Last week, we received a 'good news' report from the hatchery crew. The 2010 brood Wannock River chinook salmon, which were being raised in the hatchery, were flown to the sea pens in Rivers Inlet. A total of 254,619 healthy 2.8 gm fry were transported by float plane with very little mortality. It did not take long for these salmon fry to recover from their trip and start feeding. It was a blustery spring day in Rivers Inlet, but legendary Pacific Coastal pilot, Stewart Dzes, did a magnificent job. He showed his expertise by swinging that Grumman Goose around and sashaying up to the net pens like it was easy.

Not only that ... Stewart then chipped in with off-loading.
You can see by the picture that he was enjoying being a hero on his birthday! There are still approximately 29,000 tagged salmon fry (we only tag 10%) at the hatchery which will be transported to the sea pens in a few weeks. That makes the overall total in excess of 280,000 Rivers Inlet chinook ...

Salmon for the FUTURE!
The fry in containers in the back of the Goose for the 30 minute flight from the Snootli Creek Hatchery back home to Rivers Inlet.
Legendary Pacific Coastal pilot Stu helps the crew to transfer our little babies into their new home in the sea pens at the mouth of the Wannock River.
The hatchery crew feed our fish their first meal in Rivers Inlet. They will spend about year in the sea pens before their release.
One of our Johnson Creek Hatchery Coho that made it home ... red, ripe and ready to spawn.

The Rivers Inlet/Hakai fishing lodges & their guests have supported several hatchery projects over the past 26 years to the tune of more than $3m.

Our latest project has been to enhance the coho/silvers in the Johnston Creek which is half way up Rivers Inlet near Wadhams. This project was initiated by our group with the direct co-operation of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Canada.
It is an ongoing project with brood stocks taken in late 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010.
Last season, in 2010, we were delighted to be the first lodge to report a return of one of our tagged 2007 coho to Rivers Inlet. In July, the catcher of this coho travelled all the way from Hawaii to fish with us. Here is what she said:

"First let me say that my vacation at the Sportsman's Club exceeded my
expectations by 1000%. The surroundings, facilities, food and most of all the staff were incredible. It was also good to learn that the hatchery project is bearing results. My coho was 9.5 pounds. If you get a chance,
please pass along my thanks to everyone ---Chester (the dog), too."
Aloha, Ellen W. Carlos.

You will see from the photo that when the coho are ready to spawn they turn red.

We take this opportunity to thank Sandie MacLaurin (DFO) and her team for all the support and hard work. In an email to Barbara on February 4, 2011, Sandie stated, "... because of the commitment of your group (lodges), and the passion they have for the salmon resource, these exciting and successful projects can be undertaken by DFO. The lodges' willingness to collect and report accurate catch data and participate with their guests in the Salmon Head Recovery Program (sending tagged salmon heads to DFO), ensures a sustainable fishery for today's guests and their families into the future".

Thanks are due to all who have contributed to the hatchery projects
over the years with your $20 donations. When a draw was made for some 2010 season prizes,the winner of the downrigger was Greg Hines.

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