The A Rocha Buck Creek Canfor hatchery’s annual fry release event was a huge success this year.
The Nature Centre and hatchery’s Goodbye Fry event was held in stages this year with the final fry release to take place this week.
”The fry release was a success. It has happened in stages with the first set being released just after the river thawed and before spring runoff. At that time a couple of us released just over 1,000 fry into the Upper Bulkley near Knockholt and into a creek near Perow,” said Cindy Verbeek, the Houston Project Coordinator for A Rocha Canada.
On June 12, roughly 59 people throughout the day, released 118 fry. Later on June 15, the hatchery had a grade 3.4 class from Houston Christian School who have been going there for programming regularly, helped release 189 fry despite the pouring rains. According to Verbeek, the students’ teacher is from Prince Rupert and very familiar with pouring rains. She encouraged the kids to continue with the release.
“The same process was followed this year as we did last year during the worst of the pandemic with one main difference – this year we have a Nature Centre!!! – much, much easier,” said Verbeek.
A story walk was set up to show people the way once they left the nature centre, to keep family groups distanced and to teach them about the salmon life-cycle. At the end of the story walk there was a team waiting to help participants release the coho fry into Buck Creek.
”We had a lot of great feedback and everyone seemed to really enjoy it,” she said.
This week, the hatchery plans to release the remaining 97, leaving 20-25 to grow to smolts and release next spring. These are basically show and tell fish for the Nature Centre.