Alberni’s Omega Pacific Hatchery releases third batch of chinook salmon

The independent facility is located near Great Central Lake

Smolts waiting to be released on May 7, 2019. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Omega Pacific Hatchery released more than 100,000 yearling chinook salmon into Stamp River earlier this month.

The hatchery’s third group of yearling chinook smolts was released on Wednesday, May 8, under “brutally hot” conditions, according to Omega Pacific owner/operator Carol Schmitt.

READ: Omega Pacific Hatchery seeks support

Volunteers from Hupacasath First Nations, Tseshaht First Nations and Omega Pacific Hatchery boated in to the hatchery site at Great Central Lake in the morning to load the smolts. The fish were seined up in the rearing pools, then dip netted into large buckets filled with water and poured into the transport tanks.

A total of 103,306 smolts, at 16 to 20 gram size, were loaded into the two transport tanks.

The truck was barged back across Great Central Lake and arrived at Robertson Creek in the afternoon. Despite the heat, the water in the transport tanks had to be warmed up before the smolts were released into the water.

Schmitt said the release “went well,” with no mortalities.

“It was a long, hot day with a lot of biomass to load and ship, and we are thankful to the great effort by everyone to make this a success,” she said.

This is the third group of yearling smolts grown at Omega Pacific Hatchery to be released for a trial where the hatchery will grow a comparative group of juveniles over four years to Robertson Creek Hatchery.

READ: Alberni Valley fish hatchery releases second batch of chinook yearlings

Omega Pacific Hatchery uses an innovative method of releasing S1 chinook smolts, holding the fish for a year in freshwater so that their immune systems can develop. According to Schmitt, the S1 have better survival numbers, and it is important to incorporate the more hardy smolts in consideration of changing climate conditions.

In February of this year, the hatchery received the “Great Partnership Award” from Alberni Island Shuttle and Cermaq Canada, for their efforts in fish enhancement in the Alberni- Clayoquot Regional District.


Smolts are discharged from the Robertson Creek boat launch into the river. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Just Posted

UPDATED: Wildfire burning near Taylor Flats in the Alberni Valley

Fire is located close to Highway 4 near Sproat Lake

Alberni high school builds community with new mural

Mural was painted by students, Nuu-chah-nulth education workers

Port Alberni youth breaks neck in riverbank accident

Fundraiser has been set up for youth and his family

Port Alberni’s high school gets a rainbow crosswalk for Pride Day

Students and staff at Alberni District Secondary School celebrated the official opening… Continue reading

Port Alberni man dies in ATV accident

A Port Alberni man has died following an all-terrain vehicle accident near… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Police probe report of shooting as Raptors rally continues

There were reports of a woman being injured at the event that celebrates the team’s NBA title win

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

Province comes through with funding for Charleigh Fales

Lake Cowichan toddler only one in B.C. diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Most Read