Tuesday, June 29, 2021

PRPA commits 60,000 dollars towards Smithers area hatchery


Toboggan Hatchery Manager Kris Bulloch at  the key 
Northwest fish stock  facility 
north of Smithers
(photo from PRPA)

Support in the way of financial resources towards the improvement and monitoring of Wild Coho and Chinook salmon stock has been provided by the Prince Rupert Port Authority, with the Port announcing that it has awarded  60,000 dollars in funding towards the work of the Toboggan Creek Salmon and Steelhead Enhancement Society.

The 60K  is to be used for upgrades to the Tobaggan Creek Hatchery facility northwest of Smithers. 

In an information release from Monday, the port outlined that its funds would be put to use towards the revitalization of the hatchery’s outdoor earthen rearing ponds, where its Coho and Chinook salmonid fry are raised. The project includes removing old wooden dividers that separate the stock and replacing them with more durable steel versions, as well as reshaping the ponds and lining them with aggregate. 

“For more than three and a half decades, the Toboggan Creek Hatchery has played a crucial role in salmon stock productivity in Northwest BC, and the rearing pond upgrade project perfectly aligns with the Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program’s mandate to support salmon productivity in the Skeena River watershed. By committing to locally-driven projects further upstream, especially on the Bulkley River and other tributaries, we have a greater chance of restoring salmon populations throughout the region.” --  Shaun Stevenson, President & CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority. 

The work of the Toboggan Creek Hatchery is a key element towards fishery management on the North Coast, with the facility having provided uninterrupted Coho salmon exploitation, ocean distribution, and survival data for 35 years. 

As the port noted Monday, the field data and samples gathered from the facility’s spring smolt trapping, mid-summer coded wire tagging and marking, and fall adult assessment fence operations directly inform Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Northwest Coho salmon fishery and determine the annual allowable commercial retention of ocean-going Coho.

These upgrades will provide our fish a safe and productive place to rear, and ensure we can keep our stocks separated. Our hatchery is the only Coho indicator stock in the Skeena watershed and we are grateful to receive support from the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, as it reinforces our efforts and reaffirms our shared commitment to improving the health and vitality of wild salmon populations.” -- Kris Bulloch, Toboggan Hatchery Manager

The Port's overview of the funding and work of the Hatchery can be reviewed here.

Our archive of items of note from the Prince Rupert Port Authority can be explored here.

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