Hey everyone!

This is my first round of research for this cycle and I'm really excited to share this project with you guys. My inquiry question is:  How can I promote stewardship of the Hoy Creek Hatchery in my community?

For this round of research, I'll explain the importance and numerous functions of salmon hatcheries to contextualize my topic, talk about my involvement with the Hoy Scott Watershed Society, and go over what exactly happens at my hatchery.



There are many benefits to a community by having a salmon hatchery. One of British Columbia's most important natural resources (a subject I will explore later on in my research), salmon have been part of Canada's heritage for centuries. (1) As industrialism grows steadily, there develops an increasing need for fish farms to cater to an enormous public demand for salmon as a food source, an industry referred to as aquaculture. The global production of farmed salmon has increased from 27 000 to over 1 million metric tons within the last two decades alone! (2) British Columbia's aquaculture industry generates a substantial $1.5 billion a year. (3)

Image result for are farmed salmon bigger

Consequently, many farms raise salmon for the sole purpose of commercialism, raising the salmon to grow as large as possible. Hatcheries also raise fish, but there is a significant difference; they do it to promote a healthier, more abundant population of wild salmon. This is why hatcheries are often referred to as Salmonoid Enhancement Programs. (4) However, aside from this principal function of hatcheries, there are many others. In the lower mainland/Fraser river area, there are many local hatcheries, all serving different functions within their communities.

Some other functions of hatcheries include: 

Habitat restoration: a lot of hatcheries, also place a focus on not only promoting healthy salmon populations, but promoting a healthy ecosystem surrounding them. Often, hatcheries will organize events for trail maintenance, invasive species regulation, and tree planting.

Community stewardship: part of the role of a successful hatchery is to promote it within the community. Inducing environmental self-consciousness is beneficial for everyone in a community, and providing volunteer opportunities is a great way for people to get involved with a good cause and learn about the ecosystem surrounding them. (4)

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is one who's main focus is community stewardship. However, alongside that, we raise and release approximately 5000 coho salmon every May. At the hatchery, there are two main seasons; from October-December, and from April-May. From October to December, Coho and Chum salmon are beginning to reappear in the creek to spawn, the last phase of their life cycle. The duty of the hatchery is to catch specimens of salmon to then breed and incubate. During this period, we go to different places along the creek and end up catching around 20-25 salmon. The salmon eggs aren't incubated until December, and there begins their 18-month development until their release in May of the following year. In April-May, that's when the hatchery releases the 5000 Coho fry into the wild.

I have volunteered with the hatchery for about half a year thus far, and am really enjoying it. I've learned a lot about salmon and the specifics of maintaining a hatchery. The reason why I'm doing this project is to increase the awareness about it and hopefully help its mission of community stewardship. 

That's all for this round of research. Next cycle, I'm going to focus more on the actual salmon, but then talk about public events that the hatchery hosts!

Let me know what you think below.


1. https://www.psf.ca/sites/defau...nBC_Backgrounder.pdf

2. https://www.healthline.com/nut...ild-vs-farmed-salmon

3. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada...-bc-leases-1.4704626

4. http://www.hoyscottcreeks.org/



Original Post

HI Maiya,

This is such a great research round, and it really delves on topics that I have never read about or seen here on Butterfly Effect. You did a really good job of structuring your information, and including the importance of community integration in the stewardship of the hatchery. I like how this project is important to you as you volunteer there, and I'm looking forward to reading what you share about your findings, specifically on how they maintain a hatchery. What stuck out the most for me was that farms raising salmons mostly do so for commercialism, and that's why I find hatcheries so inspiring. As you said, the main goal of the place where you volunteer is to promote that integration of your community, so that us individuals can play a part in contributing to this enhancement. Also, it is truly fascinating that you get to have hands-on field experience catching specimen in order to study and incubate, and it would really be great if you had the opportunity to take pictures/share these things! I feel it would add to the research and include a personalize insight as to what you do and what true effect the hatchery has on salmon population. Again, great job on your research and hope this helps!

Hey Maiya, 

I loved reading your research this week! I especially enjoy how you tie it into your personal experience at the hatchery. As someone who has never paid much mind to or held an interest in fish, reading about the benefits and uses of their hatcheries was very intriguing. I am eager to read your research on salmon themselves, the different kinds, and their benefits. Are salmon that beneficial for human diet? How do they impact our environment? Can we live comfortably without salmon? Why should we care about sustaining the salmon population?

Here are a couple sites you may be able to use next round:

Good luck! I look forward to reading your future research

Hi Maiya! 

Spectacular research round!  I really like how you related your research to your own experience.  It's great to hear that you enjoy volunteering at the hatchery, and that you want to spread awareness. I personally, have heard others talk about hatcheries and learned a bit about them in classes before but other than that, I really do not know much about the topic. I'm glad you are doing research on this topic as it would be so interesting to learn more. Maybe something you could consider researching is about different hatcheries and then compare them. 

Here are some sites to help you out:



Good luck!

Hello Maiya,
That is really cool that you volunteer at the Hoy Creek Hatchery. It’s shocking though just how much money the aquaculture industry generates in BC alone, That has got to be an insane amount of fish sold every year in BC alone. The effect that a salmon hatchery has on the surrounding area seems quite interesting, and the different things that they do seem to be quite helpful as well, they seem to be one of those groups that kind of work in the background to make things better like how some plant trees. I wonder though how those extra fish being added in effect the other fish in the environment, or does nothing happen as most of them end up being fished out anyways, so it kind of just keeps their population neutral rather than dying out. Either way, the topic of salmon and salmon hatcheries seems quite a bit more interesting then the name first suggests.

Hopefully, these websites may be of some use to you:

Hey Maiya,

I think its really awesome that you're doing this because hatcheries have come across my mind but I have yet to learn more about them. I also had no idea that our aqua industry made that much! I'm not sure if this is some things you would like to look into or if this will lead you any where but when ever I think of these hatcheries these are some questions I have:

If these fish spawn with the fish from the wild is that okay?

And living in the lower mainland we see a lot of news of our decreasing numbers in our killer whales other forms of sea life mostly from starvation, Would hatcheries be able to help with issues like this?

Im looking forward to seeing your next round!



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