Chum release brings hope to Alberni Valley

Close to 5,000 chum salmon fry found a new home in Roger Creek this week thanks to the Sproat Lake Society.

Ross Holt of the Sproat Lake Society releases chum salmon into Roger Creek on Monday

Close to 5,000 chum salmon fry found a new home in Roger Creek this week thanks to the Sproat Lake Society. The society is a part of the Alberni Valley Enhancement Association.

“We’re releasing chum salmon,” said AVEA director Phil Edgell.

“Today we released two trays so about 5,000 fish.”

The AVEA has released around 40,000 chum salmon fry already this year in an attempt to make them flourish in local creeks.

“It’s a project we do with the First Nations.”

Brood stock is collected by First Nations members near Paper Mill dam before being taken to the AVEA’s facility at McLean Mill.

“We incubate them at the volunteer hatchery at McLean Mill,” said Edgell.

“We’re hoping to establish chum salmon in Kitsuksis and Roger Creeks again. Hopefully over time we’ll increase that number.”

Last year, the AVEA wasn’t able to release chum due to flooding rivers at the time. The year prior, they released about 30,000 into Roger Creek and Kitsuksis Creek.

“It’s going to be an ongoing program,” Edgell said.

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