After more than 20 years of housing chum and coho, the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society is ready for an upgrade.
The hatchery, which is currently incubating about 35,000 chum eggs and 16,800 coho eggs, is ripe for replacement, according to Hoy-Scott Watershed Society vice-president and hatchery manager Tyler Storgaard.
“We can only hold one species at a time for spawners as well as for fry,” he told council Monday.
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With last year’s drought leading to later salmon returns, the hatchery struggled to store both coho and salmon.
“They returned almost concurrently which makes it challenging for us,” Storgaard said.
A new circular tub could allow the hatchery to hold coho and chum simultaneously, he added.
Given its narrow confines, the hatchery is also inadequate to meet the society’s long-term plans of creating an educational centre, according to Storgaard.
“It’s hard to host schools,” he explained.
There is also a need to repair or replace infrastructure around the hatchery’s rearing pond. A decades-old concrete outlet channel has sprung at least two leaks and caused some erosion, according to Storgaard.
“It has, through the years, begun to fail and fail considerably.”
Storgaard asked council to include a new hatchery facility in the city’s official community plan.
Following the presentation, Coun. Brent Asmundson encouraged the society to meet with city staff to come up with a plan.
“We’ll see what we can do,” Asmundson said.