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.”

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

Oceanside RCMP: ‘Steal from cars, go behind bars’

Man in custody after pair of vehicles broken into in French Creek; officer breaks ankle during arrest

Large ‘problematic’ tree removed from Qualicum Beach golf course

Lombardy Poplar tree taken down by town, member upset

RDN to share cost of Parksville’s goose harvest

City asked regional district to pay one-third of $35K expense

SD69 students set new mark at Skills BC event

Three elementary schools reach medal podium

Parksville’s Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor celebrate 50 years

Week of ‘60s-themed activities starts on April 26

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read