One million Pink salmon fry were released into Nile Creek on April 4. - Karly Blats photo

One million pink salmon fry begin their journey from Nile Creek to open waters

Fry will spend close to two years in the ocean and then survivors will return to spawn

Close to one million pink salmon fry were released into Nile Creek today (April 4) and will make their way to the ocean by nightfall.

The Nile Creek Enhancement Society acquired their annual batch of pink walmon eggs last November from the Quinsam River near Campbell River and raised them in tanks at the Nile Creek Hatchery until they matured enough to be released.

Hatchery president Jack Gillen said once the eggs hatch in the tanks, they are referred to as alevin and live from their yoke sac until late March or early April. At this time, they have matured into fry and are about 2.5 centimetres long.

READ MORE: Nile Creek Hatchery gets one million pink salmon eggs to hatch and release

The fry swim from their tanks, through a tube and into a trough where they are then transferred in plastic buckets to a bath tub. They then swim down another long plastic tube into Nile Creek.

“Within 24 hours they’re out in the ocean because they can’t eat in fresh water,” Gillen said. “On the way out they provide food for coho smolts that are in [Nile Creek].”

The salmon stay out in the ocean for about two years and will then return to Nile Creek to spawn. Only about one to one-and-a-half per cent of the salmon will return to spawn.

“One per cent is OK, 1.5 per cent is really good and anything above that is fantastic,” Gillen said.

Gillen said the reason for the low return count is because over the years fishing and commercial fishing has improved and seals, sea lions and other predators will eat a large portion of the fish.

Without the work of the hatchery, Gillen said, there would be no more fish coming back to the creek which would have a “great impact because there are hundreds of guys and gals that come and fly fish on the beaches.”

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

 

A long tube is placed in Nile Creek for close to one million Pink salmon fry to swim down from tanks in Nile Creek Hatchery. - Karly Blats

Pink salmon fry get ready to swim down a long tube into Nile Creek and then to the ocean. - Karly Blats photo

Just Posted

Burning Thanksgiving question: Turkey or ham?

PQB notables also talk best side dishes

Jordie Lunn, world-renowned mountain biker from Parksville, dies in accident

The 36-year-old was with friends trail riding in Cabo San Lucas when the accident happened

Island man restores 1962 Qualicum Beach fire truck he bought for $1

Vintage vehicle in working order and ready to hit the road

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

1/3 of Canadian men won’t share their feelings for fear of being ‘unmanly’: report

Fifty-nine per cent of men said society expects them to be ‘emotionally strong and not show weakness’

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read