Omega Pacific Hatchery releases first chinook salmon for trial

The hatchery released 80,000 chinook smolt near Great Central Lake on May 4

Omega Pacific Hatchery and members of Hupacasath Fisheries worked together last week to release approximately 80,000 chinook smolt into the river near Great Central Lake on Thursday.

The fish were transported from the hatchery by Aztec Freight, and the cost of transportation was paid for by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The transport vehicle ended up being too large to take to Robertson Creek, Omega Pacific’s previous release location, so they chose the dam near Great Central Lake for their location this year.

“This is the work of a 19-month project,” said Carol Schmitt, owner and operator of Omega Pacific, after the work was finished.

All the chinook were tagged for a trial where the hatchery will grow a comparative group of 100,000 juveniles over four years to Robertson Creek Hatchery. This is the first of four releases.

The fish will travel up to Alaska and return starting in the year 2019, up to 2022.

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