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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Funds aid fish, habitat

from page B3 ing in 1983 until 2009, when the NVISEA board raised more than $1 million to create a state-of-the-art interpretive gallery, classroom, wet and dry labs and offices, as well as upgrading hatchery infrastructure and capacity. “The diversification in recent years with the interpretive centre has made it a bit of a profit centre for us,” said Fuller. “Along with the campground we operate here, we’re able to take in funds above our contract. In partnership with the Pacific Salmon Foundation, able to use those funds to do projects with fisheries and habitat on the North Island.” In addition to its enhancement of coho, chinook, pink and chum salmon, Quatse is also one of only two current steelhead enhancement fisheries on Vancouver Island, with programs for the Quatse and Cluxewe Rivers funded provincially by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.

was started by a group known as the Port McNeill Chinook Club in 1986. “Some of the oldtime people, like Ray Bentley out at Beaver Cove, wanted to start a hatchery to enhance the chinook run that was in the river historically,” said Coleman. “At that point it was nearly extinct, or may even have been extinct. But in trying to catch them, we noticed the coho (fishery) was in decline, and started to enhance that. We’ve Coho salmon fry swarm to get food offered been most successful by a young visitor to the Quatse Fish with coho.” Hatchery. J.R. Rardon The nature of two-, All of the area hatch- the hatchery. “In the three- and four-year eries work to enhance beginning, we were salmon cycles will chinook (spring) and incubating sockeye at always feature ups coho salmon, and most (Nimpkish) lake, but and downs in the also work with pink from 1988 to 2000 numbers returning to nothing was happening spawn from year to and chum salmon. The Gwa’ni for sockeye. We start- year. But, thanks to the Hatchery on the ed pounding the table dedication of the North Nimpkish has also when they crashed to Island’s volunteers and hatcheries staff, they taken on an attempt at under 6,000 here.” Nelson said there has will return. sockeye enhancement, “It’s a real pleawith separate funding not been a huge spike through the ‘Namgis in sockeye returns as a sure when they come result of the hatchery’s back in four or five Band. “We’re doing our efforts, though recent years and you see your own thing with a sock- years’ returns have babies all grown up,” eye fertilization stock levelled off at about said Anderson. “That’s assessment,” said Hank 25,000 fish per season. the part that kind of The Kokish hatchery stirs the heart.” Nelson, manager at

Our Coast… ….is home to the salmon that are born and die here.

Surround yourself with salmon and discover the animals and plants that share their freshwater and marine habitats. Learn about challenges to salmon survival on the B.C coast and what you can do to help.

Find out about ongoing salmonid conservation and habitat restoration programs, and ways you can get involved.

Adults: $6 Youth: (5-18) $4 Seniors: (65+) $4

Family : $12 Under Five: Free Group Rates Available

Open mid-May through September Wednesday through Sunday - 10 am to 5 pm All proceeds directly fund salmon conservation initiatives on Northern Vancouver Island.

Located at 8400 Byng Road next to Quatse River Campground in Port Hardy. www.thesalmoncentre.org

Whale Watch

telegraph cove

Stubbs Island Whale Watching is British Columbia’s first and premier wildlife viewing company. Established in 1980 and located in historic Telegraph Cove on the north east coast of Vancouver Island. Telegraph Cove is a picturesque boardwalk community steeped in West Coast history. The Cove is the entrance to the Blackfish Archipelago, one of the richest marine eco-systems in the world, and the home of the northern resident population of fish-eating orca. During the summer months the orca return to the Johnstone Strait corridor to not only feed but to socialize. The rubbing beaches at the Dr. Michael Bigg Robson Bight Ecological Re-serve are a very important part of their culture as it is a respite from human intervention. Over the last six years the return of the humpback whale in the area has been expediential.

It appears that these gentle giants are ‘rediscovering’ the inland waters of Vancouver Island as a feeding area. A variety of small cetaceans visit the area as well: Pacific white-side dolphins, Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoise, harbour seals and harbour porpoise. The Johnstone Strait is on the Pacific Flyway and the different species of seabirds are amazing. Please remember that it is not possible to guarantee wildlife sightings. Stubbs Island Whale Watching’s dedication to ethical wildlife viewing, conservation and education is reflected in the interpreinterpre tive talk on each tour. Cruise with Stubbs Island Whale Watching on one of their comfortable 18 metre vessels with certified captains and trained naturalists/biologists. Tours depart daily and reservations are required.

www.sTubbs-island.com Toll free 1-800-665-3066


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