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Jan 7th, 2018: Folks

There will the monthly meeting Wednesday January 10th at the Community Hall.



At the hatchery, currently the Chinook Salmon are at the alevin stage ie ready to hatch or have hatched.  T he baby salmon will break free of the egg's soft shell retaining the yolk as a nutrient-rich sac that hangs below it's body (yolk sacks are the orange pouches underneath them). At this stage, they are about one inch in length. During the next month, the alevin will remain in the incubator trays and feed from the nutrient-rich yolk sac until it is completely absorbed. The yolk sacks contain protein, sugar, minerals, and vitamins. These yolk sacks last only about a month until they “ button-up” and the sack disappears -  they now are at the fry stage.  At the end of the alevin stage and beginning of the fry stage is when they are moved into the  aluminum troughs (ponding).  This year depending on water temperatures (ATU’s) it looks like the end of January we’ll be ponding both our springs and the Nitinat ones.

December 11th: Folks

There will the December monthly meeting in Wednesday at the Community Hall.

Also Mel put the heat-lamps in the Inc. Rm and assembled a small box with the torch, a BBQ lighter and lighters at Phil’s for frozen locks — to LEAVE the lights on in the Inc. Rm.


November 29th: Folks

There are 3 coho trays to shock Saturday Dec 2. See you at Butler main gate 8:15 to 8:30 am


November 24th: Folks,

There are 5 coho trays to shock Saturday Nov 25 and 5 trays to shock on Sunday Nov 26. See you at Butler main gate 8:15 to 8:30 am.

Bryan Manning

November 10th: Folks

There will be a work party on Sunday to remove the coho males from the hatchery and to shock a few trays of chinook eggs. Today (Friday) we took the last eggs from the females so only the males are left.

Meet at Butler’s gate 8:15 to 8:30 am - if the gate is open proceed to the hatchery.

See you there

Bryan Manning

November 10th: Folks

On Tuesday November 21 we will make our annual pilgrimage to Nitinat to collect our 250,000 chinook eggs. The truck leaves Sooke at 6:00 AM and gets back between 2 and 3:00 PM and then goes to the hatchery to unload the eggs into trays. There are a few passenger spots left open in the hatchery truck for a ride there and back.

If you are interested in going to see the largest DFO hatchery in Canada send Mel an email or call him at 250 642-5548.

Thank you,

Bryna Manning

November 4th: Folks,

Wednesday November 8 is our Annual General Meeting - dues are due & the election of officers.

See you at the Community hall at 7:00 PM.

Bryan Manning

October 23rd: Folks,

Quite a few trays of Chinook eggs will be ready to shock on Saturday (October 28) and likely on Sunday as well. See you at Butler’s gate between 8:15 and 8:30 am Saturday.

Bryan Manning

PS Currently we are still taking our coho brood stock at De Mamiel Weir at 8:30

October 20th: Folks

This morning we took two loads of coho to the hatchery. Tomorrow (Saturday Oct 21) we are still at it - see you at De Mamiel Weir at 8:30 am.

Bryan Manning

October 19th: Folks

After the 3 plus inches of rain we have had this week Young Lake has overflowed the weir. So tomorrow morning (Friday Oct 20) show up at the weir @ 8:30 am and we’ll likely take some coho.

Bryan Manning

October 16th: Folks,

Up date on our broodstock.

This morning (Monday Oct 16) we took our last Chinook broodstock eggs. They are all nicely “tucked in” trays in the incubator room. The pumps supplying water for the last two weeks to the broodstock are shutdown and removed from Rocky Creek. Heads, scales, etc were taken from our chinook broodstock and will be sent to DFO for analysis. A big thanks to all who have no only participated in taking the chinook broodstock from the Sooke River but also in taking eggs for the past 16 days.

We are now awaiting the coho. They are milling about at the Flats waiting to go up De Mamiel Creek however there is virtually no water. We are now 100% dependent on the rain to get our coho broodstock. Young Lake - the headwaters of De Mamiel - is down a foot or so before any water spills over down the creek. There are at least three falls on De Mamiel the coho have to navigate before they reach our weir and trap.

Needless to say we need a lot of rain. Rain - let it rain.

Water temperature takers - do not bother going to the hatchery for the next while since members will be there daily monitoring the water situation (ie we have only enough water (without pumping) to supply the incubator room).

Bryan Manning

PS Should we get rain and the coho begin their run I’ll be sending out an email on short notice.

October 8th: Folks,

Wednesday October 11 is our monthly meeting at the Community Hall @ 7:00PM.

Tomorrow Monday October 9 (Thanksgiving) there will be a work party at Charter’s Creek to move all our springs to the hatchery @ 8:30 AM.

Bryan Manning

October 2nd: Folks

We have taken our brood stock and removed the fence from the Sooke River BUT we need to dismantle it and bring it to the hatchery. So on Saturday October 7 …...

We will be meeting at the EMCS parking lot at 8:30 am and will all go down to Martins Park from there. 

Bryan Manning

October1st: Folks

Since we have fish at the hatchery we have to take eggs so we will we doing that everyday starting tomorrow Monday October 2. See you at the gate at 8:15 to 8:30am

Bryan Manning

September 30th: Hi Everyone,

Well we’ve officially begun the 2017-2018 season. The weather looked rather threatening at times but it turned out to be pretty darn nice over all. We had a great turn out of volunteers this morning. Both members and non members. A big thank you to everyone who came out. It was fun meeting with everybody. This was one of the smoothest run seines that people could remember. I’m not sure if its just that we’re becoming more forgetful or just getting better with practice.

I would like to thank Gord, Rebecca and Jamie for organizing the divers and swimmers who all did a fantastic job.

As well, a big thank you to the Sooke Lions for providing us with yummy hot dogs, pop, and coffee. Its always nice to have some warm food after working and gives everyone a chance to unwind before heading out.

In the end we collected 101 chinook. A great day for sure. Once back at the hatchery, we processed some of our females. So we now have eggs and are back in the hatchery business.

Again, thank you everyone.

Roger Paud, President

September 23rd: Hi Everyone,

Its that time of year again when we all get to put on our big rubber boots and go stand in the river and get splashed by all the spawning salmon. Yes it’s brood stock time.

The date will be Saturday Sept. 30. Next weekend. We will be meeting at the EMCS parking lot at 8:30 am and will all go down to Martins Park from there.

Bring your waders and boots and come out for the fun. Hope to see you all there.

Thanks, Roger

September 23rd: Hi Gang,   

We will be putting together a work party for Friday Sept. 29 to gather up all our gear for the seining of our brood stock.

We will meet at the gate @ 12:00. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to load everything up.

Thanks, Roger

September 13th: Folks,

There will be a work party on Saturday at the hatchery to work on the “shed” for the truck as well as other jobs. See you at Butler’s gate at 8:15 to 8:30am.


September 5th: Folks,

This Saturday is the start of our hatchery season - we need to install the fence in Sooke River to prevent our Chinook brood stock from reaching the Potholes.

So we’ll meet at the hatchery and load up all our gear then head down to John Martin’s and get to work. We need all hands on deck for this job.

See you at Butler’s gate at 8:15 to 8:30 am Saturday.

Bryan Manning

August 30th: Folks

There will be a work party on Saturday Sept 2nd at the hatchery. We need to:

  • Build walls, etc for the new parking garage for the hatchery truck

and if we have enough volunteers then we can start on ……...

  • Fence panels for the river need some work.
  • Repair/replace the chimney 
  • Hangers to be installed for the new fry hose
  • Tidy up derby gear

See you Saturday at Butler’s gate between 8:15 and 8:30 am

Bryan Manning

August 20th: Folks,

There will be a work party on Saturday Aug 26th at the hatchery.We need to:

  • - mix concrete for the new parking area for the hatchery truck
  • - repair/replace the chimney 

and if there is any time left …..

  • · Fence panels for the river need some work.
  • · Hangers to put up for new Fry Hose
  • · Tidy up Derby gear

See you Saturday at Butler’s gate between 8:15 and 8:30 am

Bryan Manning

August 10th: Folks

There will be a work party on Sunday August 13. There’s a couple of jobs that have to be dealt with before much time goes by. They are: -

  1. Fence panels for the river need some work.
  2. Hangers to put up for new Fry Hose
  3. Water pipe from upper to lower hatchery needs repair
  4. Start work on future parking stall for truck
  5. Tidy up Derby gear.

 The new season starts now. See you at the gate at 8:30.

Bryan Manning

July 30th: Folks

It is Derby time this coming weekend!!

We’ll meet on Friday August 4 at the hatchery at 1:00 PM to “load-up” tent, tables chairs, scale, totes, etc. This should take about an hour or so and then ……..on Saturday morning (Aug 5) at 6:00AM (yes in the early morning) we’ll set-up our weigh-in station at Phillips Road.

This weigh-in station will have to be manned from early in the morning until 7:00 PM in the evening so we need volunteers.

On Sunday Aug 5 the weigh-in station needs to have volunteers from 6:00 AM until 1:00 PM.

After 1:00 PM the scene shifts to the “Flats" where the Lions dinner is served from 2:00 PM on with prizes being given out from about 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM when we pack everything up and return it to the hatchery and give ourselves a well deserved pat on the back for a job well done.

Sounds simple doesn’t it.

Bryan Manning

July 24th: Hi Everyone, hope you are all enjoying the summer. It certainly has been warm.

Just a reminder that our derby is less than 2 weeks away. August 5 and 6. If you or anybody you know would like to fish in it, head on down and get yourselves some tickets. There are some great prizes available and of course a great steak dinner.

Tickets are $60.00 each and are available at these locations in Sooke:

  • The Crab Shack at Jock’s Dock
  • Eagle Eye Outfitters
  • Sooke Marine Centre

If you’re in Victoria:

  • Island Outfitters
  • Trotac Marine

So come on out, support the hatchery and maybe I’ll see you at the weigh in station with the winning fish.


Roger Praud, President SSES

July 16th: Hi Folks,

The Consultant’s Invitational Derby is being held this year on Saturday July 29  and so far we have four people lined up for fish cleaning. A couple more would be nice.

 We plan on picking up totes and chairs, etc. at the hatchery that morning at 10 a.m. and going down to the hotel from there. There’s a free meal for anyone interested. 

If you can help out please email Mel Hull at melanjudy@shaw.ca


Bryan Manning, Secretary SSES

June 9th: Hi Everyone,

The bbq on Saturday June 17 will be from 11 to 3. I hope you can all make it.



June 6th: HI Everybody.    

With another season of hard work behind us,it’s time to let off some steam and relax, and with that we have decidedt o have a THANK YOU BBQ for all of our amazing volunteers.

Please bring your spouses, kids, grandkids, etc. It would be nice to meet the people who put up with us spending so much time at the hatchery. It’s a thank-you to them as well.

The date will be Saturday June 17. Not sure of the time yet. It will be held at Martins Park. The same place where we get our brood stock. We will be having hamburgers, hot dogs, pop, water etc.

 Bring your swimming gear (if you dare) and a lawn chair and have a good time.

More info will be coming soon.

Please try to keep the date open and I look forward to seeing you all.


Roger, President SSES

June 4th: Folks,

The hatchery is empty of fry so there will be NO work party on Tuesday June 6.

However …. Wednesday June 7 we will be releasing the seapen at 7:00PM and hauling out the net so wear old clothes and bring gloves (the net smells) Thursday June 8 at 8:30 am we’ll meet at the seapen to dismantle it and lug it all back to the hatchery.

Tuesday June 13 Derby meeting - staple the tickets to the rule book - bring any prizes you may have accrued.

Wednesday June 14 will be a busy day:

The Esquimalt Anglers are not having a seapen this year so their 100,000 fry are still at the Goldstream Hatchery. DFO have approved their release into the Sooke River so …..

we will pick them up at 9:00am - meet at the hatchery at 8:00. Goldstream are going to use their truck as well but it will take 2 trips to move all the fry - we’ll not be done until the afternoon

7:00 PM General monthly meeting at the community hall.

Bryan Manning, Secretary SSES

June 4th: Hi Gang,

Well,  we’ve finally emptied out the hatchery of our little finned friends. Yesterdays release put us at 19,500,000 fish released back into the rivers since the hatchery started. That truly is an amazing amount. I bet in the early years the guys never thought they would ever see numbers like that.

I have been part of SSES for just a few short years but am proud to apart of this great organization. GREAT JOB EVERYONE.

We still have a few things to do before our summer break but its been a good year.

I’ve had a few phone calls about the derby dates. They are Saturday August 5 and Sunday August 6. Please pass this along to everyone you know who wants to fish in it. We are working on updating the web site and getting the proper dates on it.


Roger Praud, President SSES


May 27th: Folks,

Today Saturday May 27 we moved 3 loads of fry out of the hatchery.

There are about 10 loads of fry left so the plan to move them out is:

  • Tuesday May 30 - 3 loads
  • Thursday June 1 - 3 loads
  • Saturday June 3 - 3 loads or possibly 4 loads???
  • Tuesday June 6 - any remaining fry if necessary
  • Wednesday June 7 - release smolts from our sea pen

Meet at the gate at 8:15 to 8:30 for moving fry out of the hatchery and as far as the sea pen goes we will confirm the time in a later email.

Summer off except for the derby and hatchery maintenance and work at Bradford.

Bryan Manning

May 25th: Folks,

A work party Saturday to move out coho and springs. See you at the gate 8:15 to 8:30am

Bryan Manning

May 21st: Oops! Just can’t get good help anymore!!

The work party for Bradford should be on Thursday May 25.

See you at the gate at 8:30.

Bryan Manning

May 21st: Folks

Bill is calling for a work party to go up to Bradford and weed-whack grass, broom, etc; install sandbags along spillway and other jobs on Tuesday. We expect to be finished early afternoon.

Meet at the hatchery at 8:30 to load up.

Bryan Manning

May 18th: Folks,

Bill is giving us the weekend off for good behaviour but the following weekend ………

Bryan Manning

May 16th: Folks,

This morning we installed the floats and stanchions.

Tomorrow morning at 10:00 we need to install the net and weights so we need a few volunteers.

As far as I know the smolts are coming noon to 1:00 pm tomorrow.

Bryan Manning

May 14th: On Tuesday May 16 we’ll setup the seapen. See you at Butler Main gate at 8:15 to 8:30.

The smolts should be arriving at the Government Dock (end of Maple Street South) from Nitnat around noon to 1:00pm. on Wednesday May 17.

Bryan Manning

May 11th: Folks,

This Saturday May 13 Bill wants to move out two loads of coho and springs. See you at the gate at 8:15 to 8:30 am.

Further we’ll be receiving our smolts from Nitnat on Wednesday May 17 so we need to install our Seapen at the government wharf on Tuesday May 16. So Tuesday morning at the gate at 8:15 to 8:30 am and we’ll load up the floats, net, stanchions, etc and then go to the government wharf. I’ll send our a reminder notice over the weekend.

Bryan Manning

May 7th: Hey all,

Just a quick note of our latest activities. Last weeks Rotary Auction was a good success. We had lots of people come by our booth and chat with us. For my first time doing this it was fun.

Yesterday we were able to release just over 100,000 of our little ones into the Sooke River.

Today of course was our open house. It went extremely well. We had a very good turnout of people who have never been there before. Everyone seemed very interested in what we do up there. There were lots of young kids and they all thought the little fish were really cool. Kids are always fun at these types of events.

As always none of this could be done without great volunteers. Thanks to all those who were able to help out.

Oh yeah, there were also a few guys chasing rubber ducks up and down the Sooke River on Saturday for the Lions Club. Great job guys.

Till next time thanks,

Roger Praud, President, SSES

May 7th: Hi Folks

DERBY MEETING  -  @ 7:00 pm Tuesday May 9, 2017 at Gerry Glaum’s (thank you Gerry and Maureen). Bring your sponsor updates with you.

GENERAL MONTHLY MEETING - @ 7:00 PM Wednesday May 10 at the community hall.

SEAPEN - Smolts are to be delivered on May 17 so we’ll need to install the seapen before then.  Details will be discussed at the general meeting on Wednesday.

See you there


May 4th, Folks

This weekend is busy again:


- two loads of springs to the river

- Duck Race - Mel, Andy and Dan are looking after that

Sunday - Open house 11:00 am to 3:00 pm we need volunteers for touring visitors and as gate keepers.

See you at the gate 8:15 to 8:30 am Saturday.


April 26th: Hi Folks,

Just in case you do not have any thing to do……….

1) Rotary Auction - Friday April 28 AT NOON meet at the hatchery - we need a few trucks to hall the tables chairs, info boards, aquarium, fry, etc to the arena and set up on Friday afternoon.

Saturday April 29 - we need volunteers to staff our info booth. Time is from 10:00 am to about 5:00pm and then take our booth down and haul it back to the hatchery.

2) Move fry - Saturday April 29 Bill wants three loads of fry out of the hatchery. See you at the gate at 8:15 to 8:30am

Bryan Manning

April 22nd: Hi Gang,

It’s been awhile and I apologize for that. As usual at this time of year we have been very busy at the hatchery. With the water temps getting warmer the fish are starting to eat more which means they are getting bigger. With that we have been releasing many of our little ones back into the river to begin their long journey.There has been a lot of tidying up recently at the hatchery and it looks FANTASIC. Great job by those involved.

Next Saturday is the Rotary Auction at Sea Park Arena. We will have a booth set up so come on down and check it out. There is a lot of great thing to see there.

May 7 we will be having an open house at the hatchery. This would be a great time to bring your friends up and show them what we are all about.

Our derby committee has been working very hard as the big weekend slowly approaches. It will be here before we know it. For those of you that don’t already know, we now have a facebook page. We have entered the modern era. A big thanks to Dan Eaton for all his hard work on this. For those of you who don’t do facebook we still have our web page. Please check our facebook page out. Here is the link.


They have changed the lock on the red gate. They now are using the fob to unlock it. I haven’t used it myself so good luck to those who do.

Till next time. Thanks,

Roger Praud, President SSES

April 20th: Hi Folks,

There will be a work party (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) on Saturday. We’ll move out two loads (trips) of Springs out of #13 and thin our the troughs back into 13.

See you at Butler's gate at 8:15 to 8:30

Bryan Manning

April 13th: Hi Folks,

There will be work party this Saturday April 15 - 8:15 to 8:30 at the gate - we have to get the boards installed in DeMamiel Weir as well as clean up the hatchery for an upcoming tour and open house.

We are just entering a very busy time for the next month or so: (there will be emails for each of the following activities). Possibly on Saturday April 22 work party - two trips to move fry out. As well we will be moving fry out of the hatchery all through the following:

  • Rotary Auction Saturday April 29
  • 1st week in May meet with DFO re Sooke Watershed
  • 1st or 2nd week in May Sea Pen
  • Wednesday May 3 EMCS tour of hatchery
  • Saturday May 6 Sooke Harbourside Lions assist with Duck Race
  • Hatchery Open House Sunday May 7
  • Tuesday May 9 Derby Meeting
  • Wednesday May 10 Director’s and general meeting

I hope I haven’t left anything out - I’m tired already!!!

Bryan Manning Secretary, SSES

April 5th: Bill says:

On Saturday we’ll thin the troughs of Springs into tank 13 and we’ll move some Coho out to the three bridges on DeMamiel.

See you at the gate 8:15 to 8:30 am

Bryan Manning Secretary, SSES

March 23rd: Hi Gang

Bill wants to move out some fry into Young’s Lake. We are running out of room and this will give us some breathing space. See you at Butler’s gate 8:15 to 8:30 am.

Bryan Manning Secretary, SSES

March 16th: Hi Gang,

Bill has called a work party for Saturday.

Clean tanks # 12 and # 13,  transfer Chin. from 6a and 6b down to lower level. Clean troughs 6a and 6b, and Pond 6-7 trays of Coho into 6a, and have a coffee and a cookie before we go home. 

All Chin.’s have been ponded.

See you at Butler main gate 8:15 - 8:30 AM.

Bryan Manning Secretary, SSES

March 4th: Hi Everyone, did this morning have you all going ‘oh hell not again’? Even though we were warned about it I was still hoping it wouldn’t happen. Thank goodness it didn’t last too long. Lets see what happens tonight. Will this stuff never end?

Anyways we had another good day up on the hill. Got some fish moved from the troughs to the lower tanks, I hear the fish enjoyed the ride. Good job Bill. We patched up some potholes on our driveway, sorry no hope for the main road. Some bumps in life are just out of our control.

And as always the coffee and conversation were good. Thanks to all who came out.

Derby committee and monthly meeting this coming week.  Till next time.

Roger Praud, President SSES

March 2nd: Hi Gang

Bill Pednault says:

We can clean and ready the 4 lower tanks and transfer the fry from 6a-6b down into the lower tanks,  power wash the sloping walkway down into the lower hatchery, return chains back to Danny H. and get a yard of road base gravel in the truck to fill the pot holes on the driveway down into the hatchery, have a coffee and go home happy.

See you at Butler Main gate 8:15 to 8:30am on Saturday.

Bryan Manning Secretary, SSES

Feb 18th: Hi everyone, well it sure is nice to see the snow gone. (That’s just my opinion). Its nice to look at but that’s it.

Thanks to everyone who came to the old hangout this morning. We had a very good turnout. It was nice to see some new faces and some familiar ones we haven’t seen in awhile.We ponded (I think) 28 Nitnat trays, 3 trays of our chinook and 1 tray of coho. That’s a lot of fish for the future. And of course with that is lots of tray washing and the usual cleaning. Great job done by all.

With all this, the regular feeding schedule will begin on Tuesday. Again, thanks to all the feeders.

Moving forward we will be having our first Derby Committee meeting Tuesday night. An official notice we be coming shortly. So anyone who wants to come and join the fun, PLEASE, come on out. It takes a lot of work to put this on so help is always welcomed.

That’s about it for now.

Roger Praud, President SSES

Feb 16th: All Hands on Deck.

Bill wants to “pond” all the Nitnat trays, all 32 of them so if you come be prepared for 3 hours of work.

See you at Butler Main gate 8:15 to 8:30am on Saturday.

Bryan Manning, Secretary SSES

Feb 9th: Hi Gang,

Bill has cancelled the work party for this Saturday.  With water temps around 2 degrees the alevins have not buttoned-up so ….. likely Saturday Feb 18 will be the next work party for ponding - if so I'll send out an email to confirm.  That damn snow has slowed down everything.

The Derby Committee meeting was cancelled due to the white stuff.  New meeting date is Tuesday February 21 at Gerry and Maureen’s 7251 Bethany Place in the Whiffen Spit area.  Again I’ll send out a meeting notice just before the meeting date.

Enjoy the rain

Bryan Manning, Secretary SSES

Feb 7th: Hi Folks,

Due to the Winnipeg weather we have the Tuesday meeting at Gerry and Maureen’s is cancelled until further notice.

However, there will be (weather permitting) a general meeting at 7:00 pm at the community hall on Wednesday Feb 8.

Bryan Manning, Secretary, SSES

Feb 5th: Hi Gang,

The start of a new year also signals in the start of the Derby Committee. Volunteers are needed to join in the fun and games of the committee. The Derby is the main source of revenue for the hatchery so it is important that members get involved.

We meet @ 7:00 pm Tuesday February 7, 2017 at Gerry Glaum’s (thank you Gerry and Maurine) 7251 Bethany Place in the Whiffen Spit area.

See you there.

Bryan Manning, Secretary SSES

Feb 4th: HI Everyone,

You all finished shoveling the snow? I know I am. We had a little fun getting to the hatchery this morning because of it but as usual our amazing (CRAZY) volunteers did it. And since I was the last one out, I know that no one got stuck there in the snow. For too long anyways.

We finished cleaning the remainder of the troughs, screens and other associated goodies today. As always there is lots of stuff to be done as we move into another year so keep an eye on your email and come on out if you like.

With us ponding more fish just want to say thanks to our temp takers and feeders.

Till next time.

Roger Praud, President

Feb 2nd: Hi Gang,

Bill is calling for a work party this Saturday to clean the upper troughs in getting ready for the little fry.We might pond a few trays but the water temp has been 2 C so we’ll see on Saturday. At Butler Main gate 8:15 to 8:30 am.


Feb 2nd: Hi Gang

It is getting to be the time when the hatchery is starting to be a hatchery.  We’ll be ponding fry and when we do then we’ll have to go onto a three hour feeding schedule morning (9:00 to noon) and afternoon (noon to 3:00PM).

We have volunteers for the morning shift but we do not have a full compliment for the afternoons so if can can spare 3 hours in one of the following afternoons then please notify Mel Hull (melanjudy@shaw.ca)

Vacant afternoons are:

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Thanks Bryan

Jan 29th: Hi Everyone, Well the work party season has begun again. Even with the late notice we still had a good turnout. We were able to clean out some troughs and screens and move some fish into them. We also had the water line which feeds the hatchery in need of repair. Those of us on that detail can vouch for the fact that the water is REAL cold. Hopefully all toes and fingers are thawed out today. Till next time.

Roger, President SSES

Jan 27th: Hi Gang,

There will be a work party tomorrow - see you at Butler’s Gate 8:15 to 8:30 AM.

Bill was up ckecking on our little guys this morning. We have about 4 or 5 trays of cohos to pond. Things that will need to be done are --- clean some troughs, fix the water line, and pond what trays maybe ready.

It looks like we maybe ponding some of our Springs on Sat. Feb 4th and maybe the Nitnat springs on Sat. 11th of Feb. in all depends on the water temps.

Depending on the turnout this Sat., as to how much we get done, it doesn’t have to all be done this Sat.

Bryan, Secretary

Jan 17th: Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Years. I thought it would be good to touch base with everyone with a quick update on things coming up. Fish hatching time is close, so with that we’ll be putting together work crews to get some stuff done for the up coming season. But don’t all rush up to the hatchery just yet, an official notice will be coming soon as to dates and such. Whew, that was close.

The other thing, although it’s still 6 months away, is the fishing derby. We will have to get going on this “reel” soon as there is tons of work to be done before the big day. So anyone who would like to be part of the derby committee, your help is always welcomed. Again, a notice will be coming very soon with the fishy details.

Here’s hoping everybody receives this.  Stay dry.


Roger, President SSES

Nov 29th: Apparently there are 4 trays of Coho left to shock so ……..

Thursday Dec 1st 8:15 to 8:30 AM at Butler gate


PS Dogs are welcome

Nov 24th: We are ready for the next round of shocking for our Coho Eggs.

Work Party Saturday Nov 26 8:15 / 8:30 at Butler gate.

Looks like we should have about 5 trays to do so if you can help out we will see you then. R

Nov 17th: Went and had a look at our eggs this morning and all is looking well. Our Nitinat egg transfers were received well yesterday and are in incubation.

Looks like we will have at best 4 trays of Coho to shock on Saturday. So not a very heavy work load so if you have other things to do feel free. As long as we get 8 or 10 people we should be Ok , If you want to come and have a coffee and a cookie, come on up ……

Saturday Nov 19 th 8:15 AM at Butler Gate

CU then Robert

Acting Hatchery Assistant 4 th Class

Nov 14th: Things are moving along well at the hatchery.

We got another half dozen Coho trays shocked on Saturday. We also cleaned 4 stacks of heath trays in anticipation of receiving our Chinook egg transfers from Nitinat on Tuesday.

Things will be slowing up a bit at the hatchery over the next few weeks. Coho trays available to shock will be a few at a time until we hit the last batch.With that in mind, next up will be this coming Saturday to shock another 4 trays or so 8:15 at the gate as usual.

Cheers Robert

Director at Large

Nov 7th: Moving right along ………..All but one Chinook tray has been shocked. We also shocked 3 trays of Coho today.We are in great shape.

Next up will be a shocking work party on ….SATURDAY NOV 12 8:15 AT BUTLER GATE.


We are now on our temperature takers schedule.

Reminder - AGM on Wednesday

Cheers R

Nov 6th: Yet another very productive day at the hatchery with a great turn out of volunteers.

We took eggs from our last 11 Coho and set free the males we had on hand. All the round tanks got a good scrub and are squeaky clean. We also got another 6 trays of Chinook eggs shocked.

So, we are all done with brood stock and egg take for 2016 !

The focus moving forward will be to get the remainder of our Chinook eggs shocked and the same with Coho eggs as they become ready. Water temperatures at the hatchery remain above 10 degrees so this will help speed up the process for now.

We will have a work party on Monday Nov 7. 8:15 AM at Butler gate. We should have a few trays of Chinook trays to shock.

Also, a reminder of our AGM on Wednesday night , and the $10 membership that is due.

Cheers R


Be advised that our AGM will be held Wednesday November 9 th at 7PM, Sooke Community hall, 2037 Shields Road, Sooke BC

We will be taking nominations and elect a……

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Directors at large

Please attend if at all possible as we need to ensure we have the necessary members in attendance to make this all happen. It will also be time for renewal of membership in the Society, Dues are $10 per year. Regards.

Robert Gamache, President

Nov 4th: Saturday work party, 8:15 AM at Butler gate.

We will take a final look at our Coho and release what we do not use. This will end our brood take for 2016 , Yahoo !

Nitinat Egg Transfer

We have been contacted by DFO and our Chinook eggs will be ready to pick up in about 10 days.

At the moment the schedule is for either November 15th or 16th.We will need a crew to travel to Nitinat to pick them up and another small group to meet at the hatchery in the afternoon to put these eggs into heath trays.

Mel Hull will be leading this endeavor.We will advise the exact date when we get it confirmed.

Let us know if you are interested in helping out


Nov 2nd: It’s a new world record !

We harvested eggs from more than 20 Coho females today. Our egg count is looking very good.

These fish are getting tired of being in our hatchery and showing signs they need to be harvested or released.

We are going to give it one last shot on. Saturday Nov 6 8:15 AM at Butler gate.

What we do not harvest will be released, should be a good days work.


Oct 31st: We had a very productive day today.

We harvested eggs from 13 females. We also shocked 2 trays of Chinook. Your president is so talented that he was able to convince 4 male Coho into becoming Females !

Next up will be Wednesday to go through the same routine. 8:15 to 8:30 AM at Butler Gate.


Oct 29th: We had another productive work party today.

We went through all our Coho females and took 2. We shocked 4 more trays of Chinook eggs.

And managed to get the remainder of the boards out of DeMamiel Creek. Not a bad days work.

Next up will be on Monday Oct 31,  we will go up to the hatchery and go through our routine once again. 8:15 to 8:30 AM at Butler gate.

For those of you looking to get going with daily temperature taking , it will be a while yet until we finish taking eggs.

Have a good Sunday ! R

Oct 27th: We keep on a go..in....

Hatchery is in good shape. We still have many Coho to harvest and Chinook eggs to shock.

We are going to take Friday off. Saturday we will have a work party to check our Coho and take the boards out of DeMamiel weir and haul them up to storage at the hatchery.

Saturday morning, 8:15 to 8:30 AM at butler gate, will need some strong arms to get DeMamiel weir done.

C U then R

Oct 26th: I did not realize it was some kind of national holiday in Sooke today! It was standing room only for volunteers at the hatchery, and on a rainy Wednesday to boot !

We managed to go through all our females and took eggs from 7. We also managed to shock 5 Chinook trays as well.

All in all a very productive day. We will give it another shot on Thursday morning , 8 AM at Butler gate.

Cheers Robert

Oct 24th: Coho are taking their sweet time giving up their eggs. We took 2 more females today, still a long ways to go.

With that in mind we will skip tomorrow ( yup , another day off ! ). Next will be Wednesday, 8:30 AM at butler gate. We may also be ready to shock a couple of Chinook trays that day as well.

C U then R

Oct 23rd: Things are starting to even out a bit.

We went through all our Coho females today but only one was ready to harvest. Got to the Sooke River and straightened up some of our gear. There were a good number of fish in the Sooke River ready to spawn.

We were not able to get the balance of the boards out of DeMamiel Weir as water levels were too high. We will need to get this done when the next opportunity presents itself.

In honour of Sunday , October 23 , 2016 We are going to ……………Take the day off !Ya Hoo !

We will be back at it on Monday to check the Coho, 8:30 AM as always. Looks like we will most likely shock our first trays of Chinook this week as well.

Will advise a schedule later on. Have a good days rest tomorrow.

Cheers R

Oct 20th: We are all done taking Coho Brood stock for this season. We now have a very good number of females at the hatchery that we will be looking to harvest eggs from over time.

Next up will be a work party on Saturday Oct  22nd 8:15 to 8:30 AM At Butler Main gate.

We will be taking out the boards at DeMamiel creek as part of our work load so we need some youthful muscle.

C U then R

Oct 18: We are making very good progress on our Coho take. We had another productive day in the water today.

We will be back at it in the morning at 8:30 AM, DeMamiel Weir. We will do a set of Coho, then most likely go up to the Hatchery and sort through all our females.

We Expect DFO at the hatchery between 12 and 1 PM.

C U on the water R

Oct 16th: We are moving along well with our Coho take. We will continue to take Coho as long as the fish are at the weir.

Looks good for the next couple of days at DeMamiel weir.

8:30 AM


Oct 14th: Well , we now have all the water we need !

A pretty good torrent coming down DeMamiel Creek today. We took our first Coho up to the hatchery.

We will meet Saturday morning at DeMamiel Creek weir and have a look at conditions. From there we will decide on an agenda that may include:-

  • Opening up the trap and catch some Coho.
  • Going to the Sooke River and stowing our tanks for the winter.
  • And who knows …

8:30 AM as always


Oct 13th: A good amount of water has come down DeMamiel Creek. The trap has been converted to take Coho brood stock.

As of 3 PM Thursday afternoon there were many Coho pushing up. Friday morning we will:-

  • Be at DeMamiel weir
  • Be at the hatchery Etc.

8:30 am and moving forward


Oct 10th: We are making good progress on our Chinook egg take. Over the past number of days we have taken eggs from all but 3 females.

Moving forward we will be bouncing back and forth from the hatchery and DeMamiel weir as Coho have now moved in.

As always, 8:30 AM.


Oct 6th: Good morning all …….

We need to get some chores done this weekend Saturday Oct 8 th.

We will meet at the park and ride, Sooke Road at Sooke River road across from the Teriyaki Restaurant. We will leave there at 8:30 AM and head out to the Sooke River to pick up all the bits and pieces of our fish fence. This will be an amount of work. We will need a good show of helpers and at least a couple of full bed pickup trucks. Once we have it all loaded up we will be off to the hatchery and stow it all away for the season. We also have all our gear from beach sein to put away up at the hatchery as well.

Somewhere in all that we will also check our on hand Chinook females and see if any are ready to give up their eggs. Look to see a good crew out for this ( looks like it may rain but that’s just another perk of volunteering for this outfit ! )

C U then R

Oct 1st: We had a great day out on the river today. Will put out some further details later.

For now we need to keep at it as we have fish and eggs on hand.

We will meet Sunday morning Oct 2nd at Charters Creek Interpretive Center on Sooke River Road, 8:30 AM.

We will go through the fish we have there and move on from there. We may also go down to the river and pull our trap out of the water.

Hope you can help out


Sept 29th: Good morning all…….Looks like we have an amount of fish that have moved up into Pemberton Pool this week. Just hope an amount of them are Chinook.

As a reminder………..

Saturday October 1 st

We will meet at Edward Milne Community School parking lot. We will be there between 8:00 and 8:15 AM.

At 8:15 AM we will have a bit of orientation and plan to leave for the river at 8:30 AM. Depending on how many fish we have to deal with we should be done at the river by noon.

1 ) Please wear your Red Volunteer shirts if you have one, we have a number of pairs of chest waders but if you have your own gear please bring it.

2 ) Please leave your dogs and other assorted pets at home.

There will be in attendance……..

  • Directors and staff from CRD.
  • Representatives from Sooke First Nations
  • Representatives from Sooke Council, Provincial or Federal Government
  • DFO
  • The Martin Family
  • The Media

The Sooke Lions Club will also be cooking up hot dogs and serving beverages.Weather and water conditions look to be as good as it gets.

Should be a great event.

CU then R

Sept 18th: A few dedicated types braved the rain on Saturday morning and we now have water flowing through the hatchery ready for fish.

We are anticipating that with this rain a few more fish will migrate up the Sooke River into our fish trap.

We will continue with checking the fish trap daily 8:30 AM DEPARTURE.

  • Weekdays, parking lot on Sooke River Road at the ball fields.
  • Weekends, Park & Ride Parking lot , Sooke Road at Sooke River Road across from the Teriyaki House Restaurant.

Look for the Hatchery Truck and a bunch of OLD guys.

Looking promising for brood take on October 1st.


Sept 16th: Over the last few days we have seen the odd fish poking up the Sooke River.

With that in mind we will do a beach Seine of the Sooke River at Pemberton Pool on Saturday October 1st.

We will meet at the parking lot of the high school between 8:00 & 8:15 AM, have a brief orientation and then head out to the river as a group.

As many of you know, this area is now behind a locked gate so we need to go together. We will need an amount of divers in wet suits for this, please let me know if you can help in this regard.

Hope to see a good crowd out for this event.

C U then R

Sept: 15th: We will get a few things done at the hatchery on Saturday morning.

Butler gate 8:15 to 8:30 am

C U then R

Sept: 10th: A very good group of top notch volunteers did an amazing job getting our fish fence installed on the Sooke River today. No one did a swan dive into the river either ! ( but Amy was not there ! )

So we are back in the fish business for brood 2016. Moving forward, now that we have the trap in the water we need to check on it daily. Schedule will be.

Each morning at 8:30 AM ( Departure time ! )

  • Monday to Friday , at the parking lot beside the Sooke ball fields.
  • Saturday and Sunday, at the park and ride parking lot in the front of the corner store and the Teriyaki House restaurant Sooke Road at Sooke River Road. Look for the hatchery truck in the parking lot.

Now that this is CRD property and is behind a locked gate we MUST go down together as we lock the gate behind us after we enter.

Confused ? Shoot me an email.

Cheers R

Sept 7th: Good morning, we will be installing our fish fence on the Sooke River this weekend Saturday Sept 10.

We will be at the gate on Butler main from 8:15 to 8:30 AM and go up to the hatchery and load up our gear. We will then head out to the river and get this installed.

The access to Martin’s property now has a locked gate on it so we will need to go through it as a group. Need all the strong bodies and trucks for this project, please attend if possible.

Cheers Robert

Sept 1st: We will be installing our fish fence on the Sooke River at the new CRD Park ( John Martin’s ), Saturday September 10th.

Not sure at this point if we will load up on Friday or Saturday morning .

Please keep Saturday open to help out if at all possible as this requires a number of strong bodies Final details early next week.


Sept 1st: Yes folks, it’s September already. What does that mean ?    Your life is no longer your own !

So here we go again……………..Monthly meetings will start back up.

We will get our fish fence installed on the Sooke River in anticipation of taking brood stock possible late Sept , early October. All depends on rain and water levels.

Looks like our project for excavating work up at Bradford Dam will proceed next week. Keep an eye on your email moving forward as we have some things to do in the short term.

Can’t wait to see your smiling faces !

Cheers Robert

August 22nd: First let me say how much I miss you all !

Hope you have found a shady spot the last few days. With that in mind we have been advised by Timberwest that the bush is shut down until further notice.

The project we had scheduled for Aug 29 th has been postponed until mid September.Will keep you all informed.

Cheers Robert

July 22nd: Just when you thought your life was your own………As many of you know next weekend is our 13 th annual Chinook derby.

Here is a schedule for next week.

Friday July 29th, we will meet at the hatchery at 8:30 AM and load up our gear into a few trucks in  preparation for the weekend.

Saturday July 30th , We will meet at the weigh in station , Corner of Sooke Road and Philips Road at 5:30 AM ( OMG that’s early !). We will need volunteers to work the weigh in station till 7 PM .

Sunday July 31 st - Volunteers will be needed from 6 AM to 2 PM at the weigh in station.

Another group will move from the weigh in station to the awards dinner site at Sooke Flats Campground at about noon.

The whole thing should wrap up at about 3:30 PM at which time we will load up all our gear from both sites and head up to the hatchery to put it all away.

All volunteers will get a dinner ticket for the meal on Sunday.

Hope you can find some time to pitch in.

Any questions give me a call.

Cheers Robert

July 5th: Yes,  you heard it here first folks !

We are going to have a work party, Saturday July 9, 8:15 to 8:30 AM at Butler main gate.

We are going to move 2 round tanks from the hatchery to Martins Farm ( 2 trips ). One tank is already strapped down on the trailer. We will meet at the hatchery first and also load up the two tank lids and 2 staircases and haul all that down to the Sooke river and off load it all. Then we will need to send a crew back to the hatchery and get the second tank and bring it to the river.

It will take six good strong backs to handle a tank. We will also get on with building the pedestals and setting the tanks in place. Hopefully this will not take any longer than our typical morning of work.

Hope you can pitch in

C U Saturday R

June 30th: Good afternoon all.

We are going to have a work party this Saturday to finish up the projects we started last week.

8:15 to 8:30 am at Butler Gate

C U Then R

June 23rd: We are going to incorporate a work party into Saturdays plans.

Lets meet at Butler main gate at our usual time 8:15 to 8:30. We will head up to the hatchery and work on a few things.

Others can set up and sell tickets at the weigh in site from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Confused ? Send me an email or I will be on my cell Saturday morning.


June 23rd: We will be down at the weigh in station Saturday morning to kick of this years derby ticket sales.

We will need a few hands to set up at about 9:30 AM at Sooke Road & Philips Road. We may also get some other chores done if we have some hands.

Let me know if you can lend a hand.

Cheers R

June 16: Howdy folks.

Over the last number of days we have had contractors on the hatchery site falling some trees and excavating a fewspots on the property.

We need to do some cleanup of debris in Rocky Creek and on site. This Saturday , 8:15 to 8:30 AM at Butler main gate.

You may want to bring::-

  • Rubber boots
  • Chain saw
  • Steel Rake

C U then R

June 2nd: A few lads ( Fraulein’s also welcome )will be getting together at the hatchery….

Saturday June 4 th, 8:30 AM at Butler Gate.

On the Agenda

  1. Disassemble the information Kiosk and store away for further use.
  2. We  ‘’ MIGHT ‘’ also look at a bit of weed trimming inside the hatchery compound
  3. Disassemble the floats that are inside the compound and move them up with the others
  4. This spot ‘’ MIGHT ‘’ be a place we could set up the kiosk in the future

I will be away this weekend so Dan Eaton will let volunteers in on Saturday morning


31st May: How’s everyone enjoying some time off from the fish ?

We have some maintenance projects of interest upcoming.

We have a couple of large Cedars near the hatchery that we are going to fall next week. We have a faller coming in to do this for us.

As part of this work and in anticipation of excavating the large cedar stump near the hatchery compound entrance, we need to get rid of the ‘’ Information Shelter ‘’ ?

If anyone wants it ( It is HEAVY ! but could be disassembled with some effort ), please let me know as soon as possible as we will need to move it this weekend perhaps. Might be useful as a garden shed or wood shed.

Cheers Robert

24th May: Good morning.

I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the long weekend. As you are probably aware we are all done with rearing fish for the season.

Our net pen Chinook were released last Thursday night at a final weight of 9.86 Grams. All our gear has been stowed away at the hatchery for another year.

Moving forward we have some maintenance and upgrades to look after this summer.

First up will be to give Bradford Dam a hair cut. We are renting a couple of industrial mowers and will go up to Bradford dam on Wednesday May 25 th. We will meet at the 4 way stop, Butler road at Young Lake road, 8:30AM.

We will probably go up in more than one vehicle ( including the hatchery truck ). If you want to join in and have a weed eater you can bring,  feel free to do so. Good footwear is also a good thing up on the dam for this job.

We are continuing with work organizing our Derby at the end of July, next meeting ( Derby committee ) announcement will be in a couple of weeks.

That’s about it for now.

Cheers Robert

19th May: With great fanfare we released our Sea Pen fish this evening.

Still a bit to do in the morning at the Government dock to pack it all up and head to the hatchery and store it all away.

Once we are done we invite all that can attend to have an early lunch ( spouses welcome ) at Mom’s Café Friday May 20 th , 11:30 AM.

If you think you may attend shoot me an email or just show up.

I will be on my cell.


15th May: It has been brought to my attention that our plans to work next Saturday may need a re-think as it is a long weekend.

With that in mind let’s change our schedule as follows.

We will release the fish out of the sea pen on, Thursday May 19 th at 7 PM, we will need a few strong arms to get this done.

It should take less than ½ an hour to pull this off. We will need to pull up the weights and net onto the dock. We will then return to the dock on, Friday May 20 th  at 8:30 AM and gather up all our gear and haul it up to the hatchery

It will be a good idea to have at least rain pants on as the net will be rather slimy when we carry it up to the truck. We will need a good group of volunteers for this.

Sorry for the confusion and I realize that either scenario includes and excludes some of you.


1st May: And there they were, GONE.

We are all done at the hatchery for this season. We released the remainder of our Chinook on Saturday and gave the hatchery a good scrub. By all accounts a job well done by our volunteers.

We  also had our booth set up at the Rotary Auction & Fair at Seapark Arena on Saturday. Hope everyone has their feet up today enjoying the incredible weather.

We do have our seapen in the water at the Government Wharf for the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Keep your eye on your email for what comes next.



April 28th: We will be releasing fish…………………

Friday morning, April 29th and Saturday April 30th.

If you don’t know the drill by now let me know.

Cheers R

April 28th: Things are moving along at a blinding pace………….


Due to water flows and temperatures we are now well into full release mode. In the past few days we have released , Tanks 12 & 13, Trough’s 6 & 7.

Feeders, as the situation is rather dynamic the feed sheets may not be 100 % up to date day to day. All we have on site now is Chinook, feed size is 1.2 MM ( more bags in the freezer in the office ).

Sea Pen

We anticipate receiving our Sea Pen fish today, more details to follow for feeding and cleaning.


We are receiving students from Edward Milne Secondary for a tour of the hatchery today.

We will set up at Sea Park for Rotary Fair tomorrow ( Friday ) afternoon.

We will be at the Rotary Fair all day Saturday. We will need a bit of help to take down the displays etc. at Rotary Fair Saturday afternoon.

Just another week in paradise ! R

April 24th: We will be receiving our sea pen fish this week.With that in mind we need to accomplish the following on Wednesday April 27 8:15 AM at the gate on Butler Main :-

  • Move all our gear from the hatchery to the government dock
  • Set our floats in place and install the stanchions

Thursday April 28 , drop the net in the water and get it rigged up, 8:15 am at the government dock.

C U then R

April 24th: With our supply of water being a bit tenuous at the moment we want to get ahead of the game and release another batch of fish, Tuesday April 26, 8:15 AM at Butler Gate.

We plan to do 2 trips to get 12 & 13 empty.

C U then R

April 19th: We need to release fish from the hatchery moving forward. This Saturday, April 23rd 8:15 at Butler gate.

We would like to do  3 trips to the Sooke River.

C U then R

April 14th: Good evening.

We will be releasing more fish from the hatchery into the Sooke River. Saturday April 16th 8:15 to 8:30 at Butler main gate.

We will be doing 2 trips with the truck and trailer.

CU then R

April 10th: We had a productive Saturday work party on the 9th of April.

Chinook in Cap Trough 6 A & 6 B were released into the Sooke River, 2 trips.

We also moved half the Coho into 6 A & 6 B. We installed new rubber gaskets onto the balance of the boards for DeMamiel weir.We cleaned out the valve box at DeMamiel weir.

I am sure we got more done as well,  but 1 day later my memory is lacking. Thanks to all those that came out; we also had a few guests from Victoria that helped out.

We anticipate that we will be releasing more fish this coming weekend, more details to follow.


April 6th: Howdy folks…..

This coming Saturday 8:15 to 8:30 AM at Butler Gate.

We will be releasing 2 loads of fish into the Sooke River to create some room to grow for our remaining fish. We have a few other odd jobs as well.

C U then R

March 22nd: Good afternoon all…

Things are moving along well at the hatchery. Our fish have settled in and are growing well.

We need to get our 2 big round tanks up and running to accommodate the growth.

We would like to do that this coming Saturday, March 26th 8:15 to 8:30 at Butler main gate.

If you have the time, come and join in the festivities. Milk and cookies will be served.

Cheers Robert

Feb 26th: Sorry for the short notice but.....we could get a few things done tomorrow at the hatchery.

8:15 to 8:29 at Butler main gate.

Cheers Robert

Feb 19th: Yes we have things to do, this Saturday, Feb 20th.

Need to …….

Pond Fish; Move Fish; Fish Fish Fish ! ......And other chores

8:15 to 8:30 at Butler gate.


Feb 15th: We are off to the races for fish feeding 2016. We will start our full feeding schedule on Tuesday morning.We still have openings on Saturday & Sunday afternoons, if anyone is interested please let me know.

Water temperatures are in the 8’s so the remaining fish in incubation are developing quickly and more fish will be ponded most likely this week. Keep an eye out for updates.

Cap Troughs, ith the exception of  7A ( COHO )  &  7B ( Empty for now ).

The rest are all Chinook.

Keep in mind we still need to take and record daily water temperatures.


Feb 13th: We had a great day moving fish from Incubation into Cap Troughs.

Altogether we ponded, 106,000 Nitnat Chinook and 177,000 Sooke River Chinook.

It is going to take a couple of days for our babies to settle into their new surroundings so for the next couple of days all we need to do is come in and take daily temperatures and check water flows as normal.

We will start full feeding and cleaning schedule beginning with day shift on Tuesday Feb 16 th.

More details to follow.


Feb 11th: Another Party ! Whoopee !

We will pond a bunch of Chinook, this Saturday, Feb 13th 8:15 to 8:30 at Butler Main Gate.

Cheers Robert

Feb 4th: Good morning.

As mentioned previously we are going to get back at it this Saturday, Feb 6 th 8:30 AM at the gate or hatchery if it is open.

We need to clean all our Cap troughs so this will be an amount of work. We also have a few other tasks to complete if possible.

Rumor has it way will also burn some hot dogs.

C U then R

Jan 31st:: We had a very productive work party yesterday. We are well on our way to being ready for rearing this year’s production.

  • The floors in the upper hatchery have been power washed.
  • All the gear that was stored at the end of Cap trough’s 1 – 4 has been stowed in the new container.
  • A new 3 ‘’ recirculation line has been installed from the lower hatchery back up to the top manifold.
  • The existing 2 ‘’ line was also repositioned.
  • A second 6 ‘’ discharge has been installed from the Cap trough manifold down to the aerator in the lower hatchery.
  • We installed an overflow valve at the bottom of 6 B.
  • We repaired the main feed line from the steel pipe.
  • We removed the old lower kitchen cabinets in the lunch room and installed the new ones, plumbing and installation of the counter top yet to do.
  • We did some burning on our refuse pile and did a run to the dump.

I am sure we got more done but the above is about all I can store in the limited space I have in my brain! Thanks to all those that came out and helped….

  • We have an auto feeder on Cap trough 1 A , there will be a note in the lunch room with feed amount.
  • We are currently using feed size , # O Crumb.
  • Keep in mind there are only 3150 fish ponded in 1A so feed is very minimal. If anyone is unsure of how to set the feeder, please let me know.
  • We are still on Temperature Take schedule.
  • We won’t go to full feed schedule until we pond a significant portion of what’s in the incubation room.

To that end, we will MOST LIKELY have a work party this coming Saturday to clean all our Cap troughs. We will put the definitive word out on Wednesday.

Cheers R

Jan 28th: Howdy ! Everyone all rested up ?

With warmer water temperatures of late things are pushing forward. We ponded one tray of Chinook into Cap Trough 1 A today. This was a female we took from the trap a couple of weeks before brood take.

So here is the plan moving forward:-

This Saturday, Jan 30th we will have a work party to get a few things done in and around the hatchery.

We want to pull the old Kitchen cabinets in the lunch room and have a few other things in mind. Don’t need a huge crew but there are things to do if you want to come out.

Saturday Feb 6 th, we will clean our troughs in preparation for ponding. We will need a good crew for this. Depending on how water temps go over the next number of days we may also pond fish. Or maybe come back and pond Sunday, but we do need to clean on Feb 6th.

As far as the few fish that are currently in 1 A , we will most likely set up and auto feed. If we do, we will let the volunteers that are currently coming in to record temperatures know the scoop on feeding.

A full feeding schedule will be worked out at the end of next week.

I you have any questions , shoot me an email or send cash !

Cheers Robert

Jan 12th: Greetings !

We have a general monthly meeting , Jan 13 , 7PM , Sooke Community Hall.

Things are moving along well at the hatchery. Of note temperature takers , the forestry gate has not always been open of late. So make sure you have a gate key with you.

With the cold temperatures lately things have slowed a bit but it will not be long until we are ready to pond fish. With that in mind we will most likely start cleaning out the hatchery and get a few projects done towards the end of this month.

This will give you a chance to work off some of those many shortbread cookies you had over the holidays !

C U at the meeting


Dec 24th: Good morning SSES volunteers………….

I see a bit of snow on the Sooke hills this morning ! Had a nice drive over the Malahat yesterday afternoon in the blowing snow.

Here is a bit of an update of our operations so grab a glass of eggnog and a short bread cookie….

All of our Coho eggs are shocked and have had a second pick.We had a good turnout of volunteers a couple of Saturday’s ago and shocked at least 10 trays of Coho. Subsequently , Bill and various little helpers have shocked and picked the remaining trays to get us past this phase of the process.

We have a nice bunch of egg’s on hand:-

79,271 Coho

105,828 Nitnat Chinook ( Egg Transfers )

336,603 Sooke River Chinook

The Chinook are mostly all in the emerge stage so ponding will not be far off………. OH MY !

For the time being we will let everyone enjoy the holiday season, we will need to keep taking our daily temperatures and hatchery check through the holidays. If anyone needs a day off , let me know.Yet another good years work is in the books thanks to the dedication of our volunteers.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all !

Dec 12th: We will be shocking Coho tomorrow morning, Saturday Dec 12 th.

C U at the gate, 8:30 AM

Cheers R

Nov 24th: Good morning,

A bit of an update on where we are at………….

All our Chinook eggs are shocked and re-picked, we should have the first handful of trays in the hatch stage soon. We also received our Nitnat egg transfer last week, all are in incubation doing well.

The first few trays of Coho eggs are coming up for shocking. As they are ready a tray or two at a time, we will not be calling for a work party unless necessary.

At this point we have ( In round numbers ) - 450,000 eyed Chinook eggs; 110,00 Coho eggs.

The hatchery is now being put into winter mode, thanks to all who helped on this.

At our AGM last week we elected 2 new Directors, we welcome as directors at large. Dan Eaton & Roger Praud. Thank you for stepping up and serving on our most esteemed board of directors !

My God , 4 weeks left in the year, HO HO HO

Cheers for now


Nov 1st: A week ago we were praying for water and our wish came true. DeMamiel Creek is flowing hard. Still some Coho pushing up but we won’t be able to get back in the water until it drops a foot or so.

In the meantime we are dealing with the Coho we have up at the hatchery, we took eggs from 2 females today.

I will be away for the next two weeks so here are a couple of things to keep in mind…..Next Saturday, Nov 7 th , we will be shocking several trays of Chinook eggs. 8:30 AM at the gate on Butler main.

Temperature takers, if you run into an issue at the hatchery, there is a white pad near the phone in the lunch room with phone numbers for.Bill and Mel.

Adios Amigos R

Oct 30th: An update on Coho take.

Managed to take some Coho on DeMamiel creek today.We are going to give it another shot on Saturday morning.

DeMamiel weir , 8:30am


Oct 29th: With yesterday’s rain we have a number of Coho at the weir on DeMamiel creek.

We will get together tomorrow and see if we can chase some into the trap. Meet at the weir at 8:30 and do a few modifications to get it fishing better and then sit by the campfire for a bit and see what happens.

There is not a ton of water in the raceway but the fish are trying their best to push upstream. With that in mind this might be a day to leave the dogs at home; I will leave that up to individual volunteers.

Cheers, Robert

Oct 23rd: Good morning,

A bit of an update…………We are all done with Chinook egg take and all our heads have been processed and data sent to DFO. There is still a minimal amount of water in DeMamiel creek so we will have to wait for rain and Coho.

A schedule has been sent out to water temp takes. So take a day or two off if you are willing.

Cheers R

Oct 18th: Things are starting to get to a bit more of a normal pace up at the hatchery. Just a handful of Chinook females left to harvest.

We will go and check on them once again on Monday 8:30 AM at the gate on Butler Main.

Speaking of the gate on Butler Main. Looks like the BC Wildlife Federation has convinced Timberwest to open the back country to hunters. I think it is primarily on weekends and  they have arrange for Shadow Security to man the gate but only for an hour or 2 here and there through the day.

It is not up to SSES volunteers to allow access to Timberwest property for any particular reason, so if someone asks, refer them to Timberwest or Shadow Security.


Oct 18th: We will be up at the hatchery Sunday morning (18th) to check on our remaining Chinook females. I believe there are only 5 or so; this should not take long to accomplish.

Note the start time, 9 AM at the gate.


Oct 15th: We will get together on Saturday morning to retrieve the components of the fish fence on the Sooke River 8:30 AM, meet at the park and Ride across from the corner store on Sooke River Road.

We will need some trucks , and you know who you are , so if you can’t make it let me know.

C U then, R

Oct 12th: We took another 19 females today with 33 left to go.

For the balance of the week we will meet at the hatchery at 8:30 AM to check our remaining females. Most likely we will go & get the bits and pieces of the fish fence on Saturday Oct 17th.

More details will follow.

Cheers R

Oct 12th:: Not sure how loud I said this yesterday at the hatchery yesterday……We will be at the hatchery today, Monday Oct 12 th 9 AM, to go through our females once again.

If you can help  we will see you there. R

Oct 10th: We had a fantastic day on the Sooke River taking our Chinook brood stock. Fish were plentiful and of very good size. A big thanks to all those that helped out today, it was great to see some new faces.

But ……..No time to rest, we will be back at it tomorrow at the hatchery, Sunday Oct 11th. Meet at the hatchery at 9 AM and we will go through our brood stock and most likely take more eggs.

C U then

Cheers R

Oct:7th: Good morning,

Following is the schedule of events for this weekend’s activities to take Chinook Brood stock.

Of note, we are scheduled to get an amount of rain over the next few days. Depending on the amount we get, it can have a significant impact on our ability to get into the river safely.

With that said, dress for rain on Saturday, and keep an eye on your email just in case we need to call this off due to high water. Also keep in mind that just because it is not raining in Sooke town does not mean that it is not raining up in the hills.

So , here we go….Friday , Oct 9 th , 8:30 AM at butler gate

We will go up to the hatchery and load up all our gear onto the 2 trailers and the odd truck. From there we will proceed to the Martins and drop the trailers so they are there for us Saturday.

Saturday , Oct 10 th , 8:30 AM at the parking lot of Edward Milne School ( the High School in Sooke )

We will get together there and go over the agenda for the day.

PLEASE DO NOT  go directly to the Sooke River. We will car pool from the school in order to minimize the impact of vehicles at Ingrid Martins property.

If you have any questions drop me an email.

C U on the weekend


P.S. One more thing.

As mentioned in emails a week or so ago , we will need a number of divers for this event. So if you are proficient with a wet suit and a mask and can swim without drowning ( unlike me ), we would welcome your help. R

Oct 3rd: WELL…….. We are a  hatchery again.

We took our first Chinook female with 3100 eggs today. So we will now be recording ATU’s and checking conditions at the hatchery daily.We will have a few of the Society Directors looking after this for the next handful of days and come up with a more comprehensive schedule in a bit.

We are still checking the trap on the Sooke River daily. More to follow…………


Oct 1st: We keep getting closer ………………

Our group has been checking the trap on the Sooke River daily. So far we have 3 Chinook at the hatchery , 1 Female and 2 males. We also have 3 Coho on hand … Males / Females ? Fish are holding in Pemberton pool in some numbers.

Moving forward we need to get some things done in preparation for Chinook Brood Take. So, Saturday October 3rd  we will have a work party.

8:30 AM at the gate at Butler Main and up to the hatchery.

Hope to see you then.

Cheers R


Sept 27th: Look for the Super Moon Eclipse tonight….

Over the last few days we have seen a number of fish in the Trap on the Sooke river. We have taken 2 Coho and 2 Springs to the Hatchery. Water levels in the system are hanging in there…………

We will be monitoring the trap on the Sooke and DeMamiel Creek daily as per our previously posted schedule. Weekdays at the ball field and weekends at the park and ride , 9 AM.

A number of fish are pushing up. Brood stock take looks like Oct 10 th. Not carved in stone just yet…………….Keep your eye on your email.

Cheers R


If anyone is free at any time we are looking for someone to swim the Sooke River to see what is in the pools.

Go Pro Cam ? Call me if you have ideas.

Cheers R (250-642-1905)

Sept 20th: We had another productive day on Saturday.

Our volunteers installed the infrastructure at DeMamiel weir for Coho Brood take, so we will be ready when they come upstream. Here again , all was accomplished without anyone falling in the water, it used to be exciting to be president of this outfit, now it’s just kinda boring………..

We also checked the Trap on the Sooke River, no sign of fish as yet, water levels are low …….

Now we wait for fish, the next 2 to 3 weeks should tell the story.

In anticipation of taking Chinook brood stock can we please get a show of hands ( by email ) of those that can help us on the Sooke river, when we do our beach Seine. Specifically those that can turn out with wet suits and mask to help  guide the net. We had a great turn out of divers last year which made for a much easier time getting the fish we needed.

So if you were one of those people and or know others that can help in this regard please let me know.

These dates ARE NOT carved in stone but the most probable Saturdays that we may do this are , OCT 3 , 10 or 17. At the end of the day we do this when the fish are there for the taking, regardless of the date.

Cheers Robert

Sept 17th: We are good to go for our project this Saturday.

We will meet at the Hatchery on Saturday morning to get our gear loaded up and strap on some chest waders and head down to DeMamiel Creek. This will not take all that long to accomplish but we will need a good crew of strong bodies.

8:30 AM at the Gate on Butler Main.


Sept 13th: We had a great turn out of volunteers on Saturday to install the fish fence in the Sooke River. We were all done at about 1 PM and no one fell into the water which is very amazing.

Moving forward we will need to check the trap daily for fish…

Weekdays we will meet at the ball field on Sooke River road. Weekends we will meet at the park & ride , corner of Sooke Road and Sooke River road. 9:00 am each day.

We ask that volunteers do not go to the site at Ingrid Martins on their own.You should go with the morning work party only, or as directed by our hatchery manager or society director.

Since this was so much fun we will most likely have another work party next Saturday to install infrastructure to capture Coho on DeMamiel Creek, all dependant on water levels so keep an eye on your email mid week for firm details.

As always , thanks to all for your hard work.

Cheers Robert

Sept 10th: OK , we are off and running……..

19 members took time away from their busy schedules to attends last night’s monthly general meeting, and no one fell asleep, well almost no one…….In preparation for brood stock take here is the upcoming work schedule.

Friday , Sept 11 , 8:30 AM at the gate on Butler Main to head up to the hatchery and…….

- Knock down the cob webs and tidy up a bit

- Have a look at all our gear for installation of the fish fence

- Have a coffee and cookie

- Not a ton to do but this will get us back in the mood ?

Saturday , Sept 12 th , 8:30 AM at the gate on Butler Main. We will head up to the hatchery and load up all the gear to install the fish fence on the Sooke River and head to the river and install it all.

We will need a number of helpers to get this done so if you can help out please attend.

That’s it for now.

Cheers R

Sept 6th: It is that time of year again. September already.

First up, general meeting , Wednesday Sept 9 th, 7 PM , Community hall.

Next will be the installation of the fish fence on the Sooke River , Saturday Sept 12th. Specific details will follow mid next week.

The rain fall we have had over the past week has been nothing short of miraculous. DeMamiel Creek is full of water to the top of the boards. Rocky creek also has a very good water flow.

We had a look at the Sooke River on Saturday morning and it has approximately an extra foot of water over summer water flow levels.

This all looks positive for hatchery operations moving forward. We will need to get a few chores done at the hatchery in the short term and details will follow shortly.

So dust off your hip waiters and find your mittens , here we go again !

Cheers Robert

July 27th: GOOD EVENING ALL …………….We have one more task checked off the calendar.

Our volunteers were hard at work Saturday at the fish cleaning station at the Consultants Derby. Pink Salmon were in abundance with a small number of Chinook in the teens and mid 20 Lb. Thanks to all for your hard work to make this happen, we received a nice donation from them for our efforts.

Up coming…....Derby committee meeting , Tuesday, 7 PM.

Work part, Friday morning to get our gear loaded up for our Derby on the long weekend. We will need a few trucks to get this all loaded up for set up on Saturday  at 5 AM at the weigh In Station.

More to follow. Cheers.


July 21st: Howdy folks,

A couple of things are coming up quickly.

1 )  Consultants Derby, Saturday July 25th. We will be providing fish cleaning services for this derby in return for a sizeable donation to the society.A bit of a change this year as we will set up at the end of the dock in front of the Prestige Hotel.

So far we have , Bill, Mel, Dan, Robert signed up to make this happen. We need perhaps another 2 or three helps to make this work smoothly. We typically set up shortly before noon and work through about 4 PM. At the end of it all we get a dinner at the awards banquet. If you can let me know if you can help out please email me asap and we will get you on the list and give you more specific details

2 ) Our Derby is also fast approaching, for those of you on the derby committee, all sponsor prizes should be in to Gerry by the end of this week. We will have a final meeting at 7PM at Gerry and Maureen’s on Tuesday July 28th. Watch for details as to work party to load up what we need for the derby , possibly Friday the 31st and to set up at the weigh in station at the crack of dawn on Saturday Aug 1st.

We will need lots of help over the derby weekend so let me know if you can help out.

Cheers Robert

July 6th: Just a quick reminder; Derby meeting , Tuesday July 7 th , 7 PM.

Also of note; as some of you may know we have had some ongoing issues with our web site. In the end we had to let go of our existing URL  and come up with a new one.

So , our web site address is now………www.sookesalmonenhancement.com

So update your book marks to reflect the change. A new society email is also forthcoming but I will advise on this later.



June 25th: Good morning.

We will be kicking off ticket sales to this years SSES Derby on Saturday. We will need some help to set up the tent etc on Saturday morning. If you can lend a hand at our weigh in station site, north east corner of Sooke road at Philips road 9:30 AM.

We will need a few hands to set up which will not take all that long. From there we need to be at the site from 10 AM to 2 PM selling tickets so we will need a small handful of volunteers for that as well as packing it all up when we are done.

C U then R

June 17th: Howdy,

Things are moving along with a few projects. As mentioned at the last general meeting, the floor drains in the lower hatchery have been repaired. A crew went up to Bradford dam an powered up 7 weed eaters and trimmed the grass on the dam. See a few pictures attached.

That is it for general meetings until September.

Coming up are derby committee meetings in July ( Details to follow ).

Consultants derby, July 27th.

Cheers R

May 30th: Wow, May 30th , where is the time going ! Been very busy at work and with a few other matters but that certainly does not stop ( probably helps ! ) our crew.

The hatchery is now silent for the summer with all our fish successfully released. The crew was also hard at it this week digging up the concrete floor between tanks 8 & 9 in the lower hatchery to fix the drains. Sounds like the problems there has been resolved.

Thank you to al all our volunteers for their ongoing hard work and dedication to the cause.So take a deep breath and put up your feet for a bit and enjoy the summer.

Meeting schedule for June will be out in a couple of days.

Cheers, Robert

May 23rd: Good afternoon all……….

We released another batch of fish today and are WELL on our way to being done with this years production. To get us all done we will have what should be our final release of fish on Monday, May 25th 8:15 to 8:30am at Butler gate.

Looks like we will need to do 3 loads to get all our remaining fish released.

We invite our volunteers to join us at Mom’s Café for lunch once we are finished. Hopefully at about noon. Please RSVP if you can so we can give Mom’s Café an idea of numbers. We welcome you all to join us.

The last day for fish feeders will be Sunday May 24th.

Cheers Robert

May 19th: Howdy folks,

We got a good start on getting our fish released today. Feeders, watch for empty tanks moving forward as we release fish.

We will continue to release fish …………..THURSDAY morning , regular time at the gate.

Thanks to all, R

May 18th: We have a bit of a change of plans for starting to release fish from the hatchery.

We would like to start on Tuesday morning ( tomorrow ). The sooner we get all our little ones out, the sooner we can have some time off !

Lets meet at the gate 8:15 AM.

C U then, R

May 15th: Good morning all………We are all set for Coho clipping this weekend. We have lots of cookies , hamburgers , hot dogs and treats. It appears that we will have some relatively good weather as well.

As mentioned,tThe gate on Butler main will be manned from 8:30 to 9:00 AM Saturday and Sunday with the thought of getting clipping by 9:30 and done shortly after lunch each day.

PLEASE note:

Please leave your pets at home for this particular event .

See you on the weekend.

Cheers, Robert

May 8th: Congratulations ! Because everyone has been so good, we will not have a work party this Saturday.

Our Sea-Pen fish were released on Wednesday evening and all our gear is now back in storage at the hatchery.

Upcoming events…….

Tuesday May 12 th , Derby Committee meeting 7 PM

Wednesday May 13 th , General Meeting at the community hall , 7PM

Coho clipping

Saturday And Sunday , May 16 th & 17 th , 9 AM to 1 PM

We will man the gate on butler main from 8:30 to 9:00 AM. Lunch will be served.

Fish feeders , keep an eye out for changes of feed amounts as we will most likely move Chinook out of 5B and put some Coho in that trough.



May 3rd: Here is the latest from fish world…..

Our fish are doing well at the hatchery. Most of our Chinook are now approaching or over 4 grams.

We released another 2 loads into the Sooke river this weekend which puts us in great shape at the hatchery.

We also had a good day Saturday at the Rotary Spring Fair and Auction. Our fish tank is always a popular attraction.

The Sea pen is also doing well. Please note updated feed amounts on the sheets at the dock.

On that note , we will be releasing the fish from the seapen……this coming Wednesday evening @ 6:30 PM.

We will leave the net on the dock overnight and come back Thursday morning at 8:30 to load up all our gear, and haul it back to the hatchery. We will need as many helps as possible and trucks to load this stuff into.

Plans for next weekend will be updated mid week.

Cheers Robert

April 30th: We will release more fish, 8:15 to 8:30 at butler gate.

Saturday , May 2nd.

Thanks R

April 30th: We will set up our booth at the arena on Philips road on Friday afternoon.

Will need a hand to get all our stuff loaded at the hatchery and then set up at the arena Friday afternoon.

Can I get 3 or 4 volunteers to help out please 2 PM at the hatchery Friday.

Please shoot me an email if you can help.


April 27th: Good evening,

We would like to move some more fish out this week. Thursday , 8:15 to 8:30 AM at butler gate.

Because we had to de-commission 2 tanks in the lower hatchery, we need to get some of thoseextra fish out into the wild.

So if you have some time we will need a few bodies to get this done.

C U Thursday


April 25th: We had a good day at the hatchery today.

Another 2 trips to release fish into the Sooke River. Our fish in the hatchery are growing like crazy with some at 4 grams.

We had a bit of an issue with 2 of the round tanks in the lower hatchery , # 8 & # 9. Something has got into the drain pipes and the tanks were close to overflow. We have moved all those fish up into the 2 large round tanks up top , # 12 & # 13

New feed schedule is in the lunch room. Also, Bill and Lis are not able to cover day shift on Monday, looking for a couple of volunteers to take this shift if possible.

Please let me know.

Cheers Robert

April 21st:: Good afternoon all

Our fish in the sea pen seem to be settling in. After a slow start they seem to be feeding as they should, perhaps not as aggressive as in years past.

But if you take your time they will take a full ration. Day shift , please remember to check for morts. In the morning and record on the sheet in the feed bin even if zero.

We will be moving out fish from the hatchery again this saterday , 8:15 to 8:30 at the gate.

C U then R

April 17th: Sorry for the late update but .....We would like to release some fish tomorrow.

So….. 8:15 to 8:30 Am at butler gate Saturday morning


April 11th: We are scheduled to receive our sea pen fish this coming Tuesday April 14 ( most likely mid day ). For the most part we have the infrastructure already loaded onto a few trucks.

It is our intention to install the sea pen on Monday morning, 9AM at the government dock. The more the merrier for this undertaking. Keep an eye on your email just in case something changes.


April 7th: Next up ………….This Saturday, April 11 th at the hatchery , 8:15 to 8:30 AM at butler gate.

We will release 3 loads of fish and also get ready for sea pen on Monday / Tuesday.

Cheers R

April 1st: We will release more fish…………..This Saturday, 8:15 to 8:30 at butler gate.

C U Then R

March 25th: We are going to move some more fish out of the hatchery, this Saturday.

The gate will be manned from 8:15 to 8:30 AM.

C U then R

March 19th: We will have a work party this Saturday, March 21 st, Butler Main gate will be open from 8:15 AM to 8:30 AM.

We plan to move 2 loads of fish into the Sooke River.

C U then R

March 12th: We will get together to move some fish around and perhaps some other chores on ……….

Saturday, March 14 th , 8:15 to 8:30 at the gate as usual.

C U then R

Feb 26th: We had a good day moving fish down into the lower hatchery today.

Now that we have the hang of it we will do it again on….This Saturday

Gate on Butler will be manned from 8:15 to 8:30 AM.

C U Then, R

Feb 25th: Work Party: not sure why it’s called a party , but ………Thursday morning we would like to move some fish down to the lower hatchery.

We have a good amount to move so if we can get as much help as possible would be great.

Regular time and place.

C U then, R

Feb 18th: If you have some time to spare,Thursday morning at the hatchery.

We will be moving some fish from the Cap troughs into the lower hatchery. 8:30 am at the hatchery.

C U Then, R

Feb 8th: We had a successful day of ponding Chinook on Saturday. Thanks to all our dedicated volunteers the task was completed in short order and to my knowledge no limbs were lost. We also ponded one tray of Coho into trough 7B.

So ……….All Cap Troughs in the upper hatchery have fish in them. New feed amounts are on the table in the lunch room.

We will go to a full feeding schedule ( Morning & Afternoon shifts ) starting Monday Feb 9 th. Afternoon shift, please try and show up at about 11:45 if possible.

Our fish are still rather small so please be very careful when cleaning. Also, now that we have 2 shifts on the go it is important ( as always ) to make sure you return the key to the lock box at Jack’s place at the end of your shift.

I will be sending out an email to the feed crew as well. We still have openings on Saturday and Tuesday afternoons.

Cheers Robert

Feb 4th: Good morning all…………….It is time to get the balance of our Chinook out of incubation and ponded in the upper hatchery.

To that end we will have yet another spectacular work party to accomplish this task

Saturday Feb 7, 8:15 to 8:30 am at Butler Main gate.

There is an amount of work to do here so the more volunteers the better. Once we accomplish this we will be going to our full feeding schedule Mornings and Afternoon shifts. More details to follow.

C U on Saturday

Cheers Robert

Feb 2nd: A few notes …………

We are moving along at the hatchery. The Chinook in Cap Trough’s   5 , 6 & 7 are adapting well, still small so be very mindful when cleaning ( No hard flush for the time being ).

We have ponded a couple trays of Chinook into 2A , here again they are small and fragile, these only need a very small sprinkle of food at this time.

We are continuing with morning feeding only until we get the balance of our Chinook ponded which will fill all the Cap trough’s. Most likely this week end for that project but that can change so keep an eye on email.

We currently have openings in our feeding schedule as follows.

Afternoon Shift ( Noon to 3 PM ) Tuesdays, Saturday, Sunday. If anyone wants to take one of these shifts please let me know.

Upcoming Meetings…

- Directors , Tuesday Feb 3

- 2015 Derby , Thursday Feb 5

- General , Wednesday Feb 11

Cheers for now, Robert

Feb 2nd: Here we go again…It is time to get underway for planning our 2015 Chinook Derby.

Our first Derby Committee meeting will be this Thursday, 7 PM at the Home of Gerry & Maureen Glaum.

Typically our meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month , however I will be out of town next week so we will go with this Thursday to start.

Anyone that has not participated in the past and would like to get on board , let me know and I will give you further details. For the most part this first meeting should be mostly focused on getting oriented moving forward.

Cheers Robert

Jan 26th: Well……After somehow deleting my list of SSES membership emails, I think I have it back together after a mere couple of hours !

So here goes.We ponded approximately 160,000 Sooke River Chinook on Sunday. All went well and mort rates where right where they should be.

We will start up our feeding schedule this Wednesday. We will do just mornings for now, so from 9 AM to Noon each day.

For those of you on the schedule from years past, please let me know if you are willing to take a shift. For those that have not done this before please let me know if you are interested in this. As we move along the schedule will include an afternoon shift from Noon to 3:30 PM ( probably start this up in 2 weeks ). Feed schedule will be on the lunch room table as normal.

Also, we will need to continue to record water temperatures and mortality counts for each Capilano Trough. Let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in helping out in this regard.

Cheers, Robert

Jan 21st: Well it looks like we will be ready to pond Chinook …………..This Sunday, Jan 25th, 8:15 to 8:30 AM at the gate on butler main.

C U then. R

Jan 7th 2015: Good afternoon all………………..

With high water temperatures at the hatchery things are moving along quickly. We need to get the hatchery all scrubbed out to be ready for ponding of fish in a couple of weeks .

To that end……..We will have a work party this Saturday Jan 10th. Meet at the gate on Butler main between 8:15 and 8:45 AM. YEA ! a work party !

We will be cleaning as many Cap Troughs as possible so we can use as many helpers as possible. Rumors have it that we may have a wienie roast for lunch as well, complete with Hermit Cookies.

By the end of this week we should also have a very good idea of a date for ponding. So here we go again , we will be active at the hatchery for the next 4 months !

Cheers Robert

December 23rd: Good morning all…………….Here is the latest.

Water temperatures at the hatchery remain high. Both our Sooke River Chinook and Nitnat Chinook are well into hatch. Current ATU’s are over 710 Hours.

It looks like we may be ponding Chinook as early as the third week of January. With that in mind we will need to give all our Cap troughs a good cleaning prior to ponding fish.

If I had to guess at the moment it would most like be Jan 1oth for a work party to clean the hatchery. However that can change depending on water temperatures over the next couple of weeks so stand by and watch your email in the new year.

For those that are up to the hatchery taking daily temperatures, please be aware that we ponded a tray of Chinook that were in distress into Trough # 3 A. Please do not attempt to clean or take morts at this time. As part of your routine you can check to ensure there is water flow. If you look at the outfall of  # 3A we have only a minimal flow.

If you have any questions in this regard let me know. Thanks to all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the past year. Have a safe and Merry Christmas and New Year.

For those of you that have not got your Christmas Presents to the president as yet  , There’s still time ! ( LOL )

Cheers everyone. Robert

November 17th: Here is the latest………..On Sunday we removed all the boards from DeMamiel Creek weir as we do not anticipate any more Coho coming up the river in numbers, and yes OH MY GOD the water was COLD !

We  went up to the hatchery from there and stored away all our gear for another season. Everything looks to be in good shape. Next up will be shocking Coho eggs in about 2 weeks’ time.

We will need to continue to take water temps and check water flows each day. A few winter maintenance projects are in the planning stage for over the winter months.

We have a crew headed up to Nitnat to get our Chinook eggs on Wednesday, Mel , Randy , Brian J, Pat & Phil. A few more volunteers will meet at the hatchery at 3pm to help incubate the eggs.

That’s it for now.R

November 15th: It does not appear that we are going to get any more Coho coming up DeMamiel Creek in numbers.

That being said we should get our bits and pieces taken off the weir while water levels are on the safe side. We are scheduled to get some rain on Tuesday through Thursday next week so I think it is time to strike.

Let’s meet at DeMamiel Creek , Sunday Nov 16 th 8:30 AM. We will need a number of volunteers in the water with chest waders to remove the boards and haul them up to the hatchery.

C  U then R


We have a  schedule for going up to Nitnat Hatchery to pick up our Chinook eggs.

Tentatively …………..Tuesday , November 18th

We meet at the Park & Ride parking lot on Sooke River Road at Sooke Road by the corner storen at 6:30 AM sharp, from there we go up to Goldstream Hatchery to pick up the coolers and tubes.

From there we head up to Duncan and have a quick coffee and sandwich at Tim Hortons and then proceed along  Cowichan Lake to Nitnat Hatchery, From Victoria it is about 3 hours + depending on road conditions.

We are at Nitnat hatchery about an hour packing up our eggs before we head back towards Sooke with a stop at A & W on the way.Once back at the hatchery we will need to put all the eggs in incubation trays.

So far we have Mel Hull ( Driver and commander & chief ) and Randy Thompson as volunteers to go to Nitnat.We need another three volunteers to make the trip. We will also need some extra hands at the hatchery at about 3 PM Tuesday afternoon to help get the eggs into the incubation trays.

Can you please let me know if you can help out with this task as soon as possible so we can get our crews put together. I am just waiting to hear from Peter at Goldstream to confirm all this but I am confident it will happen as noted.

Please let me know today if you can help out.

Cheers Robert

November 9th: Things are moving along well at the hatchery.

All our Chinook eggs are now shocked.We have 2 Coho females on hand. No fish showing at DeMamiel weir this morning.

As Tuesday is a holiday we will next get together on Wednesday, check or Coho females and dispose of some of the males, 8:15 at the hatchery.

Don’t forget that Wednesday is also our AGM Meeting , Election of officers ( 7PM community hall ).

Cheers R

November 2nd: All is moving along well with hatchery operations.

We had a good turnout of volunteers on Saturday and got many things done.All our heath trays have been cleaned………..We harvested eggs from another 5 Coho Females…….We captured 4 females and 2 male Coho from the trap at DeMamiel Creek…..We shocked two more trays of Chinook at the hatchery. Steel supply line to the hatchery has been flushed and water flows through the hatchery are good.

Although we left a volunteer behind at DeMamiel creek on Saturday we managed to pick up his dog,   Les,  I think I owe you a second Steak & Lobster dinner !

Moving forward we need to continue to take water temps and monitor water flows each morning.

Next up will be getting together at the hatchery, Tuesday morning to check on hand Coho females and look at the remaining Chinook trays for shocking. We will also look at returning Coho on DeMamiel creek and take brood stock as they are available.

I will be out of town this week, Tuesday to Friday, I will keep an  eye on email and will have my phones call forwarded to my cell.

Thanks for all the good work over the past couple of weeks, we have done well.

Cheers, Robert

Oct 29th: Good morning.

Water levels on DeMamieil creek are very high this morning. It will most likely need to settle down a bit before the next wave of fish come up.

In any case , we will shock a bunch of Chinook eggs. Thursday morning at the hatchery, 8:30 AM. As many hands as possible would be helpful. We will be at the hatchery each morning for the next three days.

C U Then


Oct 26th: Another good day enhancing…………..Water levels on DeMamiel Creek were high today.

Hatchery operations are going well. After 3 days in the rain we are going to take a day off on Monday.

Next up, we will meet at the hatchery, Tuesday morning, check our Coho and have a look at Demamiel creek.

See you then


Oct 25th:We had another good day taking Coho at  DeMamiel Creek today.

Fish are still moving up in abundance , so ………….Let’s do it again on Sunday, 8:15 at the weir on Young lake road.

We will also go up to the hatchery and go through our females as a few are ready to give up their eggs. A good turn out of volunteers makes it all go smooth.

C U Sunday

Cheers Robert

Oct 23rd: Volunteering for Sooke Salmon Enhancement is a thrill a minute.Nothing quite says dedication like standing on a steel grate in the middle of a river during an electrical storm !

Demamiel Creek has come up nicely overnight and Coho are at the fish fence at Young Lake road in good numbers.

So here is our schedule for the next two days. We will meet at the weir on DeMamiel Creek ( Just past Butler road on Young lake road ) between 8 and 8:30 AM Friday and Saturday.We will be harvesting Coho and transporting them to the hatchery through the morning hours.We will then do an egg take at the hatchery should the females be willing.

If we are not at the weir on DeMamiel we will be at the hatchery ( Turn right on Butler Main off Young lake road, through the forestry gate and take the first right on boneyard main, keep right into the hatchery ).Our days should not stretch past late morning. The hatchery phone number is 250-642-0031.

Lots of work to be done over the next couple of days so we can use all the help we can get.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email.

Cheers Robert

Oct 23rd: With the additional rain we had overnight there will be a very good chance that we will see some Coho below the trap on DeMamiel creek this morning.

With that in mind we could use all hands on deck this morning We will meet at the weir on DeMamiel shortly after 8 AM to have a look at conditions. From there we will head up to the hatchery at 8:15 to 8:30  to make the preparations for brood take of Coho.

If we have enough of a crew we will head back to the weir and set the trap open and move some fish to the hatchery.This is all dependant on what we see initially but in any case we have work we can do this morning to prepare.

Butler main gate has been open the past few days so should not be an issue moving back and forth. Please help  out if you can.

Cheers Robert

Oct 22nd: Well, we have finally got some rain that has brought water flows in DeMamiel creek up to a level that the Coho might be able to move up.

As of 3 PM this afternoon, I saw one fish at Pascoe road, Nothing at Butler Bridge or below our trap at Young Lake road. We will monitor the system tomorrow morning with the thought that we may be able to take some Coho in the next couple of days, perhaps , keep an eye on your email.

FOR CERTAIN , we will have a work party on Saturday morning, 8:30 at the hatchery to get  a whole bunch of heath trays cleaned, the more helpers for this one the better. If things change tomorrow morning we will put out a notice.So for sure we will be having a good work day on Saturday.

Will be in touch.


Oct 17th: Greetings from your wayward president……………After a very successful Chinook brood stock take 2 weeks ago, we now have 233,483 eggs in incubation. We are no longer holding any brood stock in the hatchery.

We are anxiously waiting for a couple of events…Some substantial sustained rainfall to bring water levels in DeMamiel creek up high enough so that the Coho can migrate upstream and we can take brood stock. Water levels in DeMamiel remain very low. Once we have a better feel for when this might happen we will need to get up to the hatchery and Ovadine some incubation trays.

We are also waiting to hear from Nitnat hatchery as to when they may have our eggs ready for us.I can’t imagine it is going to be too much longer. Here again , once we have better details we will need to Ovadine trays for this project as well.

Starting next week we will be into our daily routine of checking water temperatures and flows at the hatchery. Those of you that have volunteered to do this have already been contacted. We can always use a couple of spares if anyone else is interested.

It will also be important that hatchery access keys are faithfully returned to the lock box at Jack’s moving forward. There are couple of other chores to get done at the hatchery , we will wait for the projects mentioned above to get these done.

Cheers for now.


Oct 8th: We will get together…..Saturday , October 11 th, 8:30 AM

At the park and ride bus lot across from the corner store, Sooke Road at Sooke River Road. From there we will proceed down to the river and remove the fish fence and haul it back to the hatchery.

Cheers Robert.

Oct 6th: We had a very successful day on the Sooke River on Sunday.

We now have approximately 183,000 Chinook eggs in the incubation room and another 9 females holding out on us That should push our total egg take well past 200,000.

The society is very fortunate to have had such a great crew of volunteers participate in this event. Water conditions were about as good as it gets for brood stock take. It was also good to see a number of new faces in the crew mixed in with us old guy’s !

Thanks to all those that showed up in dive gear , this made the process so much easier and very effective.

The Chinook that we caught were in excellent condition, plentiful with a large number of 4 year olds and a few 5 year olds. Many of our long term members commented on how well the crew performed and on the size and quantity of the Chinook.

So…………….Thank you all for coming out and supporting our community and fish resource, give yourselves a good pat on the back for a job well done. I would be grateful if anyone has good pictures to share if you could get them to me.

MOVING FORWARD………. We will meet at the hatchery / Butler main gate each morning at 8:30 am to check on our remaining brood stock and then check the trap on the Sooke River. Thanks again everyone.

Robert Gamache

President, Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society

Oct 2nd: OK……………..Change of plans for this weekend.

We did a float down the Sooke River from the fish fence down through Pemberton Pool and below. Looks to be enough fish (  Chinook  ) to take a stab at a brood stock take.

So  …………..Saturday , Oct 4 th , 8:30 AM

We will meet at the hatchery and load up all our gear and haul it down to the Martins at the Sooke River. For those that are new to this experience, please meet us at the hatchery, do not go down to the Martins on your own.We must respect our opportunity to make use of this property. Call me if you need more info. This should take us the better part of the morning.

Sunday , Oct 5 th , 8:30 AM

We will meet at the high school parking lot to get oriented and car pool down to the Martins and sein two different pools. We will most likely be well in to the afternoon by the time we are done on the river and then we will have some work to do at the hatchery taking eggs. Here again please meet at the school to car pool.We will need to have some divers in wet suits to pull this off , those of you who have helped in this regard in the past please contact me to let me know.

If you can make it, if anyone else has a friend in mind that has a wet suit and can swim without drowning ! bring them along. Need to have a good number of helpers to get this done, so please help us out if you can.

River conditions should be excellent to get this done this weekend.

Here we go again ……………….

Cheers, Robert 250-642-1905

Sept 29th: Good morning all …………Things are moving along very slowly on the Sooke River.

Water levels remain low and only a very small handful of fish have moved into the river. We are still checking the trap each morning but there is very little water up river.

Chances are that it will be at least another week or more before we see fish moving upstream and at least a couple of weeks before we attempt to sein the river.

We will have a work party next Saturday to install the fish guards at the weir on DeMamiel Creek and ovadine a stack of trays up at the hatchery, I will advise the schedule for this later in the week.

This month’s meetings are as follows.

Directors , Tuesday Oct 7 th

General , Wednesday Oct 15 th

As some of you may know we have received a very generous donation from  Bite – Me – Derby; further details will be discussed at the general meeting on the 15th .

That is it for now. Cheers.


Sept 15th: Howdy all ………We will get together on Saturday,  Sept 20 th to install the fish fence on the Sooke river.Meet at the hatchery at 8:30 AM as usual.

We may also chase some Chinook on Sunday.

Hope to see you then. Cheers,


Sept 11th: It’s that time. Brood stock take is around the corner.

In preparation……..We will have a work party this Saturday 8:30 am at the hatchery/


Sept 5th: We are getting geared up to do the remainder of the upgrades to Bradford dam on Monday and possibly Tuesday of next week ( Sept 8 and 9 ).

We could use up to 6 or so helpers to make this easier on all. If you think you can help out let me  know as soon as possible so we can work out the agenda .

Cheers Robert

Jun 13th: Once again, my apologies for the short notice…….This Saturday we will be kicking off our Derby ticket sales by setting up our tent at the new Weigh-In Station on Sooke Road at Phillips Road.

We will meet at the hatchery at 8:30 to load up and then head down to the site. All and any are welcome to participate. We are scheduled to be set up from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Of course it looks like rain for the weekend.

C U there R

Jun 5th: And the Angels Sang and the Villagers Rejoiced…………….We are all done rearing fish for the season.

The last of our Chinook were given a fond farewell this morning. The Hatchery is now as quiet as a church mouse. Thanks to all………….

C U next week at our last general meeting of the season. Wednesday June 11 th, 7 PM at the community hall.

Cheers R

Jun 4th: We are almost there !

One and a half trips to release the last of our fish tomorrow, 8:15 at the hatchery in the morning. And then we can take at least two days in a row off !

After we release the last of our fish in the morning we will meet at Mom’s Café in Sooke for a wind up lunch ( Noon, June 5 th ).

Please RSVP if it is your intention to attend so I can let the Café know how many people will attend.

Hope to see you tomorrow. R

Jun 1st: We are well underway to getting all of our fish released from the hatchery. We are down to Chinook in Troughs 1 thru 4 and the small round tanks in the lower hatchery.

To that end we will have work party’s at the hatchery to release the remaining Chinook into the Sooke River next week on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.

8:15 at the gate.

That should get us all done with hatchery operations until the fall.

The last full feeding shift will be Monday June 2nd 

Cheers R

May 26th: This is sounding like a broken record !

Tuesday , 7 PM , We will release the sea pen fish.

Wednesday , 8:30 AM , At the government dock we will pack up the sea pen and take it to the hatchery. We will also do one load of Chinook to Sooke River.

Friday , 8:30 AM , At  the hatchery , we will do 2 loads of Chinook to the Sooke River.

Saturday , 8:30 AM , at the Hatchery , We will release as much Coho as possible in to Young Lake. We are also doing a presentation at Camp Bernard for national ‘’ Beaveree ‘’ week.

I can’t wait till we have this darn hatchery empty again !

Big thanks to all those that helped out with clipping on the weekend , it all went very well. I sent a few pictures to the Sooke Mirror , it will be interesting to see if they print any.

Cheers R

May 21st: We seem to be having some issues with the amount of fish and size on our Chinook. Unfortunately we need to get some out of the hatchery.

If we can get a work party together on Friday we will release a load of Chinook into the Sooke River 8:15 to 8:30 at the gate / Hatchery. R

May 21st:: Just a reminder of this weekend’s activities

Coho clipping , Saturday and Sunday 8:15 to 8:30 each day at the gate.

As per previous , please leave your pets at home for this particular event.

Cheers Robert

May 14th: It is time to set a few more of our baby’s free.

This Saturday, at the gate 8:15 to 8:30. We will be making two trips.

C U there R

May 11th: Good morning. Happy Mothers Day !

Just wanted to give a bit of an update on feeding schedules and hatchery status.

Our fish are coming along very nicely. Growth rates are very good and our fish are looking very healthy. The fish that we received for the sea pen seem to be adapting well to their new environment and are feeding well.

Now that our fish are getting bigger and feed amounts are larger we need to be diligent in our feeding methods. Of late we are noticing a large amount of food on the bottom of the tanks; most noticeable in the large round tanks , # 12 & # 13.

Please take your time when feeding. It might be an idea to give half of the ration of food in the large round tanks at the beginning of feeding and the balance at the end of the feeding to allow the fish the opportunity to take the food at a better rate.

This will also be an issue at the sea pen. Right now we are feeding 1400 Grams 4 times a day. If you can, please spread the food out over 20 to 30 minutes if you have the time. Bring a book if you want,  I am currently reading a real thriller …………..

‘’ Swimming Up Stream , My Life As A Four Year Old ‘’    fascinating stuff !!

A note on sea pen feeding. If you can,  feed on your way to the hatchery and on your way out.  We have one of our commercial fishing buddys down at the dock feeding in the morning every now and then. If you notice that he has done so feel free to give the fish more food if they will take it; typically if it has been an hour or more between feedings they should feed well. There are record sheets in the food bin at the dock; please record the time and amount when feeding.

Cheers Robert

May 7th: Good morning,

We will have a work party this Saturday (10th May).

Plans are to release some fish and any other chores we can find to do.

C U at the gate 8:15 to 8:30. .......R

May 6th: Good evening,

Our Sea Pen fish have been delivered and are now ready for feeding. The feed is in the silver bin next to the pen as usual.

Feeders - The feed amount is based on 4 feedings per day. A feed record sheet is in the feed bin, please record the time and amount at each feeding. If you can feed on your way in and out of the hatchery as part of your normal shift that would be great.

Any questions let me know, R.

May 4th: Once again our dedicated group got the job done today. In the pouring rain we managed to get all the infrastructure for the Sea Pen loaded up at the hatchery, hauled down to the harbor and installed.

Of the dozen or so volunteers that participated there was about 4 smart guys that actually had rain gear on, and no the president was not one of the smart ones. Thanks to all those who helped out , this job goes much faster with lots of helping hands.

We anticipate receiving our sea pen smolts tomorrow at about 11 AM , a few of us will be on hand at 10:30 to do final prep and receive the fish from DFO. Once we know the number and weight of the fish , we will put together feeding information.

Cheers for now , I think a nice hot shower is in order……..R

May 4th: On Saturday 3rd we participated in the Rotary Spring Fair & Auction.

We had our booth set up with our display boards , the aquarium with some Chinook and Coho , and assorted information pamphlets. It was a good day of promoting our society. Seeing the young children guessing how many fish are in the tank is always a positive experience.

Thanks to all that helped in the transport of our equipment to and from the hatchery. R

Apr 30th: Our fish are moving along nicely, gaining weight by the gram……..Feeders, see new feed amounts and sizes, we are now into # 2 crumb for Chinook , Still # 1 Crumb for Coho.

I will need a bit of help Friday afternoon to take our displays, tables, aquarium down to Seapark Arena. Meet at the hatchery at 2:00 PM we should be done by 3 PM. Please send me an email if you can lend a hand for an hour.

I will also need a hand to pack it all up at 5 PM Saturday afternoon. Again about an hours work. Please let me know if you can help

Also, remember we are installing the Seapen on Sunday.

Cheers Robert

Apr 28th: We will install the Sea Pen infrastructure on Sunday May4 th.

We will meet at the hatchery at 8:30 AM to load it all up. The more hands the better on this one.

C U There. R

Apr 24th: Morning.

We would like to release a few fish on Saturday , probably 2 loads. So if you have some time we will do our normal thing , 8:15 to 8:30 at butler gate.

CU at the hatchery R

Apr 20th: Just a heads up for some of the things ahead on our schedule:-

May 2 nd , Friday afternoon , set up for Rotary auction and fair

May 3 rd , Saturday Morning , install floats and stations for Sea Pen

May 3 rd , Rotary Auction & Fair , Saturday morning and afternoon

May 5 th , Monday morning , drop sea pen net in water and receive smolts

May 24 th and 25 th , Saturday & Sunday , Clip Coho

May 31 st , Saturday , Beaveree at Camp Barnard

July 12 th , Saturday , sell derby tickets at new Weigh-Inn Station

July 26 th , Saturday , Consultants Derby

Aug 2 nd & 3 rd , Saturday & Sunday , SSES Chinook Derby

AND ………. I am sure I have forgotten something !

As you can see , not much going on for the next while !If any of you are so motivated please let me know what you can help out with. R

Apr 16th: More things accomplished today. We released the Coho from 6A & 6B. Thinned the Coho in 7A & B into 6A &B, cleaned # 12 round tank as well.

We would like to get a work party …………….Saturday April 19 th.

Hope to see you at the hatchery. Cheers R

Apr 13th: Good morning, We had a productive day’s activities yesterday at the hatchery and in DeMamiel Creek.At Demamiel weir, we dug out the area in front of our metering valve and installed two new sectionsof pipe that will help keep a downstream water flow despite the best efforts of our local beaver population ( we hope ! )

We also got two more round tanks into action in the lower hatchery and did another round of thinning of our Chinooks.We now have fish in tanks 10 and 11 so see the new feed schedule in the lunch room.

For those of you who helped out on Saturday, thank you. We had mentioned that we would be releasing some Coho on Monday. This needs to be pushed back to Wednesday. So , if a few have some time , Wednesday morning , we will meet at the hatchery and give some Coho the boot. Same time as usual.

Cheers R

Apr 10th: Good morning……

We would like to have a work party this Saturday. On the agenda is to get into Demamiel creek at the weir on Young Lake road and muck out the area that the beaver keeps working on.

If you can spare some time we would be grateful as this will be an amount of work.

At the gate 8:15 to 8:30 AM Saturday


Apr 6th: Things are moving along very well at the hatchery. We have thinned out the Chinook and Coho and now have fish in round tanks 8 & 9 in the lower hatchery. A new feed schedule is on the table in the lunch room. Please make sure that the lids on round tanks 8  &  9 are closed before you leave the hatchery.

Cheers Robert.

March 31st Good morning,

Things are moving along at the hatchery. We now have all our fish ponded, so the incubation room is now shut down. Feeders should refer to the feed amount sheet in the lunch room. It will most likely be a 10 to 14 days before we have to do more thinning and get the rest of the round tanks in the lower hatchery up and running.

We have meetings coming up as follows:-

Directors , April 1 , 7PM

Derby Committee, April 8 , 7 PM

General , April 9 , 7 PM\

C U then, R

March 19th: Good morning

We will have yet another exciting work party this Saturday , March 22 nd. We will be cleaning all the ‘’ B ‘’ troughs and thinning our Chinook & Coho.

Also, if you have a good hand pruner we can start to trim up some of the new growth on the tree stumps from fallen trees of last year.

C U at the gate , 8:15 to 8:30 AM

Cheers Robert

March 9th: We had yet another productive work party at the hatchery yesterday. All of our Chinook are now ponded. We also ponded a few more trays of Coho.

A big thanks to all those that came out, cleaning a huge pile of heath trays is not a whole bunch of fun especially in the rain.

Chinook are in trough’s 1A thru 5A.

Coho are in trough’s 6A & 7A.


It is time to go on our full feeding schedule starting Monday March 10th. A feed schedule will be on the table in the lunch room.

We are currently short a few volunteers for feeding , so if anyone wants to join the party, now is your big chance.

As a reminder…………

Feed amounts are based on 12 feedings per day, one feeding every 30 minutes.

Day shift , 9  AM to Noon , Afternoon shift Noon to 3 PM.

Day shift, if you get to the hatchery earlier you can spread the total amount of feed over more feeding’s I.e. , less food more often.

All feeding crews should confirm water flows in the troughs, overflow at the manifold, and an outflow coming out of the incubation room. We will also need to continue to take and record water temperatures as we still have Coho in trays.

Day shift , Record Temperature, confirm water flows, clean troughs, harvest and record mort’s, feed…….Afternoon shift , confirm water flows , feed . Afternoon shift needs to be at the hatchery at noon to spell off the day shift.

As always , be mindful of how the fish are feeding, they may be a bit sluggish in these first few days. As the fish are very small at this time please also be mindful when you clean, you can tilt the bottom black pipe over to clean rather than pulling it all the way out to minimize the stress on the fish.

If you are not able to make your shift please let ME know. If you have questions or concerns please email me or in an emergency call…………

Robert 250-642-1905

Bill 250-642-3443

Cheers Robert

March 5th: Howdy…………. Is everyone all rested up ?

It is time to pond our Chinook…………. We will have a work party this Saturday , March 8 th, 8:30 AM at the hatchery. We will man the gate on Butler Main from 8:15 to 8:30 AM.

Hatchery Phone # 250-642-0031

In addition to ponding the Chinook we may:-

  • Burn debris
  • Site Clean up
  • Fall small Maples / Alders between the lower hatchery and Rocky Creek
  • Clean the pots and Pans ETC !

So be there with bells on !

Cheers Robert

Feb 24th:With all this cold weather things have slowed down to a crawl.

Chinook are still at least ten days away from being ponded ( Or more ). There will be the odd Coho tray to pond here and there but nothing earth shattering.

So for now it will be same old same old…………

I was down at the hatchery this morning and it all like fine, just enough snow to look white and it is melting quickly.

Cheers for now R

Feb 7th: We need to clarify the tasks currently to be performed by daily temperature takers.


Trough 7A , FEED ONLY , DO NOT CLEAN. You can pick morts in this trough but no cleaning please. The fish are too small at this time.

Thanks R

Feb 5th: Here is the latest from the Hatchery.

We have ponded 3 trays of Coho into Cap trough # 7A. There are two auto feeders set up and the feed amounts are noted on the table in the coffee room. We are currently feeding # 1 Crumb. On the rare occasion that you may need to open a new bag of food , the # 1 Crumb is in the freezer in the coffee room. Please record usage on the Captains Log sheet.

If you need instruction on the use of the auto feeders let me know. We also have some Chinook in Cap Trough # 3 A, these are not fully developed so NO cleaning or Mort Taking at this time. Bill is keeping a close eye on these and when they are a bit more mature we will start cleaning etc.

Also , DO NOT clean trough # 7A just yet, the Coho are too small and sensitive to handle that just now. Morts can be taken carefully and recorded. For the time being we will stay with our temp taking routine at the hatchery. Temp takers please reset the auto feeders on # 7A each morning.

Moving forward, expect………….

Pond Chinook in about two weeks. Full feeding program by March 1 st roughly,

First Derby Meeting of the season tonight.

Cheers Robert

Jan 23rd: We have been contacted by representatives of the Bite Me derby and they would like to come to the Hatchery on Saturday for a bit of a tour and make a presentation of a donation check from proceeds of their derby last summer.

I have arranged to meet them at butler gate at 9AM. It would be nice if a few of our executive could attend and I extend the invitation to all members. But as long as we have maybe 3 or 4 of us should be good. Please let me know if you will attend.

Also coming up:-

We will be cleaning the hatchery, Saturday Feb 1 st , 8:30 AM ,  in anticipation of ponding fish soon thereafter. Cheers R

Jan 5th 2014: Howdy folks………….Here is our schedule moving forward:-

- Directors Meeting , Tuesday Jan 7 th , 7PM

- General Meeting , Wednesday Jan 8 th , 7 PM at the Community Hall

AND …………….Derby Committee Meeting , Wednesday , Feb 5 th , 7PM at Gerry and Maureen’s Chateau by the Sea.

Things are progressing nicely at the hatchery. Chinook hatch in now mostly free swimming in the trays as are the first handful of Coho trays. We will most likely look at getting the Cap Troughs cleaned the last week of Jan or first week of Feb so we are ready for ponding. There are a few other chores to do around the hatchery site but nothing too dramatic.

C U at the meetings later this week.

Cheers Robert

Dec 30th: Good morning all…………..I trust that everyone had a great Christmas and we all lost an average of 3  ½   pounds !

Not much to report at the moment, all our eggs are shocked. Springs have hatched nicely.The first of the Coho are also hatching.

We will keep up with daily temperature taking and will advise on getting the Cap troughs cleaned up ready for ponding in the next few weeks. That’s about it for now ,

Cheers Robert

Dec 15th: Good afternoon all………….Temperatures seem to be headed in the right direction so we will be able to shock some Coho trays on Wednesday , December 18 th.

As the forestry gate has not been open lately we will meet at the gate on Butler Main at 8:30 am and will be there until 8:45. If you end up stuck behind a closed gate after 8:45 am you can try and call the hatchery, 250-642-0031.

And someone might come down and let you in for about $45!!

C U then R

Dec 10th: General Meeting , Dec 11 th , 7 PM , Community hall.

We had tentatively scheduled a work party for this coming Saturday, however with the severe drop in water temp at the hatchery, we will have to put our next round of egg shocking off for a bit. We will let you know when it is re-scheduled.

Cheers R

Nov 25th: We will shock some more Coho trays on …………..Friday November 29 th, 8:30 AM at the hatchery

I will be away from Nov 27 th to Dec 7 th. Bill is back in town and will resume hatchery operations.

If you have any complaints or want to rant about the direction of the society in my absence please contact Bruce Bagley !

Cheers Robert

Nov 15th: Ya Hoo , It’s raining , the fish will be happy.

A small select of very talented volunteers performed a number of tasks today at the hatchery with skillful precision……………OK . everyone stop laughing !

We are all done holding brood stock. We shocked another 3 trays of Coho.

Ate a doughnut or 2. Did some clean up.

Next up

Now that we will not be in the hatchery everyday with mountains of chores, we will need to have water temps take daily. See the attached schedule. 2  sets of keys are now in the lock box at Jacks place.

I would be very grateful that in anyone cannot make their shift that they contact me directly rather that finding a replacement on their own. I have volunteers that would like to be involved in the process.

Next work party will be Sunday , possible shocking some trays , we need to Ovadine the tubes and coolers used to transport Chinook eggs earlier this week. Sweep the floor ,  etc. Coffee and goodies included.

C U then R

Nov 14th: Well……We left this morning in the dark and got back home in the dark !

Had a great trip to Nitnat River Hatchery where we were very well received. We loaded up approximately 250,000 Chinook eggs and transported them to our hatchery. All are safe and sound in trays in the incubation room.

We will have a work party in the morning at the hatchery to deal with the balance of our Coho and shock some trays. 8:30 as usual.

C U Then R

Nov 11th: A good day at the hatchery once again.....Took 2 more female Coho today.

That leaves us with only 3 to go, a couple of which are still nowhere close to mature enough. So we are going to wait until Friday to do our next check on them, this will be their last chance.

We have our AGM Wednesday night , 7 PM.

We have a crew all ready to go to Nitnat on Thursday to pick up our Chinook eggs.

For those of you on the water temp check list as attached, we will start this program on Saturday November 16 th as we will be in the hatchery doing other things between now and then.

Cheers Robert

Nov 9th: We are getting there…………..We took another 5 females today leaving 5 more to go ( Coho ).

We also cleaned 5 stacks of heath trays so we are in good shape moving ahead

Now ……….I want to get this right…………..How about ……………….We take tomorrow off ! Yes you heard it right and no you don’t have time to head to Los Vegas.

Next up will be Monday at the hatchery to check the remaining females and perhaps shock one more tray of Coho.

Pick up of our Chinook eggs from Nitnat has been delayed until Thursday next week.

We will need to get onto a daily Water Temperature check routine by the middle of next week so if you want to put your name on the list let me know.

Let’s not forget to remember our Veterans on Monday.

Cheers Robert


9 ruggedly handsome volunteers spent the day at the hatchery and DeMamiel Creek Weir.

We shocked our first 2 trays of Coho Eggs.We opened the Coho Trap on DeMamiel Creek and took 12 very nice females.Along with the fish we took today and the females at the hatchery we ended up taking eggs from 10 females.

We also removed all the boards out of DeMamiel Weir and hauled it all back to the hatchery ( 2 Truck Loads ). So we are all done taking Coho adults from the creek for this year.

Moving forward our Chinook eggs from Nitnat Hatchery will be ready next week so we need to clean 4 or 5 heath tray stacks in preparation.

We will do this on Saturday morning at the hatchery , 8:30 AM, We will also check our remaining females as well.

C U Then

Cheers Robert


We will check our females for eggs at the hatchery…..Monday , Wednesday & Friday this week, 8:30 AM at the Hatchery.


Directors , Tuesday November 5 th

AGM , Wednesday November 13 th , 7 PM community hall

Thanks R

Nov 2nd: Well it looks like this rain has pushed some fish up to the trap on DeMamiel Creek.We will meet at the weir at 8:30 AM Sunday morning to sort thought what is there and perhaps move some fish to the hatchery.

So if you can’t stand to have a day off come and join the fun. R

Oct 31st: We will do another Coho egg take on Saturday at the hatchery .Regular time and place.

C U there, R

Oct 26th: We had a good day in DeMamiel creek today taking about 50 Coho.

We will meet at the hatchery Sunday morning to go through our females and take more eggs. 8:30 AM as usual.


Oct 24th: We had a good day in the river today took about 30 + coho and 2 Chinook.

Next up…………..Friday at the hatchery , to run through the females we have on hand and take eggs.

Saturday , we will go into DeMamiel and seine for more adults.8:30 AM both days at the hatchery


Oct 22nd: Well…………….

Since the fish are not coming to us , we will go to the fish. We will do a mini brood sein on Thursday Oct 24 th , 8:30 AM at the hatchery. We will load up and head to DeMamiel Creek.There are a bunch of fish stranded in a pool.

Need about a dozen sets of legs , so if you have some time this could be a bunch of fun ! ( I mean Chaos ! ). Hope to see a bunch of you on Thursday.

Cheers Robert

Oct 19th: Good morning

We took another 4 Coho on Friday. We will go through them again on Sunday, 8:30 AM at the hatchery.

We also installed our nice new shiney manifold at the bottom of 1B / 4B, no more skating rink in the winter , Yea !

C U Sunday R

Oct 14th: Good afternoon campers !

We went through all of our female Coho this morning and took eggs from one more. We have 22 more to go.

Next check will be Wednesday morning at the hatchery 8:30 AM.

Not much is happening on DeMamiel creek as water levels keep dropping so we won’t be opening the trap until we see more rain and or fish.

That’s it for now.

Cheers R

Oct 12th: Good afternoon,

Today we took our first Coho eggs from 3 females.Water levels in DeMamiel creek are continuing to fall. We will have a peek at the weir in the morning but there may not be a bunch of activity.

Next biggie will be Monday morning, we will take a quick peek at the weir and then head up to the hatchery and tickle the females to see if any are in the mood. 8:30 AM as usual.


Oct 7th: Morning,

How are everyone’s muscles feeling today….?

We will check the Coho trap on DeMamiel Creek Tuesday Morning , 8:30 AM. There was not much activity there today but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

We will also go and retrieve our fish fence components from the side of the river on Wednesday morning. PLEASE meet at the BALLFIELD PARKING LOT at 8:30 AM  BEFORE going down to the river. C U then


Oct 6th: We had a good day out on the river today. Thanks to all those that came out to lend a hand.

We did not harvest any Chinook today.

We were fortunate to see John Martin come out and see what we were up too………..

The fish fence came out of the river today , stubbornly ! A bunch of hard work by our group of dedicated volunteers.

Let’s take a day off from it all. We have some Coho in the Hatchery and will look to take more in the coming weeks.

All our gear is still down at Ingrid and John Martins, we will have to get that all back to the hatchery in the next few days. Keep an eye on email for updates.


Oct 6th: Howdy………Our next general meeting is………

Oct 9 th , 7 pm at Sooke community hall.

This is our last general meeting before our AGM in November. There are some directors positions up for grabs in November so should you have ideas in this respect , the meeting next week is the time to speak.

Cheers R

Oct 4th: We have been monitoring the Sooke River over the last number of days and conditions are improving daily.We still need the river to drop a bit further but we are hopeful that over the next 48 hours will see conditions that will allow us to work on  the river on Sunday.

So………….aturday , we will do our regular agenda.We will meet in the Park and ride across the street from the corner store and head up to the Sooke River to check our fish fence and have another look at the river.

From there we will go up to our Coho weir on Young’s lake road to open the trap and then head up to the hatchery to load up all the gear we need to take brood stock on Sunday.

Sunday , Oct 6 th , 8:30 AM

Meet for orientation at the high school parking lot and then head up to the Sooke River at 8:45 AM.We are hopeful that conditions will allow us to get in the river.Should we be able to get in the river we should be there into the early afternoon.

Look forward to seeing all of you. If you have any questions , give me a call.

Cheers, Robert


Oct 2nd: Unfortunately with the continuing rain it will not be possible to get into the river on Saturday to take Chinook brood stock.

The window to possibly do this on Sunday is closing rapidly as the rain would have to stop completely and the sun come out before I finish typing this email. As mentioned keep a keen eye on your email for updates, we will make a decision as to Sunday within the next 48 hours.

We continue to check the trap on the Sooke river each morning and then move up to the trap on DeMamiel to check for Coho.During the week , meet at the ball field parking lot. Weekends , meet at the park and ride lot across from the corner store 8:30 AM.

Next general meeting , Wednesday Oct 9 th , community hall downstairs , 7 PM

Cheers R

Sept. 29th: RAIN RAIN RAIN

Are we all having fun yet !

Latest news………………With the rain we have had over the last few days the Sooke River has risen significantly to a point that it has swamped our fish fence. We will have to wait and see over the next few days if we have to go half way to Japan to retrieve it.

Better news is that there are Coho showing at the weir on DeMamiel. So , moving forward………….

We will have to keep an eye on the trap on the Sooke river , each morning , 8:30 AM , meet at the ball field during the week. We will also look at getting  set up  at the weir on Demamiel on Monday morning  in anticipation of taking Coho brood stock.

Tentatively , conditions permitting , we will look to sein the Sooke River for Chinook this Saturday. IF all conditions are good , please keep an eye on your email for more details as we get past the next couple of days.

Hopefully we will have definitive news in the next 48 hours.

Cheers R

Sept: 22nd. Thanks to all those that came out and helped install the fish fence on the Sooke River this morning.It was a lovely day on the water………

Bruce gets a 9 . 6 for his dive into the river

Gerry only gets an 8.1

Dam Russian Judge !

All in all a good days work; 16 volunteers. Thanks all

The fish fence is in the water so we will have to check for fish each morning 8:30 AM at the ball field  each morning to go and check the trap at John & Ingrid Martins. Look for the hatchery truck and pitch in if you are interested. Brood stock take should place in the next two weeks , so no more holidays to the tropics unless you check with me first !

Cheers Robert

Sept. 17th. Good morning campers…… We will have a few things to do this week as follows

Wednesday , Sept 18th, at the hatchery 8:30 AM Complete the repairs to our transport trailer and perhaps a few odd jobs around the hatchery

Saturday , Sept 21st , at the hatchery 8:30 AM

Load up our gear for the fish fence and transport to the riverside at John Martins

Sunday , Sept 22nd ,  Edward Milne Secondary School Parking Lot 8:30 AM

We will gather and car pool down to John Martins to install the fish fenceSaturday and Sunday will have some heavy lifting to do so as much Help as we can get is appreciated. Cheers for now R

Sept. 12th. In preparation for the installation of our fish fence and taking Chinook brood stock…..

We will have a work party this Saturday at the hatchery , 8:30 AM

Should the main gate not be open we will man it from 8:30 to 8:45 AM

C U  Saturday R

Sept. 7th. Time to put down the three olive martini and get back at it ! Yes it is already September,

Our first general meeting of the season will be Sept 11th , 7 PM , at the community hall

Lots to get caught up on and plan for taking brood stock in about 5 weeks C U then Cheers Robert


August 8th. Finally got a chance to take a breath, so here goes………

We had yet another fantastic Chinook Derby this past weekend We sold 271 tickets , just a very small handful more than last year.

I was very nervous as we were sitting at 140 tickets sold on Tuesday.

A total of 140 fish were weighed in for a total of 2960 lbs.

The big winner was , Del Clark, with a 34.2 Lb.   fish

Del was so kind as to shoot us back $  500 as a donation

The whole affair went off without a hitch ( of consequence ), this reflects on the great crew we have and the thoughtful preparation.

 It was great to see Tony back from the UK and get a call from Neil Fawdry checking up on the goings on. 

A   HUGE  thank you to all that helped out with the derby committee, getting our gear together, manning the weigh in station, transporting our stuff from one place to another, and helping out at the awards dinner at the flats. Everyone did a great job.

There will be some info in the newspaper and web site ( pictures ) in the next few days.

This wraps up our season for now so take the next few weeks to enjoy the rest of summer. Mid-September is not far away when we start all over again. Cheers Robert

August 4th. OK I only have the energy for…………….. WELL   DONE AND


More to follow - Cheers Robert


July 31st: Good morning all………..

We are now on final countdown to our Derby weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

Here is our schedule

Friday Aug 2 nd:- We will meet at the hatchery at 8:30 AM to load up all our gear and move it down to Bill’s place to be ready for Saturday morning.

HHS will be moving the big cement blocks from the front of the Weigh In Station Friday afternoon.

Saturday , Aug 3 rd:- we will start shuffling our gear from Bill’s to the weigh in station shortly after 5 AM with a goal of being mostly set up by about 6 AM.

We will be manning the weigh in station until  7 pm, after that our steadfast security crew takes over until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Sunday , Aug 4 th:- Weigh in station opens at 5 AM. We will need a bit of a crew to set up at the flats , leaving the weigh in station at Noon for the Flats.

I am confident most of you know the drill. We need all the help we can get to make this go smoothly. If anyone has any questions , give me a call.

Cheers Robert

July 14th: Good morning campers !Sunday morning…. It’s a beauty out there !

Some upcoming events ……………….

Your president has got his wires crossed ( Imagine that ! ) on our upcoming schedule.

The consultants Derby is this coming weekend , Saturday the 20th not the 27th as I have been mentioning in previous correspondence. I have been in contact with the work party for the cleaning station crew and we are now all on the same page. As we have it, Consultants Derby, Jocks Dock Saturday , July 20th. Set up between 11:00AM and Noon. We should be done about 4 PM, awards and dinner is from 4 to about 6.

Crew: Bill, Mel, Dan, Andy, Robert.

We also are going to be setting up our SSES tent at OUR weigh in station on Sooke Road that same Saturday to sell tickets and promote our derby. Bill is organizing all the equipment needed for the consultants derby and will have it in his truck ready to go for Saturday morning.

Mel and Bill will be going up to the hatchery Friday morning, 8:30 AM to pack the hatchery truck with the necessary gear for our ticket sales and Derby promotion on Sooke Road. Another hand or two could be helpful - this should only take a very short time to do. That loaded hatchery truck will then be driven to Bill’s place so it is handy the next morning.


We will meet at our weigh in station site on Sooke Road at 9 AM to set up. Between Bill , Mel , myself….. we will show up with all the gear. We will need volunteers to work the booth,  as the crew that is working the Consultants Derby will not be available after 10 or 11 AM  that morning.

We will then need a crew to take the tent, table , etc  down and haul it away in the hatchery truck back to Bill’s place. Booth so far :

Amy, Pat, Phil, Bryan Meeads, Anyone Else ? Bryan Manning ? Les ? Gerry ? Anyone Else ?

As long as we have and few to work the booth, the only other thing that takes more than three hands is taking the tent down and stuffing the cover on to it. So even if you could lend a hand for a few minutes nearing 3 PM would be helpful.

PLEASE shoot me an email if you can. I will be out of town on business this coming week however, I will be getting my email and phone calls.

I am sure I will think of something else but it’s too nice outside to be sitting here pounding on this keyboard.

Cheers R

July 2nd: Morning everyone, a few updates.

Hatchery stuff………

We have a few maintenance projects on the go as reported previously. Looks like we are getting good co-operation from Timberwest on the repairs and maintenance of Bradford Swamp Dam.

Looking to have Mainroad Contracting come in with a tractor mounted grass cutter / Trimmer to do our road sides etc. , after they are done we may call a bit of a work party to do around the edges.

Derby - SSES.......

Our next Derby Meeting is , Tuesday , July 9 th , we are back at Gerry & Maureen’s. We should have all our sponsorship prizes or $ donations collected or absolutely confirmed by this time. So if you need to do follow ups please try and get them done this week or if you need some help let me know.

We are currently working on getting our derby ad in the local paper for July 10th. Count on a possible couple more derby meetings in addition to the one next week, details to follow. I have got a couple emails from members advising they will be available to volunteer for our derby, Saturday Aug 3rd and Sunday August 4th.

Could each of you confirm your participation with days or half days as applicable so I can start to put together a schedule.

Derby - Engineers

Saturday July 27th , 11AM to 6 PM approximately, Jocks Dock. I believe so far we have confirmed volunteers for the fish cleaning station.

Mel, Bill, Dan, Robert, Andy

We don’t need a huge crew but a couple more would be helpful. Everyone is always welcome to come and enjoy the spectacle that is harvesting fish guts !

I think that covers it, if I have missed anything let me know.


June 16: We had a great work party this past Thursday at the hatchery. Completed items included……………..

- Remove our transport tanks from the truck and trailer and store in the container.

- Remove the slow leaker tire from the trailer so it can be sent for repair.

- Unravel the fish fence cable and rail irons as recovered from the scrap yard after they were stolen a few months ago. The cable looks to be in satisfactory condition but the rail ties will have to go out for rework later this summer.

- Remove the sea pen net from the cap trough and hang it outside on the Net Rig to dry.

- Clean and dry the SSES tent and store.

- Wash and vacuumed the hatchery truck.  Who knew the hatchery truck is actually white !

- Store our long fish release hose

- Tidy up a bit in the shop

Bryan Manning was Clang’in and Bang’in  down in the lower hatchery. I never did find out what he was up to, but he did an excellent job !

So this all puts us I good shape moving forward. Once again a big thanks to all those who came out and helped. Those Rail Irons seem to be getting heavier with each passing year !

Preparations for our derby are moving right along with another good derby meeting last Tuesday. Our Rule Books , Derby Tickets and Posters are now on hand ( Thanks Sally ) All we need now is our T Shirts ( scheduled for early this week ) and we are ready to go to market and Sell Sell Sell !

We are having a special Derby committee meeting this Tuesday night to give our rule books and tickets a last look see and assemble the ticket to the book to make ready for distribution to our ticket sellers. Anyone that wants to help out with this is always welcome.

Currently , in the absence of Gerry and Maureen Glaum , this meeting will be at the home of Robert & Joan Gamache. Bring a stapler if you have one.

In the next couple of week or so , we will be putting a call out for volunteers to help out with the Derby . Most likely we will have a bit of a work party on Aug 2nd  to get our stuff together at the hatchery. And of course we will need lots of help Saturday & Sunday Aug 3rd &  4th. So keep those dates in mind.

We are also scheduled to set up our SSES tent at the site of the Weigh In Station on July 20 th to advertise the Derby and sell tickets. As always we welcome anyone that wants to participate. Who knows there might even be Doughnuts and Coffee.

That’s about it for now, hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.


June 12: We are going to have a work party Thursday , June 13th 8:30 AM at Butler gate , If the gate is locked we will be there till 8:45.

Would like to ……………

Get the live tanks put away; Stretch out our fish fence cable and inspect; Stir the Sea Pen fish net soup; And a few other odds and ends; Perhaps take the trailer to Dumonts to repair tire.

(Then we are all boarding a charter flight to  PEI for  a FREE  steak and Lobster dinner. All you have to do is pay your own,  flight , Hotel, Ground Transportation…. Etc. Gratuities NOT included. Lol)

C U Thursday


May 30th : Good morning all…………..

After what seemed to be endless consecutive days toiling in the dark bowels of the hatchery, all of our little ones have been set free to make it on their own. Without water pouring through the hatchery , it is a bit spooky up there.

We have had a very successful year rearing our Chinook and Coho. Final release numbers are:-

- 276,054 Chinook ( 1 % Mort rate Eyed to Release )   5.77 Grams Average weight at Final Release

- 110,951 Coho  ( 1 % Mort rate Eyed to Release )3.54 Grams Average weight at Final Release, 35,000 Clipped

- 60,508 Sea Pen Chinook ( 24 Morts over three weeks ) 9.1 Grams  Average weight at Final Release

All our volunteers should be very proud of our accomplishments, these are awesome numbers. I would like to thank you all for your support and tolerance of a middle aged , slightly round, Mildly ( YES MILDLY ! ) psychotic President in his first season at the helm.

There will be a few chores coming up in the next few weeks but we will leave it here for now. Please enjoy the summer and each day to the fullest.

Cheers Robert

May 27th: On a wet summers night we have released our Sea Pen Chinook to much fanfare.It was quite something to see, the Dungeness crab had spawned in our sea pen net and there were thousands of small crab spawn in the net. With great care we were able to set them free as well.

Thanks to all who helped out with this evenings festivities.

And …………………Of course, more work to do. We will be at the government dock at 9 AM tomorrow to haul way all the sea pen infrastructure back up to the hatchery.  So if you have some time we can make use of all that can attend.

Once we have the sea pen gear put away we will also release a load or two of Chinook into the Sooke River. We will be releasing Chinook each morning thereafter until all the fish are gone.

Hopefully we should be done by Thursday or latest  Friday. Keep an eye on your email for updates.

Cheers R

May 25th: 1: We will be releasing our Sea Pen fish, Monday May 27 th , 7 PM. So if you have some time to help out or want to say ‘’ GOOD BYE ‘’ to our fish,  see you at the Government dock for the release.

2: We have a bunch to do this week after the release of the sea pen we will have to remove all the infrastructure on Tuesday May 28th.We will meet at the government dock at 9 am.

We will need some trucks and muscle to get this done. Once we get that accomplished we will be looking towards getting all the fish released out of the hatchery.

What’s that you want a day off once in a while? I hear ya ! We will chat about that in the next few days.

Cheers Rob

May 13th: Good afternoon all……………

Things are moving along well at the hatchery and Sea Pen. We had some really good growth rates over the past week. Our Chinook are averaging 3.3 grams in the hatchery and Coho 2.4 Grams. Our Sea Pen Chinook are 5.2 Grams.

A few things to be aware of when it comes to feeding:-

Hatchery - we are now into a 1.2 MM pellet for our Chinook. Be aware that this food sinks rather quickly so feeders should try to feed at a slower pace ( smaller amounts at a time ) so it all does not end up on the bottom of the troughs and tanks.

Sea Pen - The fish down there seem to be a bit PHSYCO ! Sometimes they are talking all the food to be fed and other times they are barely coming to the surface.If they hit the first 500 grams but slow down after that , you can wait 15 minutes or so and resume feeding to see what happens. Tide patterns seem to have a big influence on how they feed. If they are not feeding, stop , record your feed data and let the next feeder take it from there………..Here again we don’t want a bunch of feed In the bottom of the net.

Everyone having fun with the combination lock I bought ?

I will be away until next Sunday night, If you have any questions or concerns you can email me or call any of our directors.


Meetings - Derby Committee , Tusday 7 PM; General Meeting Wednesday 7 PM

COHO CLIPPING EXTRAVAGANZA - Saturday & Sunday , May 25 th and 26 th, 8:30 AM

May 8th: As many of you may know we now have fish in the sea pen at the government wharf in Sooke harbor. We are going to have to be a bit more diligent in our feeding practices and record keeping to keep DFO happy.

We will be tracking daily …….

Salinity; Water Temperature , Surface and at one meter deep; Dissolved Oxygen; % saturation; Food size; Food amount; Morts

We will have data sheets in the feed bin down at the sea pen. We have been lent a DO meter by DFO that records most of the parameters required. In order to conform to these new standards of record keeping we will have to be more diligent in our methods.

Feeding and record keeping - Our thought is to have the same feeding crew that works the hatchery feed the sea pen fish as well.

Our feed amounts on the data sheets will be based on 2 feedings per day. For instance, the morning crew can feed the sea pen before they go to the hatchery or have one of the two. Crew members feed the sea pen and then join the other crew member at the hatchery later in the morning. Or,  feed half the allotment before they go to the hatchery and return to the sea pen after the morning shift and feed the remaining allotment. The afternoon crew can do the same.

The critical thing is to record what you have done so that the next member can feed accordingly. If you chose to feed the entire allotment in one go , try and do it over a period of say 30 minutes. There will be a bit of a learning curve here and we will also have to demonstrate the use of the new DO meter. For those that may show up for the work party on Saturday we can go over this in more detail.

Because this DO meter is worth a bunch of money we have had to put a combination lock on the feed bin. The combination has been sent out under a different email to the directors and feeders for now. Please know that we are not trying to shut out anyone from participating , we just need to make sure we are feeding the correct amounts and recording the necessary info on our data sheets.

I know this might be a bit much to digest all in one go but I am confident we can make it work. If anyone has questions, please give me a call or email. If any of our current feeders would rather just do the hatchery, feel free to let me know, as I am sure there will be members that would like to feed at the Sea pen.

Don’t forget that we also need to give the sea pen net a scrub daily as well. This all starts Friday morning.

May 5th: Morning all……………..Looks like another beautiful day out there.

Have completed many things over the last few days. I may have already covered some of this but here goes…

We had a good work party on Thursday and released the remaining fish from the 2 large round tanks in the lower hatchery. Tanks 12 and 13 are now empty. We also released the Chinook in trough 5A and B and replaced them with Coho.

We also thinned out all the remaining Cap Troughs in the upper hatcher as well as the 4 round tanks in the lower hatchery. New feeding schedule is in the lunch room.

On Thursday and Friday our dedicated volunteers also loaded up most of the components for the sea pen and our displays and gear for the Rotary Club Spring fair at the arena is Sooke.  We set up the booth at the arena on Friday afternoon.

Saturday morning we went down to the government wharf and installed the infrastructure for the sea pen. The balance of the day was spent at our booth at the Rotary fair at the arena culminating with taking it all down , releasing the fish we had in the display aquarium and loading up all our gear and moving it back to the hatchery. Whew ….. thank god it’s Sunday.

A big thanks to all those that helped out, it all went pretty smooth. So , after one day off we are back at it on Monday.

We will meet at the Government Wharf at 9:30 am and drop the sea pen net in the water and tie it down, Should not take all that long to do but the more hands the better. Bill Pedneault will head up that work party and will bring down the long 4 ‘’ discharge hose and another predator net. I should be on the scene by 10 or 10:30. We should receive the sea pen fish between 11 and noon if you want to see that process. Instructions and schedules for feeding the sea pen etc will follow.

We will keep an eye on water flows up at the hatchery moving forward and expect to schedule our next release of fish perhaps next Saturday.

Directors Meeting May 7 th; Derby Meeting May 14 th; General Meeting May 15th


May 2nd: Good afternoon all,

We had another productive day at the hatchery today. We released all the fish from the two large round tanks , 12 & 13  , in the lower hatchery. We also released the Chinook in Cap Troughs  5A & 5B and subsequently thinned the Coho from 6 and 7 into # 5. We also thinned all of the other remaining tanks and troughs.

We loaded up Bryan Meads Truck with a good portion of the seapen stuff as well. This keeps us in great shape moving forward.

We will be setting up at SeaPark Arena tomorrow for the Rotary Spring Fair and Auction. Not a whole bunch to do here be if you are incredibly bored  we will be at the hatchery at 12:30 PM to load a few things and drag them down to the arena and set up. We will also need a small number of hands to take it all down at 5PM Saturday.

Sea Pen Set up. We will meet at the hatchery Saturday morning to load up the remaining items and head to the Government dock to begin the setup process. The more hands the better for this one.

We will receive our fish mid to late morning on Monday.

Cheers, Robert

April 28th: Things are moving along nicely at the hatchery with all fish gaining weight nicely.

We did another two trips to release Chinook into the Sooke River on Thursday. And …………  Surprise Surprise , Mel Hull  showed up at the hatchery on Thursday. Good to see you out and about and looking well Mel  !

Bill and Robert have been tinkering with our main water inlet on Rocky Creek and after a bit of head scratching ( you will have to hang out around the water coolerIn the lunch room for more details )  we seem to have been able to get a better overflow off our main manifold.

New feed rates are on the sheet in the lunch room. We will most likely  be going to # 2  crumb or a  premix of # 1 & # 2 for our Coho very soon. Will keep you posted on this.

Moving Forward………………

We will release more fish into the Sooke River on Thursday May 2nd , 8:30 Am at the hatchery.

We will also get some prep work done for the Sea Pen fish and Rotary Auction that are coming up next weekend as well. We will poke around our containers and storage rooms to begin to gather up the necessary equipment for those two events.

Friday May 3rd ,

We will be setting up at the Arena for the rotary Auction and spring fair. Not a whole bunch to do for the set up but if you want to pitch in shoot me an Email and we can go over some more specific details.

Saturday May 4th,

We will move an amount of the gear we need for the sea pen down to the Government Wharf. 8:30 AM at the Hatchery, this task  is an amount of work , the more help we have the less Bengay lotion we will need on Sunday.

Also on Saturday, We will have our booth in the Arena for the Rotary Auction and Spring Fair. This all gets underway at 10:00 AM and we will need to take it all down and remove our displays starting at 5PM.  I will man the Booth from noon to closing but we will need some coverage in the morning and any of you that would like to hang out and spread the good word are welcome to work the booth as well. Amy has offered to help out but as mentioned we need some coverage for Saturday morning starting at  10 AM. We will also need a small crew to help take it all down at 5 PM. So if you want to participate please let me know.

I realize that there is some overlap of tasks on Saturday morning but I am confident we can make it all work.

Monday May 6th,

We will be receiving our Nitnat Chinnook for the sea pen, Typically mid to late morning. Depending on how far along we get on the Saturday prior we may have to put the finishing touches on the installation of the sea pen net on Monday morning. More details as to where we will meet and times will follow but we will  need some help Monday morning for sure.

So as you can see we have a full schedule next week / weekend.

Cheers for now,


April 21: We had a very productive day at the hatchery yesterday.

Some of the highlights………………

Les Eve got his head squished between a live tank and the cab of the truck. We are going to have to fix that dent in the tank ! Hope your hat still fits Les .

While clearing twigs off the side bank, Pat Forest decided to slide down the hill on his backside. The president refused to remove the slivers from said backside.

Dan Eaton did his familiar Paul Bunyan imitation clearing up another large amount of the tree fall debris. We are making excellent progress on this project.

We discovered that Phil Steele doesn’t know how to slice tomatoes for hamburgers, How’s that tomato stew coming along Phil ?

We also welcome new member , Steve Crevatin, thanks for joining us Steve ! you have single handily brought down the median age of our group in half!

And …………………..

To the twelve or so dedicated volunteers that came out on Saturday ( and you know who you are ). What a great job done, we are fortunate and thankful to have such a dedicated group.

We did 4 runs with the hatchery truck and trailer and managed to release approximately 120,000 fish into various locations on DeMamiel Creek and the Sooke River.

This puts us in very good shape at the hatchery. The next fish to say goodbye to will most likely be the 2 large round tanks in the lower hatchery. Schedule for this to come soon.

Feeders, please see the new feeding schedule in the lunch room.

Some upcoming events to keep in mind…………..

We will receive our Sea Pen fish on Monday May the 6th , Linda at the Government dock has been notified and is eager to accommodate us once again this year. We will most likely install the net pen May  2nd ,  4th and or 5th.

So keep that in mind as this is an amount of work to accomplish.

We have some overlapping events that weekend as the Rotary Auction is on Saturday the 4th. We typically set up on Friday a nd pull it all down Saturday afternoon.

Meeting schedule for May…..Directors , May 7th , Derby Committee , May 14th , General Meeting , May 15th .

I am sure there is more but that is as much as this brain can hold at one time. Enjoy your Sunday everyone.


 April 18: Well boys and girls it is time to start releasing fish……

We would like to start this ………..Saturday , April 20th , 8:30 AM at the hatchery.

With any luck the main gate will be open for the firewood people. For those of you that have not been up there for a while the road was recently graded so the potholes no longer swallow your vehicle.

We will start with the release of some Coho . Of course we will have to set up the tanks on the truck and trailer. There will be other things to do at the hatchery I am sure. So see you on Saturday if you care to join in.

On another note , the monthly general meeting that was cancelled last week in not being re-scheduled. We will go with our next monthly meeting in May.

I will put together a bit of a state of affairs email in the next day or so to bring us all up to date on what is going on. As always , if you have questions or concerns let me know.

Cheers, Robert

March 31: Happy Easter everyone………….

A few bits of news.We now have fish in all troughs and round tanks. A new feeding schedule is in the lunch room. We are now using two sizes of feed. The Coho in 6A , 6B , 7A , 7B and the smaller Chinook in Tanks 12 and 13  are to be fed with # 1 Crunb.

Chinook in the remaining troughs,  1 through 5,  A & B  and round tanks 8, 9, 10  and 11 are now to be fed # 2 Crumb. All our fish are growing well. We are approximately two weeks ahead of where we typically are for this time of year due to warmer than average water temperatures over the winter.

If you have any questions on feeding or cleaning , please let me know.

Upcoming meetings…………………Directors , Tuesday April 2nd , 7 PM ,Derby committee, Tuesday April 9th , 7 PM, General Meeting , Wednesday April 10th , 7 PM

Cheers for now, Robert

March 24: We had a great weekend of accomplishments at the Hatchery.

Saturday crew cleaned the remaining Cap troughs and the 4 small round tanks in the lower hatchery.

- Trough 1A & 1B were equalled out a bit more

- Trough 4A was split into 4B

- 7A has been split into 7B

So we now have fish in all the Cap troughs. Please continue to pay particular attention when feeding Coho, Especially in 6A and 6B the fish are small. Have a look at the new feeding schedule in the lunch room, feed weights have changed. Only two trays left in the Ink room and we will pond those tomorrow with the regular feed crew. All our fish are doing great with our first batch of Chinook already over One Gram.

Sunday had a great crew of yard clean up specialist turn out, we are making great progress on this.

Upcoming …………….We need to start thinning our Chinook down into the round tanks in the lower hatchery. We will do this on Thursday March 28th, 8:30 AM , would be good to have a good turn out for this. Thanks to all those that came out on the weekend and to those that have been doing double and triple duty of late.

Cheers R

March 22: Morning all…………..

Things are moving right along at the hatchery. We ponded another tray of Coho yesterday, that leaves 3 more to go and we are all done ponding. We have been a bit short handed of late with people on holidays, sick, injured and too many other pathetic excuses to list ! Not to worry, most are back at it. We are still looking for a permanent Saturday feeder for afternoon shift.

This weekend we would like to have a small work party on Saturday to ………………

- Clean the last two Cap Troughs

- Pond some Coho  ( perhaps )

- And if anyone has more energy than that we can plug away at site cleanup.

Not a whole pile to do but the coffee is always somewhat fresh and the conversation always stimulating. C U Saturday if you want to spend some time with us. There will also be a few people up at the hatchery on Sunday to do some site cleanup and perhaps burn a few branches.

On feeding and cleaning. We are now at the point where we will  stop using our auto feeders and go to all hand feeding. Please try and avoid doing a HARD FLUSH of troughs 7A , 6A and 6B!! The small size of the Coho in these troughs can’t take the water  pressure.

I will update the feeding amounts later today. That’s about it for now. As always , my office door is always open if anyone has any thoughts or comments.

Cheers R

March 14: Good Morning.

Things seem to be smoothing out a bit at the hatchery. Just 2 trays of Chinook left to pond ( Probably Today ). A dozen or so trays of Coho to pond over the next two weeks ( One or Two at a time ). So , sorry no more of those lavish ponding parties until all hours !

Revised feeding schedule is on the table in the lunch room ,  a bit all over the place at the moment as we have 4 different batches of fish on different feed weight loads but that will even out shortly. We still need a PERMANENT feeding crew for Saturdays. 2 Volunteers in the morning, 1 Volunteer in the afternoon.

For the next two weeks we have a platoon of volunteers coming in to feed on Saturdays, but would be nice to fill these spots permanently.

We will have a bit of a work party to tidy up the yard this Saturday 8:30 AM. Cheers R

March 3rd: We will be ponding the remaining Nitnat Chinook on Saturday , March 9th 8:30 Am Butlers or Hatchery.C U then R

February 27th: We moved all our bits and pieces that were in temporary storage at WestCoast Super storage  into our new storage container at the hatchery. No limbs were lost or fingers pinched…….. amazing for a bunch of old guys !

Some of our AutoFeeders are still giving us a bit of grief but we are making progress. We are still 7 to 10 days away ( depending on water temperatures ) from  ponding more Chinook. Details to follow as time gets closer. We will advise when we make the change to the feeders schedule soon. All for now. R

February 21st: We had a good day at the hatchery today. Our first batch of Nitnat Chinook were ponded today. Thanks to all the volunteers that came out. Chinook are in Cap trough 1A , 2A , 3A. We also ponded 2 trays of Coho in 7A Cap Trough.

Auto feeders are in place for the short term. All those that have been coming into the hatchery to take temps please continue to do so. There are instructions on how much food to load into the auto feeders on the table in the lunch room.

Those that I have been in touch with for feeding,  hang in there until we have more fish ponded to make it more worth while to come in and feed. I will advise on feeding schedules in the next day or so. We are in a bit of a transition so if anyone has questions call me. 24 HR 250-642-1905. Thanks R

February 19th: Morning everyone,

We will pond our first Chinook, 32 Trays on Thursday Feb 21 st,  8:30 AM Butlers gate or up at the hatchery if the gate is open.

Hope to see you then as this will be an amount of work to get done. Cheers Robert

February 18th: Thanks to all that showed up on Saturday, we now have a squeaky clean ( Well Almost ) hatchery. Those in attendance were treated to the culinary talents of Chef Les Bagley with his famous. Hamburger  A La Fromage & Hot Dogs  Aux Gratin. Thanks Les !

Ponding of the first  trays of Chinook ( 32 ! )  will be any day now.And of course following that we will start to feed, times and dates to follow. All for now. Robert

February 14th: We are getting closer to the start of ponding Chinook. We need to give the hatchery a good scrub.

Soooooo……………..Work party, Saturday Feb 16 th , 8:30 AM at the hatchery or Butler Main gate if the firewood guys are not working. We will have a bunch to do so if you have some time to help out come on down ! We will have lunch as well,   as long as the BBQ does not blow up on the first try of the season. C U Saturday Robert

February 9th: Dedicated members of SSES loaded up components of our fish trap and fence along with our live tanks and have moved them into secure storage at West Coast Supper storage of otter point road. Thanks to all those who came out.

Meeting schedule

Derby committee, Tuesday Feb 12 th , & PM

General Meeting , Wednesday Feb 13 th , 7 PM If any need location details etc. , let me know. Regards Robert

P.S. I think we may have found the thieves , RCMP have been notified.

February 8th: We would like to get a few volunteers out to the hatchery tomorrow and some trucks if possible with the thought of moving some of our assets off the property in response to the recent theft. We are working today to see what off site storage we can get for the short term. We will also look at solutions for keeping these guys from getting on the property. We should not need a real big crew but if you have some time and even want to come out for a coffee please join us.

8:30 AM Butler gate or hatchery if the gate is open. R

February 7th: Timberwest did a lock change on the gate on Butler Main last Sunday. We received new keys but the Log Haulers ( we think ) then put an old lock back on. We hope this will resolve itself to one key or the other soon.

Here is a real kick in the pants. It appears as though someone in a very substantial truck / 4 X 4 made their way onto the Hatchery property Sunday or Monday ? , actually was able to fill in the new trench we had dug to keep the quads and motorbikes out and stole components ( rail irons and main cable ) for our fish fence an tried unsuccessfully to take one of our old boat trailers as well. The invasion on to our property is becoming a real problem.

I am concerned that it is only a matter of time before someone decides to break into the compound and steal other stuff. We will be formulating a course of action to either temporarily move some of our equipment or hire a swat team to nail the culprits! We may need to get a work party together to do something about this. We will let you know once we come up with a plan. Regards Robert

January 15th: Good Morning All……………As discussed at our last general meeting it is time to start organizing our 2013 Chinook derby.

For those of you that are new to our society, here is a little background. Each year SSES puts on a two day Chinook Derby on the Saturday and Sunday of the August long weekend. The Derby committee meets once a month from January to July to organize all the logistics involved. This is our major fund raising event that keeps our society going financially. Our first meeting will be ,  January 22 nd at 7 Pm at 7251 Bethany Place, SOOKE, BC.

We welcome members to participate in helping to put this event on. If you would like to come out and do not know where Gerry’s place is , let me know and I will give you the low down. Cheers Robert

January 8th: Good afternoon all………….. A reminder that our January General meeting is……

Wednesday January 9 th 7 PM Sooke Community Hall. I have recently added a few new names to our list so for those who have not yet been to one of these. We meet downstairs in the community hall more or less right across the street from the entrance to the Legion. So come and join us and see firsthand cheap parlor tricks that will amaze!

Also , still a few stragglers that have not paid their member dues for 2013, you still have time to avoid the modest 28 % interest that will be charged on overdue accounts ! C U tomorrow. Robert

December 28th: Just a quick note on what is going on at the hatchery.

We have now shocked all of our eggs. Some of our Chinook are starting to hatch nicely. We donated some Coho eggs to Charters Creek Last Saturday. There won’t be a bunch to do in the very short term other than taking daily temperatures and keeping an eye on the eggs as they develop. We will have some chores to do in January, more info to follow as the time comes.

Bill, Mel , and myself were in the hatchery on Thursday and shut off all water supply except for water into the incubation room ,  so  we won’t have pipes freezing and bursting over the next weeks. So if you are at the hatchery for whatever reason you will notice that there is no water in the coffee room or hose bib’s.

I will be sending out notices for upcoming meetings next week. I would like to that everyone who helped out in 2012, we have a great crew of volunteers that makes this all work.

Have a great and safe New Years. Cheers, Robert

December 19th: We have two Coho trays left to shock and we will get that done……….Saturday , Dec 22nd , 8:30 am This should take only a short time to get done so we do not necessarily need a big crew. But all are welcome as always. Cheers Robert

December 11th: Good morning, The following are scheduled this week.

General monthly meeting, Wednesday Dec 12th , 7 PM Downstairs at the Sooke community Hall. Your host for this month’s meeting will be none other than, BRUCE BAGLEY ! Please remember, annual membership dues are now payable,

For those whom have not yet paid, and you know who you are ………..You can pay at the meeting, Mail to our PO Box  947 Sooke BC V9Z 1X1  or mail to my address 1599 O’Neill road, Sooke BC V9Z 0T5

ALSO We will be shocking more trays of Coho This Saturday Dec 15th 8:30 AM at the hatchery, we will man the forestry gate until about 8:45 AM. As I don’t believe the gate will be open for the firewood guys for the remainder of winter. Cheers for now. Robert

December 4th: We had a productive first executive meeting last night and I am pleased to say that everyone made it out alive. A couple of things on the horizon. We will be shocking the next set of Coho eggs on Saturday Dec 8 th 8:30 AM at the hatchery. We will have someone at the gate if it is not open. For the firewood guys. See you there ………………..

Reminder: Next general meeting Wednesday Dec 12 th , Sooke Community hall , 7 PM That’s all for now folks. Cheers Robert

November 28th: Howdy ! We will be shocking Coho eggs this Saturday December 1 st. Probably a half dozen trays to doSo if you have some time on Saturday morning we will meet at the hatchery at 8:30 AM. C U then

November 25th: Here is the latest news from SSES.

As many of you know we had our annual general meeting on November 14th with a number of Executive positions changing hands. After four years of dedicated service as our President, Mel Hull has now moved to a position of Member at Large.  A big thank you to Mel for his leadership and hard work on behalf of our Society ! Our new President and Vice President are as follows

President :  Robert Gamache

Vice President : Bruce Bagley

You can find a full list of the executive on the contact page of this website. Membership dues are now due for payment and quite a bargain at $ 10. You can send your payment by mail :

Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society, PO Box 947, Sooke BC,  V9Z 1H9.

Or at the next General Meeting , December 12th. Or, if your wallet is that heavy, give me a call and you can always drop it at my place. In any case if you can get your membership paid up in the short term is very helpful.


We have now harvested all of our adult Coho and disposed of the remaining male’s. We received a second batch of Chinook eggs ( 85,000 ) from Nitnat. Thanks to the Volunteers who make a second trip to pick these up.The next chore on the agenda is Coho Egg shocking later this week. We will also be looking at some improvements to DeMamiel Weir in the near future. Details to follow. It is my sincere privilege to serve as President of Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society. I believe our cause is  important and our membership exceptional. Please feel free to contact me at any time with your suggestions or issues that come to your attention that may have relevance to our society. If you do not wish to continue to receive email from the society, please let me know and I will remove you from the mailing list.

Cheers for now…….

Robert Gamache, President, Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society

November 15th: For those who were unable to be at the AGM last evening, here is the new list of Directors:

                Rob Gamache – president                Bruce Bagley – vice-president                Bryan Manning – director

                Bill Pedneault – director                Gerry Glaum – director                Garth Gilligan – director

                Andy Vasey – director                Mel Hull – director                Ron Neisch – director

I’d like to thank everybody for making it a great four years. With a lot of help and support, we accomplished a huge amount of work around the hatchery and things are in good shape. Financially, the Society has a comfortable hedge against new and unforeseen costs that we may face, plus normal operating costs. On a final note – we’ll be checking coho on Saturday and releasing most of the males back to the creek. That will entail a fair effort, so – if you can spare a couple of hours, it would be great to see some extra hands to help with it. Hope to see you on the weekend. The gate will probably be open for the woodcutters, if not, there will be somebody standing by. Start time will be 8:30 a.m., as usual.Again – thank you all for the great effort and see you on Saturday.  Mel

November 11th: Sorry for the tardiness of this message, but the weekend was a bit out of step. We’ll be checking females tomorrow morning and, as well, our Chinook eggs are ready to be shocked. If you have a couple of hours, the more hands to pick mooners, the quicker it will get done. There isn’t a huge number of eggs to be shocked, so it shouldn’t take too long. The trip to Nitinat is on the books for another year and the eggs are resting in our trays as we speak. Another good trip, although Bruce says I missed a couple of potholes on the road in. Personally, I say my record is untarnished and I got ‘em all. And my kidneys agree!! Last note – our AGM is this week, on Wednesday. The year in review and all that stuff, so try to be there.  Mel

November 8th:   We’re getting there – harvested 10 females this morning for 25,400 eggs and there are 13 left to do. The next visit will be on Saturday morning, if you’re interested. The usual time – 8:30 a.m. – and the gate will be open for the woodcutters, so you should be able to go right in to the hatchery. With any luck, there should only be two, maybe three more harvests before the coho are done, so – if you haven’t been there for the process and want to see it, come on out.  Mel

November 6th: The next check-up at the clinic will be Thursday morning, usual time and place. We harvested another five females today for 10,841 eggs. The ladies are coming along nicely.  Mel

November 2nd: Some sad news – we’ve lost Bill Dryden, one of our stalwart feeders for the last few years.                 On a brighter note – we removed all the guards and boards from the weir today and everything is back at the hatchery for another season. It’s always nice to arrive at this point with the gear safely away and all the work centered at the hatchery. Another 6 females were harvested this morning, only forty or so to go !                There is a group of cubs coming to the hatchery tomorrow, so the plan is to harvest a couple of fish to let them see the process, always fun with small people, lots of oohing and aahing. If you’re interested, they’re due around 10 a.m. and we’ll be there around 9:30 to pick out a couple of candidates and hang them. The clubbing part of the process isn’t always a great spectator portion, so we’ll get that out of the way before they arrive.                We’ll do a serious sort-through on Sunday morning, again. As always – if you have a couple of hours and want to take part, feel free – we’ll start at 8:30 a.m., as usual. The gate may be open for the woodcutters, if not, someone will be there, standing by.                The passenger list for the Nitinat trip is now full, but the possibility of a second vehicle is always open, if more people are interested.                Mel

November 1st:                 The trip to Nitinat for our Chinook eggs has been set up for the 12 th of November, which is a Monday. The simplest plan is to meet at the parking lot at Village Foods around 6:30 a.m. and leave vehicles there. For those who want to go for the first time, the trip is about 2-3 hrs. each way with about an hour to load the eggs at Nitinat. It takes about another hour to put the eggs to bed back here and clean up the coolers. We’re usually done by 3 p.m., all going well.                Raingear is a good idea, loading the eggs can be a bit wet. I have two riders, so far, and room for two more. If more people are interested, another vehicle can go, we’ve done that before. Road conditions can be a bit touchy, but last year they were pretty good. Mel

October 31st: Thanks to the overnight deluge, Demamiel is higher than ever, so the guard removal is definitely on hold for the moment. We harvested four females this morning and there should be more to do on Friday. We’ll go through them again on Sunday morning, if anyone wants to come up and take part. Start time will be the usual 8:30. If the woodcutters are in the bush, the gate will be open, otherwise someone will be there until nine-ish.                Mel

October 30th: My apologies – forgot to do this yesterday. We won’t be doing any hatchery stuff today. We harvested one coho yesterday and it looks like there should be a couple ready tomorrow (Wednesday).                With great effort and much rigging of come-alongs, we opened the gate at Demamiel to let water by and allow fish to move up with less effort. As soon as the lake level drops enough, the plan is to get the stop-bars and boards out of the weir. That will take as many hands as we can round up, so I’ll let you know when that looks likely.               Our Nitinat eggs will be ready on Nov. 12 th. I’m waiting to hear from Peter at Goldstream to work out their pick-up and ours. There’s room for four passengers in the truck, if anyone wants to make the trip. Let me know. If more people want to go, there’s no reason another truck can’t go as well. Not always the best road, however. Mel

October 28th: We now have all our coho broodstock at the hatchery and the trap is open to allow all the surplus fish to move upstream. Thanks, everyone who showed up on short notice this morning.                Now comes the chore of going through the tanks and harvesting. We’ll start the chore tomorrow, and keep at it for the next couple of weeks. If you have some time and are interested in the process, we’ll meet at the gate on Butler Main at 8:30 or, if the gates open for the loggers, just head on in to the hatchery. If there are fish ready, we’ll harvest.        Mel

October 24th:  (Later) There’s been a slight change in the program for Saturday – the Cub Scouts are postponing their visit until NEXT weekend (the 3 rd.), so we’ll just be doing any coho that are ready and maybe, just maybe, taking a few fish at the trap. Let’s say 8:30 at the weir and off to the hatchery from there.     The plan for Friday’s wood expedition is to meet at the weir at 9a.m. and go up to the camp from there.  Mel

(Earlier) Still nothing new at the trap. Since it appears as though nothing much will happen until the weekend, as far as rain and more fish goes, I’d like to take advantage of the offer from Willy at the Scout Camp and get a load of wood for the hatchery on Friday. We need a few people to cut and load, so, if you have a couple of hours in the morning to put in, let me know. A couple of trucks would be great, as well. So – if you have some time and an axe, throw your name in the ring and I’ll set it up with Willy.  Mel

October 23rd:     First on the agenda – we haven’t seen much activity at the weir for the last couple of days. Hopefully, there will be another batch of fish with the next rain. Rather than a bunch of people trekking to the weir every morning, the plan is for Willy and me to check the weir and, if there are fish there, I’ll send out a quick e-mail and we’ll deal with them around noon that day. So -  sit back and enjoy a second cup of coffee in the morning.    Next thing – Erica is going to be at the hatchery around noon tomorrow (Wednesday) to recover otolith bones from the Chinook heads we collected. If you’re free and interested, a couple of extra hands would be nice. If you’re available, we’ll meet at Butler’s gate at noon. Probably be a couple of hours, at most. We tried this afternoon, but the heads were still too frozen to work with.

Item #3 – We have a group of cubs coming to the hatchery on  Saturday morning, probably with a stop at the weir first. We will also be harvesting the first coho eggs. So – it would be nice to have a few members on hand for crowd control and egg processing. The visit is tentatively set for 10 a.m., but I’ll pass along the time when I get a confirmation from the cub group.    Mel

October 18th: Whoever did the rain dance – you can quit now, thank you ! We’ve been dealing with coho at the weir all week, they’ve arrived in fairly good numbers. They’re mostly the early run and too green for the hatchery, but we’re doing a count and keeping a few that look reasonably close. Hopefully, we’ll get the usual later ones that are riper, over the next week or so. We’ve released 700 upstream so far. The trap and fence are all out of the river, as of today, so the next chore is hauling all the gear back to the hatchery and storing it for the season. It takes three or four trucks to move everything, so – if you can spare a couple of hours on Saturday morning, here’s the plan. Everybody can meet at the weir on Demamiel at 8:30 and the trap can be checked. Then, from there, down to John’s, to load up the gear and move it. Again – trucks are the big need, so if you have one, your presence would be very much appreciated.                For anyone who hasn’t been to the weir, instead of turning off Young Lake rd. onto Butler Main to go to the hatchery, just stay on Young Lake rd. for another hundred yards and you’ll come to the bridge across Demamiel. That’s where the weir is and there should be a bunch of vehicles gathered along the road.               Things at the hatchery are back to normal in the water department, Rocky is filling nicely and there’s no shortage anymore. The trucks are hauling again during the week, so if you’re going in to the hatchery for any reason, keep your eyes open for the BIG trucks with all the tiny sticks piled on them. Note to Tony and Sheila – If, as I’ve heard thru the grapevine, you can holiday in France – care to explain why you can’t be here, getting wet and cold like the rest of us ? Curious minds want to know. Besides – you missed Bryan’s epic attempt to swim the Sooke River in chest waders – a valiant but, sadly, failed attempt. I think the only thing keeping him afloat were the huge eyes bulging out of his head, as the water ran down the inside of his waders ! Molly stood there with a “ What the hell are you doing?” sorta look. Take care, you two and get back here soon, everybody misses you. Mel

October 16th: We spent the day at Demamiel, dealing with Coho in the trap. They’ve arrived in good numbers, although they’re still pretty green. We’ll be back there tomorrow morning at 8:30, if anyone has some free time. It may be a day or two before we get fish that are ready to go to the hatchery. The trap and fence at John’s are still pretty well underwater, so it may be a day or two before we can safely deal with the mess. Well – it’s not really a big mess, just a tad out of shape from the strain. I’ll keep everybody in the loop as to plans for that problem . Mel

October 15th: The nets were dropped at the fence yesterday, when we found the river jammed with chum trying to move past the fence. Guesses ran into the 1500+ range for the short time we watched the exodus and there were as many or more still below the fence when we left. So-the good news is that the chum numbers are good for the river. “ What’s the bad news?” you ask ? Well, the plan was to put the nets back up and try for Chinook with the trap, but the river was so high this morning, that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. We may have lost the race again. I’ll keep you posted on events over the next few days.  Bucky’s on the unemployment roll at Demamiel for the winter. The water is really high and he’s out of business for the season. We put the gate in and there were a couple of coho on the apron as we were doing it. We’ll be looking at starting the process at the weir over the next couple of days, although the first flush of fish should be too green for us to use. Breaking news to follow.  No decision on another seining day, but it’s not likely. The river would have to be waaay down before it would be safe to have people in the water, so it’s a slim probability.           Mel

October 13th: I’m not sure who kissed Mother Nature’s butt, but it worked, so thank you, whoever you are. We had a great day on the river and hopefully it was fun for everybody. Great work by all. We now have 47,000 eggs in the trays and 3 females in the maternity wing, waiting their turn.With any luck, we’ll get the rest of our Chinook from the trap over the next few days and there won’t be a need for another day of seining. I’ll keep everybody posted on how it’s going.A huge thank you to everyone, especially the four guys who are probably still waiting to see if all their man-bits survived the cold. With any luck, John Bridal didn’t even lose anything this year !A special thanks to Marty and Vic at Ric’s from the Prestige for the sangys, a nice treat under the tent. If you’re going out for a bite, remember their kindness and give them some business.                Mel

October 10th: The day of seining is still on for Saturday. There doesn’t seem to be many Chinook in the river right now, but we’ll try the upper pool and hope for the best. We’ll meet at the High School and see how many vehicles we can avoid taking to John’s. The less traffic down there, the happier they are, so we’ll try to keep it to a minimum.  Mel

October 6th: As I’m sure you all know, things aren’t looking all that great for our broodstock program. Short or long term, at this point. We’re going to try a different course of action, in the hopes of salvaging something on the Chinook front.We’ll be doing a day of seining at John’s on Saturday, October 13 th. The plan is to see what’s in the pools for Chinook and move any green fish to the Potholes, so they have a chance to spawn in the upper river. If we find ripe fish, the plan is to harvest at the river and move the eggs to either Goldstream Hatchery or, possibly, to Charter’s Creek. Both places have a good water supply and we can take the eggs to the eyed stage, then move them back to our hatchery.  At this point, we don’t have enough water to run even one Heath tray stack dependably, let alone hold any adults.So – that’s what the plan is and anyone who can spare the day would be appreciated. If you have a friend who would like to take part, bring them along. The more hands we have, the better.  I have a call out to Peter at Goldstream and when I hear from him, we’ll work on the egg transfer question.We’re running fish through the trap now (45 chums this morning) and we’ll be doing that chore every morning, along with the daily wrecking of Bucky’s nightly dam building work. If you’re interested in what’s happening at the river, we meet every morning at 8:15 – 8:30, weekends at the bus parking lot at River Road, weekdays at the soccer pitch parking lot. Everyone’s welcome, not that there’s a lot to do – clean off the leaves and release the fish. See you at the general meeting next week – usual time and place.  Mel

September 30th: We’ll gather all the nets, ropes, pumps, etc. together on Thursday at the hatchery and have them ready to move to the river. If you have a couple of hours to spare, we’ll meet at Butler’s gate at 8:30 and start. Water is still the big issue, but we have to hope things will change soon. Mel

September 28th: As I’m sure everyone’s noticed, there is a sad lack of rain in the world of broodstock. Until we have a dependable supply of water at the hatchery, we won’t be looking at holding adults or harvesting eggs. There are fish at John’s, but they’re not making much effort towards moving upriver yet, which isn’t a bad thing. The water at the trap is pretty low, ie: fish would need legs to hike up much farther. All the gear is place at the weir on Demamiel for the coho, but they’ll be a long time coming, without a biblical downpour in the near future. But at least, we’re ready for ‘em. Bucky has moved his efforts upstream to high side of the big cedars that are across the creek above the bridge, so we now have to trek up there and try to thwart his engineering dreams. And he does have big dreams ! Just about time to cancel his visitor’s visa.The seining plan is on hold, at John’s, for the same reasons and will have to wait for better days. When the time looks right, I’ll put out a call to gather the gear and move it to the river. Sorry if it means short notice, but I’d rather not have a of expensive gear sitting on the river bank for days on end and it shouldn’t take long to move it when the time is right. Maybe everyone should wash their cars or something – that usually will bring rain. Quick reminder – monthly general meeting on the 10 th of Oct., at the Hall, 7 p.m.    Mel

September 25th: We’ve been checking the trap every morning, and aside from a few leaves, nothing much happening. There isn’t enough water at the hatchery to do much with, even if there were fish showing up. We won’t be looking at any captures until we can be sure of enough water to do two things – keep adults safely and have enough water to operate the trays in the incubation room. It looks like we may have some rain coming near the weekend, so we’ll see what’s going on towards the weekend.

There is one job we have to deal with and that’s the wier at Demamiel. The guards are ready to put in place and we’ll do that on Thursday. The guards are at Walt’s shop ( he re-welded all the pipes that came out last year), so the plan is to pick them up Thursday morning and drop them in place. In order to do that without killing too many people, we need quite a few bodies (they ain’t light, even though Walt removed some material to get rid of weight). So – we need a crew on hand at the weir for the job.

So – after  the trap is checked Thursday morning, we’ll meet at the Soccer pitch at River road at 9 a.m. and send a crew down to Walt’s to load the guards and move them to the weir. A couple of people can run up to the hatchery and bring a few boards down to add to the weir while that’s being done. If you can spare an hour, please come out and lend a hand. Mel

September 23rd: The trap and fence are in place at John’s, thanks to a lot of work by everyone who was there on Saturday. There are Chinook in the pools below the fence, but not much water yet. We’ll be checking the trap on a daily basis for the next while, but we don’t have a lot of water to hold spawners at the hatchery yet, so it’s mostly a waiting game for the moment. I’ll keep everybody informed as to conditions and when we’re closer to doing a beach seine. Mel

September 15th: Its that time again, people. We’re pretty much caught up on the summer work projects and broodstock time draws near.The work party this morning got the last of the chores done. We had a machine in and the new well-head is in place in the creek, as well as the new steel pipe across the creek, replacing the old one that was weeping more than a rich person in  a tax audit. One less worry during  the wet season. Hopefully, the water supply question has been solved with a new addition to the intake that is supposed to capture more of the water coming in. One can only hope, since we need a lot more water in the creek to really tell.Improvements to the round tanks should make them pretty much self-cleaning and much easier to deal with. The new roof, if it ever gets finished (don’t ask!!!) will really light up the troughs a lot better. Not to mention stopping all the leaks.All things considered, its been a good summer on the maintenance front. A big thanks to everybody who put in so much time on the projects.The plan is, to move all the gear for the fence and the trap down to John’s next Saturday, not necessarily to put it in the river, just to check that its all there and on hand when the time is right. If you have a couple of hours on Saturday morning, the more hands we have, the quicker and easier it will be. There’s a fair amount of bits and pieces to move.On that note, the time approaches when we start to monitor water temps at the hatchery again, so –if those who have been so faithful trekking back and forth are still willing, let me know and I’ll start on a list and schedule. It won’t be until there are eggs on hand, but, hopefully, that won’t be too long.For those who WEREN’T at the first meeting of the season ( tsk, tsk ), the Derby was a success and we made a sizeable profit, so we won’t be on the street corner with our hats in hand for a while yet. Thank you, everybody who once more worked so hard.That’s about it for the present. Hope to see lots of you next weekend. We’ll meet at Butler’s gate at 8:30 and start the move to John’s.  Mel

September 9th: Just me again, with another heads-up; There will be a work party this weekend, on Saturday ( Sept. 15). Still a few things to address before the Fall season gets underway. Repairs, renewals and gear checking, the usual stuff. We’ll meet at the gate on Butler main as usual at 8:30.If anyone needs more info or directions, touch base and we’ll work it out.  Mel

September 4th: There are a couple of jobs to deal with on the weekend, so we’ll have a work party on Saturday (the 8 th, I believe). We’re getting close to the busy season, so we need to start getting our ducks in a row once more.   Now that all the bills are in and paid in relation to the derby, it appears that we will show a profit of approximately $16,000 for the efforts. Many thanks again to all the committee members and volunteers that worked so hard again this year.Hope to see you on the weekend and at the first general meeting of the year next week.  Mel

p.s. – Hey, Tony and Sheila – we missed you both during the derby – time to hand up the tea-pot and head back this way.  Mel

August 31st:  Our first meeting of the fall will be on Sept. 12, Wednesday, at the usual time and place. Board room of the Community Hall at 7 p.m. Hope to see you all.  Mel

August 20th: If a couple of you have some time on Thursday – we’ll be putting the forms together for the cement in the crossings on Thursday, so the pour can go a bit faster on the weekend. It would be nice to have a few extra hands for the job, so come out if you can spare some time on Thursday morning. We’ll meet at the gate around 8:30.  Mel

August 18th: There will be a work party on Saturday, August 25, to start on the repairs we need to do. The plan is to do some cement work to replace a couple more of the wooden bridges between the troughs and do some repairs to the lower round tanks. If there’s anything else we can deal with, we will. There are other items we hope to get done, but we’re waiting for a local machinery operator to look at what we need done. If you have the time, the more hands we can get, the quicker the work will go, so – come out if you can.There are still a couple of bills to come in for the Derby, but we look like being in good shape for the event, finance-wise, and it went really well. We will definitely have enough loot to pay our way for another season. Huge thanks to everybody who worked so hard – it was a success again.Just a last reminder – meetings start again next month and we’re almost into another broodstock season, so we need to get that planning underway. Mel

August 1st: We are, of course, getting ready for the Derby weekend. We will be loading up the last of the gear from the hatchery on Friday morning. The plan was to meet at the hatchery around 9 a.m. and round up the stuff. I may be a few minutes tardy – we have to move the blocks at the weigh-in station at 8 a.m., with the Crane truck, but someone will be on hand to start the round-up, if I’m late. The set-up at the Weigh-in station will be on Saturday morning – EARLY-. We’ll start around 5:30 a.m., probably, just in case an early fish shows up. If you’ve wet the bed or just can’t sleep and need an activity, that’s where we’ll be. Tony –you and Sheila can pass on that, this year – but we expect you back here for the next one – okay ?? You’re both missed. The Consultant’s Derby went well, lot’s of fish, although the coho outnumbered the Chinook by a huge margin. Cristoph and his gang were kind enough to pass along a cheque for $10,000 towards the work, always welcome. Thanks, Cristoph, Dave and all your gang. The planned work around the hatchery will be getting underway after the derby (and after we de-compress from the excitement) in August. No huge projects, but a couple of important ones. I’ll let you know what and when in a week or so. Hope to see a lot of you around the weigh-in station and the Flats, help is always welcome.  Mel

July 16th: We will be selling tickets and stuff at the weigh-in station on Saturday, July 21 for a few hours, starting around 9 a.m. If you have an hour or two you aren’t using, come on down and hang out, maybe give the sellers a break.  Mel

July 4th :   Just a heads up for you all on the Sea-pen issue. All the tests have showed that the fish had an outbreak of “Aeromonas hydrophila”, but you probably had guessed that already, right ??  It’s a “normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract” (betcha knew that too) and when a specific condition occurs, it triggers an outbreak. There are several possible causes, as I read the info. Water conditions, stress, food, among a few other causes. We can, and will, address what can be done to avoid a re-occurrence. More to come on that, once we’ve had a chance to discuss it with DFO and try to nail down what may have been responsible.

                Things are coming to fruition for the derby and there will probably be a call for volunteers at the Weigh-in station, in the near future, so clear the dates and stand by for recruitment. We’re planning to have a couple of work parties over the next month or two, to do some necessary work at the hatchery. Some cement work, pipe re-location, general maintenance. The call will go out for the dates, well in advance.That’s about it for the moment – hope everybody is having a good break. A group Hi to Tony and Sheila – we miss you guys and know things are a tad busy at the moment. We’re thinking of you.  Mel and the bunch

JUNE: Site visitors please note. The SSES annual Chinook Derby is ON this year. Please see dates on HOME PAGE announcement.

June 16th: Well, did everyone enjoy the break ?? Okay – it was a short one, I’ll admit, but we do have some chores to deal with. First on the list is the water intake and the weir. We’re going to tackle the list on Saturday, starting with the important ones.We need to take the grizzly and screen off the intake above the hatchery and see what’s going on inside the casing. Silting up is probably reaching  the upper limits and needs to be dealt with. The drain pipe is the other thing we need to address – at the moment, its plugged with a wooden plug and it would be nice to replace it with something that would allow us to drain the casing from the bottom.Our little furry friend has piled up a lot of crap against the grate again and it would be great to have enough people to get in there and pull most of it away. We did it last year, but he’s ignored the hint and done it again.Sooo – if you have a couple of hours you can spare next weekend, Saturday morning, to be precise, we’ll plan to start at 8:30 and should be done by late morning. Hope to see you there.  Mel

June 9th: It’s one of those – good news, bad news - kinda days. The last fry were moved to the river today, so the hatchery is very quiet once again. A huge thanks to everybody who put in all the time to get them to this stage. It was a good winter and spring, all in all. Now we tackle the honey-do list for the next while, along with the derby, of course.Now for the dark side of the news. The problem at the sea-pen is still very much with us, whatever it is. The current plan is for DFO to come down on Monday and take some samples, both live and dead, to do testing on, in order to try and get a finger on the problem. That will be sometime early in the day, I hope. Monday evening, at 6 p.m., we’ll release the survivors and hope for the best. We’ll move all the gear back to the hatchery on Tuesday morning and be done with it. It’ll probably be some time before we get results, but, hopefully, it’ll be something we won’t have to deal with on an ongoing basis. If you are free in the evening, a few extra hands will make hauling the gear out of the water a lot easier.A special thanks to the Feeders for all their time and effort this season, it went very well and the growth was all we could hope for. Hope to see most of you at the meeting next week.  Mel

June 7th UPDATE: We’ve had a request to hold off releasing the sea-pen by Fisheries until Monday. They want to get fresh samples for the lab to test for whatever is causing the problem and can’t do it over the weekend. While that may mean a significant loss over the few days, it’s probably worth the risk to find out what’s causing this. SOOOO-we’ll hold off on the release and just do the fry at the hatchery on Saturday morning. We won’t feed the sea-pen on Friday and Sunday, since feeding seems to be a trigger for morts. I’ll give them a light feed on Saturday, just to keep them going, but otherwise, they can forage for themselves.Sorry for the confusion, didn’t talk to the Lab rats first, my bad !!   Mel

June 7th: We’re having a problem with the sea-pen and the decision has been made to release early and hopefully stop the losses we’re seeing. The plan is to release them tomorrow evening (Friday) at 6 p.m. We’ll leave all the gear overnight and let the net dry out a bit, then move the gear to the hatchery Saturday morning. Once that’s done – we’ll be moving the last fry out of the hatchery, as well, so all the work will be done for this year. That will give us an extra few days for the summer maintenance that is on the honey-do list. It means a fair bit of work, so – if you have some free time, it would be great to have lots of hands. 6 p.m. Friday evening at the wharf and 8 a.m. on Saturday morning at the wharf to load up the gear. Hope to see you there.  Mel

June 2nd: Things are starting to look empty at the hatchery – we released another three loads of Chinook today. The plan as of the moment is to do a couple of trips on Wednesday, again on Saturday and, hopefully, a final cleanup on the following Wednesday. That will be the end of another season’s work. If things go as planned, we’ll be releasing the Sea-pen smolts on Friday evening, June 15 th. We’ll leave the net to dry out and move it back to the hatchery on Saturday morning, when it’s not so heavy and wet. There may be a final release at the hatchery, if we have the water to hold a few fry for the extra time and fatten them a bit more. I’ll keep everybody dialled in on things as we get closer.Thanks to all the people who have been putting in the time to feed and haul and generally make it all work. It’s been a good Spring, thanks to the effort. Final note to Tony and Sheila – you guys are in our thoughts – be well and don’t sweat it – we’re picking up the slack and pulling for you. Mel

May 29th: We’re getting to the crunch on our water supply, so there will be a lot of fry being released over the next week or two. We’re doing a couple of trips tomorrow (Wednesday) to move out the coho that were clipped over the weekend and another trip to the river with Chinook. On Saturday, we’ll do a couple of trips up Boneyard with Chinook. That will give us a cushion for a few days, with the hope of some rain to help the situation. It’s very possible that the weekend of June 09 th. and 10 th. may be the final release for the year, only time will tell.There will be a derby meeting on June12th. that will be important – several decisions need to be made, so, try to be on hand if you’re on the committee. Even if you’re not, if you have any interest in lending a hand, let me know and I’ll dial you in on where and when. The next general meeting will be on June 13 th. and there will be a couple of fairly important subjects to address, so it would be nice to see as many of you as possible, to toss your two bits in the pool. It will be also be the last meeting for the summer.A big thank you to everybody who worked so hard to make it another successful winter at the hatchery, it went smoothly and well.Our little furry friend has been back at work at the weir and we’ll probably need to do a big dig-out again, before long. I’ll let everybody know what will be planned. Anybody in the market for a beaver hat, I hear they’re making a comeback !! Mel

May 27th: Another busy day of clipping. All the coho are done and in the recovery ward. Thanks to everybody who put in the time to get it done.Water has become a big issue at the hatchery. We’ll be moving fry out on Wednesday – coho to the lake and Chinook to the river. There will be more releases on the weekend, as well. If anyone has a few hours to spend, the more hands, the better. We’ll go for the usual time, both days – 8:30 a.m., so it’s done fairly early. Hope to see you on Wednesday morning. We ended up with 36,000 clipped coho, not what we thought we had, but a decent number, anyway.  Mel

May 19th:   We thinned again this morning – two trips to the river.  Water is becoming an issue, as is fairly normal at this time of the year. Some rain would be nice, if we can get it. Just a reminder that we’ll be clipping next weekend and the more hands, the better. One day or two, it’s all a help. The gang from town has stepped up again, so let’s show them we’re good for our share of the work. Free food, good friends and some new ones, as well. Come out and lend a hand. If you have a friend who’d like to see what we do, bring them along.  We have a group from a pre-school/kindergarten coming to the hatchery on Wednesday and Thursday to do a tour (23rd. & 24th.) It would be greta if a few people could be on hand to help with crowd control and talking with the parents, etc. If you have a free morning, come up around 8:30 and help get ready for the visit. Hope a few of you can give us a hand.  Mel

May 18th: There will be a brief work party to thin some fry on Saturday, if you have some free time. We’ll head up to the hatchery at 8:30, as usual. Mel

May 14th:   Great day at the Interpretive Center yesterday. The clipping went really well and we were done before lunch. There weren’t quite as many fry as they thought, but they’re nice little coho. Thanks to all the members who came out and Dave’s bunch from Town.  Pete Wilford laid on a first class lunch, as well. For those who stayed for the spread – don’t bother mumbling at the burger & hot-dog thing, when we do our clipping, I ain’t about to do that fancy a spread !! We’ll probably be doing a thinning on the weekend, to make space for growth and give us an empty trough for the clipping frenzy on the weekend of the 26th. and 27th. Kudo’s to all you feeders – the fry are growing well and the food is getting used pretty much perfectly.  Mel

May 6th: The booth at the Rotary auction went over well, as usual. Thanks to Bryan, Les, Amy and Andy for the help. Just a reminder – there is a Derby meeting on Tuesday at Gerry’s and a General meeting on Wednesday at the hall, usual time.For those who want to help with the Clipping session at Charter’s Creek next weekend, we’ll meet at the Interpretive Centre at 9 a.m. and start the project. Mel

April 29th:       So – the newest and latest – Our first release of the season took place on Saturday, a mixed bag of Chinook and coho.  The sea-pen smolts will be arriving from Nitinat on Thursday between 11 and 1 p.m., depending on travel time from Nitinat. We’ll be putting the sea-pen in place on Monday, starting at the hatchery around 8:30, to load up the bits and haul them to the wharf. If you’re free, come on down to the wharf around 10 a.m. and lend a hand. The next release will probably be in a couple of weeks. Our water is still holding at a good level.Next weekend (May 05) will be the Rotary Auction at the Arena, where we’ll have our usual booth. Swing by and take a turn behind the table or just have a look around. We’ll do the set-up on Friday, if you have an hour or two in the afternoon and could lend a hand, let me know. We’ll probably load up just before lunch and go from there.The next general meeting will be on Wednesday, May 09th., usual time and place. Derby meeting the night before, if you would like to help out. Let me know and we’ll sort out where and when. Usual time and place, for you regulars.

A brief word to Tony and Sheila – I know I speak for the whole crowd when I say you’re in our thoughts. Despite the grumbling at the hatchery that its a pretty extreme way to avoid you’re share of the duties, we’re seriously hoping for nothing but the best for you guys and want to see both you’re butts back here where they’re missed. All our best, you two. Mel

April 26th: We will be putting the sea-pen in at the gov’t. wharf on Monday, April 30th.  We’ll get all the bits sorted out on Saturday, during the work party. The smolts will be arriving on Thursday, probably noon or there-abouts. There is a new ramp at the wharf and it may make setting up a bit trickier, but nothing we can’t overcome, with lots of hands. Yup – that was a hint !! Hope to see a crowd on Monday. We’ll meet at the hatchery around 9 a.m. and load up. Mel

April 24th: Its that time of year, once again. We start releasing fry this weekend, along with thinning the tanks.  So – we’ll meet at the farm on Saturday morning around 8:30 and fly at it. The gate will probably be locked, so there will be someone there until 9-ish, unless the loggers are working. Keep your eyes open, since they’re hauling down Boneyard now, and you may see a truck or two. If you have some time, the more hands, the merrier the work, so – hope to see you on the weekend.  Mel

April 2nd: Almost there with the ponding – well, another 80,000 coho still waiting their turn, but getting closer. There are a couple of chores that need attention, so – there will be a work party on Saturday, Apr. 07 to get caught up. The arsonists can do their thing and get rid of a bunch of stuff and there’s some cleaning to be done.Pat and Phil deserve a pat on their backs for hauling away all the old Heath Trays and finding a good use for them at the same time. Apparently they’ll be used to start seeds in. The usual yearly thank-you to all the feeders, the fry are growing nicely and the work is being done as well as always. Finally – remember the two meetings next week, Derby committee on Tuesday and general meeting on Wednesday. We’re assuming for the moment that DFO won’t do anything totally ignorant and we’ll still be able to do the Derby. Now, now – be kind, there must be a few intelligent people in the system, well – one or two, anyway Mel

March 28th: Our regular meeting will be on April 11 at the Hall, usual time – 7 p.m.  Things are going along nicely at the hatchery, most of the ponding is done. It’s down to one tray here, one tray there at this point, as the ATU’s pile up. Any time anyone wants to stop by, there’s someone feeding during the day and the chances are good that the gate will be open on Butler’s, during the week. Phone the hatchery at 642-0031 and check with the feeder, or call me at 642-5548. We have a Derby meeting on April 10 th, and if anybody is interested in lending a hand, some assistance would be very welcome. Give me a call and we can make sure you know where the meeting will be.   Mel

March 6th: All the Nitinat fry and some of our Coho fry are ready to venture out into the world. We’ll be ponding them on Thursday morning- Mar. 08- and it involves quite a few trays. So – if you have a couple of hours to offer, all help will be gratefully received.While I have your attention – General meeting next week on Wednesday, Mar. 14 and a Derby meeting on Tuesday, Mar. 13.Mel

February 28th: We have another small job to get done before we get into the busy days and we’ll try to do it on Saturday (3rd). It involves some cement-mixing and pouring, nothing huge. The plan is to fill in the spaces where the wooden bridges are in the centre aisle with a pipe and cement, so its permanently filled and level. Willy figures there will be one or two more trays to pond ,as well.  8:30 at the gate or the hatchery, if the gate’s open.  Mel

February 21st:   I can only hope Willy’s going through a couple of tropical downpours in Hawaii, just so we can feel better !! If anyone has a couple of hours to waste on Saturday, we’ll finish off the tanks that need a bit more support and get troughs#1 – 4 cleaned and ready for this year’s tenants. If it decides to let up on the rain, there’s a couple of other chores that could be tackled, but we’ll see what the weather’s like. See you on the weekend.  Mel

February 5th:   We’re getting close to ponding time and we need to get some prep work out of the way. Brian Meads and his sidekicks have been installing shelving in the storage rooms and there’s some work to do there as well, so it’s work-party time. Saturday, February 11, is the day and we’ll meet at the gate on Butler’s road  at 8:30. It may or may not be locked, but someone will be standing by if it is. Lots of stuff to tackle – so if you can spare the day, come on out and have a free lunch. Hatching is pretty well over and went well, good survival. We got through the crappy weather with no problems, which is always nice. Don’t forget the general meeting coming up on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and the Derby meeting on the 14 th.  Mel

January 6th: We’ll be shocking more trays next week on Thursday again, at the usual time. With any luck, it’ll be almost the end of the process for the year – next thing will be ponding time, still a ways away, but getting closer. Hope everybody had a great holiday.  General meeting next Wednesday, by the way and the first Derby meeting the day before. Hope to see lots of you at both !  Mel

Dec 29th: Almost there – six trays left to shock. We’ll do a few more next Thursday, which should be Jan. 05, I think. Sometime next year, anyway ! The Nitinat Chinook are hatched, as are our own, but they’ll be a long time in the trays, yet. Quick reminder – our first derby meeting is set for January 10, Tuesday, at Gerry’s place at 7 p.m. It would be nice to see a couple of new faces this year, so, if you can spare some time to help out, come on out.  Mel

Dec 22nd: It will be a few days before any trays are ready for shocking. We’ll be doing the next ones on Dec. 29, Thursday, next week, if you have an hour or two to spend staring into a bowl of eyes looking back at you. Dress warm – I’m still thawing my hands. Hatching is underway in the first Chinook trays, so that’s a good sign. Lots of time before they’re in the troughs, but things are on track. Hope Santa’s good to everyone and the food is good over the holiday.  Mel

Dec 17th: The plan at the moment is to shock whatever trays are ready on Thursday, next week. It’ll probably be two or three trays, so if you’re up to your armpits in Xmas stuff, no real need for a lot of people. Any and all are welcome, of course. Butler’s gate at 8:30, as usual.  Mel

Dec 15th: At the meeting last night, the “Fish Guru” decided that, due to really low water temperatures, there won’t be any trays to shock for at least a week. The next trays still need about 25 ATU’s and, at the snail rate of 2-3 degrees a day, it’ll be a while. We’ll keep an eye on things and pass along the status over the next while. I asked for volunteers to be ready for Xmas morning, but the response was what has to called “lackluster” at best. Hell – I didn’t even put my hand up !! Anyway – I’ll keep the loop open. While it’s still a ways away, we need to start thinking about the Feeder arrangements down the road. Mornings are pretty well filled, but we will need a few people to do afternoons. They’re pretty easy, since all the cleaning and “morting” has been dealt with – it’s just a matter of feeding for a few hours. If you have an afternoon that you can offer, let me know and we’ll work on a schedule. Have a great holiday and hope Santa’s good to everyone.  Mel

Dec 3rd: Four trays of coho eggs were shocked this morning and there won’t be any more to deal with until next weekend. Probably Saturday, with the temperature dropping. T he water has been shut off to anything unneeded in the hatchery, so the office has no flow for the next while. If you want coffee, you’ll have to hike to the troughs to fill the kettle. When you do your daily temperature checks, keep an eye on flows in the Incubator room, just to be on the safe side. Quick reminder – General meeting on Dec. 14, Wednesday at the usual time and place.  Mel

Nov 30th: We have officially finished with the harvest for this year, no more broodstock on site and lots of eggs waiting their turn. There will be a few trays of eggs to shock on Saturday morning, if anyone has a couple of hours and wants to see the process. We’ll meet at Butler’s gate at 8:30 and go from there. Mel

Nov 26th: The barriers were removed from the weir today, thanks to a great turnout of bodies. Turns out there wasn’t a lot of damage, but several weld let go and pipes were lost out of the frames – minor repairs will fix things. Five females were ready so we only have six fish to harvest and that part of the year’s chores is done. We’ll be looking at them again on Monday at the usual time, hopefully, for the last time.  Mel

Nov 25th: Two more females were ready today, so we’re getting there. Still a dozen hold-outs, but they’re not far off. We hope to get the bars out of the weir on Saturday morning, while the cold weather has the water dropping a bit. They’ve suffered a bit of damage in the freshet, so it would be nice to remove them. We’ll meet at the weir at 8:30 and tackle the job, then go to the hatchery.  Mel

Nov 24th: As most of you can guess, removing the bars at the weir wasn’t happening. Everything was underwater by a foot or so. None of the fish were ready at the hatchery, either, so the morning was mostly a social event around the coffeepot.We’ll be going through the fish again on Friday morning, usual time of 8:30.  Mel

Nov 21st: We took eggs from one more coho this morning and shocked one coho tray. The next visit will be on Wednesday morning and there is another chore we hope to get out of the way. Since there aren’t any more fish coming up Demamiel that we need to intercept, the bars can come out at the weir. Hopefully, the water will be at a working level on Wednesday morning and the plan is to stop there first and deal with them. Its a job for as many bodies as possible, so – if you have an hour to spare, it would be nice to see some extra hands.We’ll meet at the Weir, not the gate, at 8:30 and load the bars into (hopefully) either Bryan or Les’s truck and go to the hatchery from there. Hope to see lots of you then.  Mel

Nov 18th: There will be a check done on the females at the hatchery on Saturday morning and possibly a tray or two to be shocked. If you’re free and want to help out, be at the gate by 8:30 a.m. The gate may be open if the wood-cutters are in, if not – someone will be there to look after the gate.  Mel

Nov 15th: We now have all the broodstock coho in the hatchery that we need to reach our target for the year – yaay! There are still a few fish coming up, so the trap has been opened to allow them to carry on and do their thing.  The next visit to the maternity ward will be on Thursday morning. We have 19 females and a bunch of males pacing up and down the halls, waiting for the big moment, so we’ll go through them and do what we can

The trip to Nitinat went well, great weather and no bad jokes, since Phil couldn’t make it. We saw two or three trees the loggers missed on the way in, but, judging by the number of logging trucks on the road, it won’t be long before their number is up. Thanks to the people who went along, the work went really fast, we were home and done by four-ish

So – Thursday morning at the gate or the hatchery (if the gate’s open) and we’ll collect some eggs.  Mel

Nov 11th: Still getting eggs – one or two fish at a time. Sunday will be the next day for going through the females, if you have an hour or two to lend a hand. 8:30 at the gate or the hatchery, if the gate is open.  Mel

Nov 10th: It was nice to see a good turnout for the AGM last night – our new slate of officers has been installed and is ready to go for the year If you have a couple of hours to spare, we have some stuff that we need to deal with tomorrow (Friday). Our eggs are coming from Nitinat on Monday and we need to clean the stack of trays where they’ll be residing. We also should have some coho ready to harvest. It’s not a long list and shouldn’t take long, and the more people, the quicker it’ll go. SO – meeting at the gate at 8:30, if it’s open, just head on in to the hatchery – if not, someone will be there with a key.We took eggs from five females today and we have another fifteen in the tanks. Just over 75,000 eggs to date, so we’re getting there. There were six new females in the trap on Wednesday, a nice sign, but nothing today. Oh well, we’ll keep the hope alive for a while yet, maybe with some rain. 

  The plan for the Nitinat trip is to leave around 6:30 and hopefully be back at the hatchery around 4-ish. We could save time if we didn’t stop to eat, but all the whining from the backseat is worse than a holiday with little kids back there, so we’ll stop to let them gorge on junk food somewhere, I imagine. If anyone has some time on Monday afternoon, around that time, let me know and I’ll call when we’re getting close to Sooke to set a time at the gate.  Mel

Nov 7th: The next day to check the fish will be on Wednesday. Remember the AGM on Wednesday and show up for the festivities. We’ll be going up to Nitinat for our eggs on Monday and there’s room for four or five in the truck. It’s an all-day event, we’re usually back at the hatchery around 3 or 4. It’ll be a bit later, this year, since we can’t get the coolers until Monday, on the way up. Hope to see lots of you at the meeting.  Mel

Nov 4th The next coho session will be on Saturday. There’s still no sign of more fish at the weir, but keep your fingers crossed – we could use more stock. On Monday, we’ll be doing a check and shocking a few trays, if anyone is interested. Remember the AGM on Wednesday next week – usual place and time, the Hall at 7p.m.

The latest info I have on the Bill James dam issue is that DFO have been up there to remove the valve, or at least – they were going in with that in mind. Whether they got it done with the dam full is another story – haven’t heard the final chapter yet.  Mel

Nov 1st: With the colder water, there wasn’t anything ready this morning and we’ll leave them alone until Thursday – so we’ll try again on Thursday morning at the usual time – 8:30.  Mel

Oct 30th: One more female ready at the hatchery this morning. We’ll be doing checks every morning, for the foreseeable future and, with any luck and some more rain, there’ll be more fish at the weir. So – 8:30 at the hatchery will be a daily occurrence, if anyone wants to come up and join in. Mel

Oct 29th: One lonely female and one male in the trap – that rain didn’t do it’s magic, unfortunately. We harvested her and four other females, so the numbers are climbing, just slowly. Something in the region of 25,000 eggs (coho) to date. We’re going to take another look tomorrow, if anyone is free. 8:30 at the gate or the hatchery, if the gate’s open.

****** A reminder for everyone – AGM on the 9 th. Society dues are due this month, as well, so – bring money.  Mel

Oct 27th. We’re still waiting for enough rain to bring more coho up to the weir, so nothing’s changed on that front. There were three females at the hatchery ready for harvest this morning, so we now have approximately 15,000 coho eggs in the trays. We’ll be checking the rest again on Saturday morning, so come on out if you have an hour or two to spare, hopefully there will be a couple more ready. The gate will most likely be open for the woodcutters, failing that, there will be someone there at 8:30 a.m.  Mel

Oct 25th. Nothing new to report from the weir – still waiting for the next rains to bring  ( hopefully) the next run of coho. The fish in the hatchery are still playing coy, but it looks like there will be several ladies ready on Thursday, when we check them again. Usual time – 8:30 a.m.

I have a request from Tony for a copy of the video the Society had made several years ago, when we were still hoping to see action at the Falls. It was a commentary on the Sooke river and the possibilities for the future. The work was done by a company from Victoria. If anyone has a copy, could you let me know ? The copy I have is faulty and won’t play all the way through.  Mel

Oct. 23rd. Tuesday will be the next session for going through the fish at the hatchery. Usual 8:30 start. We took eggs from two more coho this morning. If conditions pick up, we may have new fish at the weir later in the week, but that’s dependant on water in the creek.  Mel

Oct. 19th. Good day, people; The coho were checked this morning, but none of the ladies was in the mood. So – next visit will be on Saturday morning. There should, with any luck, be one or two that are ready to donate to the cause. Usual time – 8:30 at the gate, or – if the gate is open, at the hatchery.

Oh yeah – I want to apologize to Tabitha, Duncan and Gray, the young people that worked so hard on the weekend, I thought those were your names, but didn’t want to stick my neck out until I checked, to make sure credit went where credit was due. Again, our thanks for the help, you made us old farts feel like we’d gotten our message out somewhere useful.  Mel

Oct. 18th. Evening, everybody, The first coho eggs are in the maternity ward. One female was ready this morning and gave her all. We’ll check the ladies again on Wednesday. There’s no sign of any new fish with the water down in the creek, so that’s not an issue for now, until we see more rain. So – 8:30 on Wednesday, if you have a couple of hours you need to fill. The gate on Butler’s road has been open during the week, but, if it isn’t, we’ll meet there. If it’s open – first one in, make the coffee and light the fire.  Mel

Oct. 15th. Evening, everybody; The trap & fence have been removed and stashed at the hatchery for another year. A large “well done” to everybody who put in a couple of busy hours at John’s. No-one went swimming, although there were quite a few damp people by the end, from fishing around in the river (and the water is getting VERY cold).

For those who worry about the next generation, if the three young people who came out and spent the whole morning in the river, working like crazy, are any indication – we don’t have a lot to worry about – the world should be in good hands. I was particularly impressed with the young lady, who’s name I have lost (ain’t age a terrible thing) but who was as wet as possible, by the time she finally crawled out. Well done, you three. Not much going on at the weir, the fish have either moved up or down, but there aren’t any in the pool at the moment. We’ll meet at the weir Monday morning at 8:30, just to check, then go up to check the fish in the  hatchery.  That’s all there is on the news front for the moment, hope to see you around the hatchery over the next while, for the egg-taking.  Mel

Oct. 14th. Hello, all; The coho have arrived at the weir with a vengeance. We released over a thousand today and moved most of what we need for broodstock to the hatchery. If you want to see a amazing sight, come out to the weir tomorrow morning and see a body of coho that’s incredible. We’ll be tending the trap for most of the day and going through the fish at the hatchery to get an idea of close/not close in the females. Another busy day, I suspect. Still planning to pull the gear from the river at John’s on Saturday. Meet at the High School at 8:30 a.m.  Mel

Oct. 13th. Evening, all; It’s time to haul the fence and trap out of the river.  We’re hoping the weatherman is telling the truth and the river should be down by Saturday, so that’s the day. We’ll meet at the High School at 8:30 and go at it, as long as conditions allow. If you can possibly give a hand for a couple of hours, it would be appreciated. It’s a fairly easy job, with enough people, so try to make some time, if you can.  Mel

Oct. 12th. Good morning, everybody; Well – we know the trap setup at John’s was put in with great expertise. It’s resisting the freshet quite nicely, so far. Isn’t doing much good as far as catching anything, but it’s staying in place real good !! We’ve called it a season at this point for Chinook harvest, unfortunately, since anything that was waiting at John’s is now busily looking for suitable nesting spots upriver. The magic number for this year is 116,000 eggs, rough count, much better than last year, but short of what we’d hoped for. Messing with Mother Nature has not been successful for us, again. Ah well – there’s always next year, right ?

We have Coho at the Demamiel weir this morning, just a few, but the first of the wave. The focus will be on that part of the annual harvest, for the next while. The weir and trap will have to be checked at least every morning, so we’ll call it 8:30 at the bridge, for now. That’s the bridge on Demamiel, by the trap. Harvest will depend on the fish and how far along they are. More on that as we go along. Water levels at the hatchery are back to normal for the time of year – no problems there. General meeting tonight, everybody – usual place and time. Hope to see you there.   Mel

Oct. 7th. Hey, Gang; We currently have Chinook eggs in 10 trays, for a rough total of 70,000 eggs. Still a few females waiting their turn and, hopefully, a fair number of Chinook in the pools at John’s that we’ll get a chance at when the rains come ( if ever !!) We’re meeting every morning at 8:30 to check the trap – week days at the Soccer Pitch and week-ends at the High School, if you want to come out for the fun. The trap will stay in the water for now, in the hopes of taking more Chinook, but we’ll be watching things closely and may holler at a moment’s notice if we need to get it out in a hurry for weather. Stay tuned on that one.

There will be a regular General meeting next week on Wednesday at the hall, usual time – 7 p.m. It’s early days yet, but we will be looking for afternoon feeders in the Spring, once the fry are in the troughs and feeding. Keep it in mind, and, if you can spare an afternoon, one day a week, let me know. Mel

Oct. 4th. Me, again; Let’s call the start day for this year as Sunday, Oct. 08. There will be someone there every day for quite a while, during the broodstock process, but if we get into the routine now, we should be ahead of the curve. If there’s a problem for anyone, let me know.  Mel

Oct. 4th. Hi, Group; I’ve attached the list for the morning checks. As usual, there will be a key at Jack McLeod’s house and the combination is the same. There will only be one key there for now, but there will be two once we start the feeding procedure in the Spring.

As in the past, the list will be in the office and if there is a question, call myself or Bill. If anyone has to be elsewhere for one of their days, just holler and we’ll find a fill-in.  Thanks for your help, everyone.  Mel

Oct. 3rd. Hey, People; Before the rains come in earnest, which will be sooner than later, we hope, we need to do some work at the Demamiel weir.The trap needs a little TLC and the aluminum gates need to be put in place. Anyone who’s been there for the chore knows what lovely things they are to deal with, so a few extra hands would be great. The plan is to check the trap at John’s on Tuesday morning, go up to the hatchery to check out the broodstock, then do the work at the weir. We’ll meet at the Soccer Pitch at 8:30 and kickstart the day from there. If you have a couple of hours that are in need of activity, we can help out with that. Hope to see you Tuesday.

We currently have about 20,000 eggs in the trays, so we’ve made a dent in the production plan. Pray for rain, not too much, just enough to tweek the fish.  Mel

Oct. 2nd. Hi, everybody; Great turnout today, thanks for all the bodies. The first seine, for those who couldn’t make it, was great practise, but not a great harvest. The second one – in the upper pool – was a bumper crop. We actually had to release 40-50 nice Chinook that we don’t have the water to handle at the  moment. Hopefully, they’ll show up in the trap in a few days, when we get some rain. At the moment, we have fairly good numbers on hand to work with.

The plan for tomorrow (Sunday) is to meet at the High School again and go to John’s to check the trap, pick up the trailer and the last of the gear, then go up to the hatchery and go through the fish there. We plan to move some of the fish in the pens at Young  Lake to the hatchery, since our water flow has improved a bit. If you want to see the harvesting process and have a free morning, meet us at the School at 8:30.Again, thanks for the great turnout and all the help. Mel


Sept. 27th. Good day; We now have seven Chinook in the hatchery. We are planning to do a seine for more on the weekend, Saturday, October 1st. If you can spare a morning on Friday, we will be rounding up all the gear and moving it to the river. Usual plan – meet at the gate on Butler road at 8:30. If you are free on Saturday, we will meet at the parking lot at the High School and try to keep the vehicles on John’s fields to a minimum. Meeting time – 8:30 . If you know anyone interested in seeing what we do and helping out, invite them along. It’s usually a fun morning and the more, the merrier.

Once we have eggs in the trays, it’s time for the daily checks to start, so – if you can spare an hour in the morning to go to the hatchery and do the daily checks, please let me know and I can come up with a schedule.  Mel

Sept. 27th. Hi, everyone; Now that  we’re seeing fish in the trap, we need to check it every morning. The plan is to meet at the Soccer Pitch parking lot at 8:30 and go from there. If you’re free and want to see what goes on and lend a hand, come on out.  Mel

Sept. 26th. Hi , Everyone; On a positive note – we have two Chinook in the trap, as of this morning. Look like females. Good size. We’re going to move them to the hatchery this afternoon, in case the river rises as quickly as it did last year.

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday), we’re planning to do a clean-up on the Heath trays and the filter box, in preparation for the next phase, egg take. If a few people have a morning to spare, we’ll meet at the gate on Butler’s road at 8:30 and start. A couple of people will go down and check the trap and take any fish that show up overnight, assuming we don’t get a huge freshet by then. Mel

Sept. 25th Hello everyone..... Here is the latest

Completed Items :-

  • Repair of the main water line into the Hatchery
  • Modifications to the fish fence panels and rails
  • removal of towers etc in lower hatchery tanks 8 through 11
  • Installation of anchor for fish fence main cable
  • Road base trucked in and graded on lower road at John Martin's
  • Installation of fish fence on the Sooke River
  • Inspection of dam at Bradford Swamp
  • General site maintenance at the hatchery

Not a bad couple of weeks. I want to say a big thank you to all of you that helped out over the past two weeks to get all this work done. It was great to see some new faces join us in our efforts

As some of you may know, our president , Mel Hull , has been away on a cross country tour for the past few weeks. He is now back safe and sound and will once again lead the charge moving forward.

So once again, thank you for your help and patience working with a short , aging ,  Vice President

See you all soon Cheers Robert Gamache ,  VP SSES

Sept. 21st. Let the Games begin............. Here is the latest confirmed work schedule

Friday Sept 23rd We will meet at the gate on Butler Main at  9 AM and go up to the hatchery and load up

all the bits and pieces for the fish fence and haul it down to John Martins. The fence panels and
railway irons are already down on the river bank.
Saturday Sept 24th We will meet at the parking lot at The high school and proceed from there by car pool
to John Martins and install the fish fence.
Fish are currently making there way into the lower reaches of the Sooke.
Water levels remain very low but we are supposed to get rain in varying
quantities over the next few days.
The only thing that may hold us up is if we have A VERY LARGE rainfall
that would not allow us to get in the river , but from the forecasts I can see that is not likely.

Keep an eye on your email for possible updates. If anyone has questions or concerns let me kno Thanks Robert

Sept. 17th. Good day fellow fish heads................
Another week gone by and some good things done Thank you to all who attended our first General meeting of the season.
All went well, Robert did not set off the alarm or burn the building to the ground on his first try at hosting a general meeting.
SSES would like to welcome potential new members that attended Tabitha Jones Azlyn Jones Duncan Morrison Gray Forbes
Good to see some new faces. During the week ,  Bill Pedneault , Glenn Bell and myself .........
Dam Beaver anyway ! , Still need to clear the grate on DeMamiel Spillway each day
That bit of Rain from the Day previous must have been more substantial in the hills
as the water flow was up considerably. Water flows in the Sooke were only up marginally.
Lent a hand down at Bohn's fabricating and got the balance of the modifications done to the fish fence panels and subsequently took them down to the river at John Martin's place, one less truck load to haul down there next Friday.
Met 4M Bobcat Service at John Martin's ( way too early in the morning )With a good sized Excavator and haul truck we fixed up portions of the road
down to the river and also installed our new cable anchor at the river to help secure the cable that holds the fish fence in place. We believe this turned out
very well.
The three of us will be at the Hatchery Monday Morning to do a few minor chores and some
planning for next weekend fish fence install. If anyone want to pitch in on Monday let me
know and I will advise more specifics of what might be needed.
Everything being equal , Weather  ,  Rain ,  ETC
We are still targeting Next Friday to Bring Components of the fish fence to the river
and install it in the river on Saturday.
Friday , We will meet at the gate on Butler Main at 9 AM
As far as Install day Saturday, we will try what we started last year by meeting at Edward Milne High School parking lot at 9 AM
and Car Pooling ( Truck Pool ? ) from there to John Martin's place in order to minimize the number of vehicles and commotion down at his place.
If anyone needs , Directions, More details , let me know We will confirm by Email mid week. I think that's it for now Cheers
Robert Gamache, VP SSES

Sept. 12th. Me again ........ On Sunday, a number of members got some great work done at the hatchery. We moved a bunch of road base around the site and ran a compacter over it. Hopefully it won't be as bone rattling experience on our site now that the pot holes have been filled. We also did a lot of weed trimming , pruning and chain saw work A big Thank you to ....

Andy, Bryan, Bill, Don, Les, Les and Tony. To those who could not attend WE HAD MILK AND COOKIES , SO THERE !
A couple of reminders General Meeting on the 14th, Sooke Town Hall , 7 pm
We are watching out for imminent rain to kick off our Brood Stock take. Still targeting install of the fish fence on the 23rd ( Muster of equipment ) and 24th to install in the river Details to follow as these projects get nearer. Cheers Robert Gamache

Sept. 8th. Howdy  Y '  all, After a productive executive meeting yesterday we have the following news flash. We will have a work party at the hatchery on Sunday Sept 11th to .......... Spread some gravel into pot holes and a few other spots on our road and parking area, Do a bit more weed trimming and site maintenance. If you have a weed trimmer and want to get it out of the house we will supply the fuel. Install the towers in tanks 8 through 11. Perhaps a bit of PREP work to look at organizing items for installation of the fish fence in a couple of weeks.

So if you have some time to spare on Sunday we will meet at the gate at 9 AM

It is our intention to install the fish Fence on the Sooke River Sept 24 th. We will need to move a number of items down to John Martin's place on Friday Sept 23rd. I believe Bryan Meads is out of town so we may be a bit short on trucks.

Please reply back to me if you will be able to attend on the Friday or Saturday as we  would like to ensure that we have the resources to make this happen. Details as to times and meeting places will be forthcoming.

F Y I , we are currently doing some modifications to the fence panels down at Bohns Fabricating in the hopes of making the installation and removal of the fish fence less of a chore. Next General meeting is at the Sooke community hall , Wednesday Sept 14th , 7 PM , be there or be square !

Thanks for your attention Robert Gamache , VP


August 31st. Hello all........ Yes there is a new Sheriff in town. Sadly he does not pay any higher than the other guy. Just a few quick notes

In the last few days, Jason has dumped some additional loads of road base up at the Hatchery, A small pile up where we installed the drain pipe, another small pile further down to be used for pot hole repair, a good pile on the road DOWN into the hatchery ( the road on the left ) and a bunch at the bottom where we made the area wider at the bottom, Yes it will take some work
to spread this around and possibly run a compactor on certain spots.

News forthcoming as to when we may undertake these chores, still a bit of trimming and clean up to do on the road as well etc...........

Bill , Glenn Bell and myself have moved components of the fish fence down to Bohn's Fabricating to have some upgrades ( we hope ) done to the set-up , hopefully this will help in the installation and more importantly the removal of the fish fence if we encounter high water.

Mel Hull is away for the next three weeks, so if anyone has questions, feel free to email me or call 250-642-1905.

There will be a directors meeting next week followed by our first general meeting of the season , Sept 14th , 7 PM at the Sooke Community Hall

I have just set up this list of recipients '' SSES MEMBERSHIP '' , If you can indulge me this first time around by sending me a reply that you received this email it will allow me to make sure I have entered all the email addresses correctly.

If you want to be removed from this list please let me know.

Fish are starting to show up in the harbour so we will be looking toward installing the fish fence near the third week of Sept
and of course taking brood stock first week of October, and the fun begins.........

Hope you are all having a great summer Cheers Robert Gamache, VP

August 18th. Afternoon, everybody; We had a busy day with Cristoph’s group, cleaning fish at their derby, on Saturday. Willy, Rob Gamache and me worked with three fellows from the Goldstream Hatchery. Cristoph, Dave and their committee put on a great day and we were the recipients of a cheque for a large sum of that stuff we all know and love – donated money for the hatchery.

We have to deal with the little dam builder again. He’s slowly raising his dam and we need to do some removal. If anyone can spare an hour on Tuesday morning (that’s Aug. 23) we’ll meet at the weir at 9 a.m. and go at it again. We’ve got a bunch of waders in Willy’s truck and tools, ready to go. If someone has a small rocket launcher, bring it along and we’ll saturation-bomb his house, if we can find it !! Mel

August 17th. Hi, everybody; First – thanks to everyone who worked so hard on Sunday, we got a huge amount of stuff done. A new culvert was put in near the gate to take the water off the road and the parking area at the foot of the hill was enlarged. That means more room for vehicles (hint-hint!) when we’re busy. Some additional road base will be brought in for pothole patching and the widened area by the gate will be gravelled. Bryan Meads went gonzo with his weed-whacker and improved visibility on the hill and Rob Gamache left the compound looking very tidy. Les Eve had to be restrained, finally, or he’d still be knocking down trees somewhere up Boneyard main. Good days work.

Everybody can plan the weekend for themselves, we’re not doing any work up there for awhile. It won’t be long before it’s time to go over the gear for Broodstock Harvest. There are some more wrinkles to iron out with the fence and trap. There’ll be a “think-tank” done to solve those problems at a later date.

The beaver is still doing battle with us at the weir – he (or they) are persistant, if nothing else. I figure we should sic Ken Wu on him, since he’s gnawing down a lot of trees to build his dam.

It appears that we made pretty much the same money this year, with the derby, as in past years, so all the effort was worthwhile. Huge thanks to the committee members and everyone who worked at the flats, another good one. Mel   

August 9th. The tentative schedule is for the machine to come in Saturday morning, to start work on Sunday morning. That is Aug. 14. We may do some work on Saturday, but that is dependent on the operator and I won’t know that until Friday, so – for the moment, we’re planning for Sunday. Meeting at the gate at 9 a.m.  Mel

August 8th.There seems to be some confusion regarding the work party times. We’re starting the work this weekend – Aug. 07 – Sunday and finishing on next Sunday – Aug. 14. Meeting at the gate at 9 a.m.  Mel

August 6th. Morning, All; I’m sending this out to try and get everyone straight about the work planned. The machine guy had intended to start the road work today, work tomorrow and finish the work next Sunday. However, we realized that access to the hatchery would be impossible on Sunday, due to the Triathalon event. Sooo – we’ll start NEXT Sunday, Aug. 14th.

Sorry for the confusion – the fella doing the work for us had a change of plans that made THIS weekend a better one for him, until the Triathalon changed his new plan. We’re still planning to be at the weir on Monday morning, to do the dam removal at the grate.  Mel

August 5th. If I’m reading the map and instructions right – we’re royally screwed for access on Sunday. Guess that puts paid to the work party !  We’ll have to go for the fo;;owing weekend and try to get as much done as we can.  Mel

August 4th. Me, again; For some reason, my message about  the weir didn’t go out to everybody. We’re planning to dig out the beaver’s handiwork on Monday at 9 a.m., before it becomes any worse. If you have an hour to spare, a few extra hands would be great. Mel


July 19th Morning, all; We are running rather short of water for the hatchery and we’re going to evict our last tenants next week. Wednesday will be the day we put them on the street, so, if a couple of people feel like playing the “evil slumlord” , we’ll meet at the gate at 8:30 and do the deed. It shouldn’t take long, one trip to the upper Sooke.

We’ll probably take a minute and get the tank out of the truck and load up some derby stuff, at the same time. Mel

July 10th. Morning, All; The society has been officially informed of the position of DFO regarding the status of Bill James Dam. We discussed the issue at the last general meeting, but, since it wasn’t well attended and a decision has to be made quickly, I’m going to give everyone a chance to give an opinion.

DFO has made their position very clear – they intend to decommission the dam starting at the end of July. They have a multitude of reasons why they feel the structure is unnecessary, and a lengthy meeting with three representatives served no real purpose towards changing their minds.

Currently, there are several outstanding requirements that need to be addressed, in order to save the structure. The main issues are as follows:

A service road that can handle vehicle traffic for emergency purposes must be built and maintained. Estimated cost would be 10-20 thousand dollars.

A Dam Safety Assessment would have to be done by a qualified engineer – estimated cost starts at 50 thousand dollars.

Major reconstruction is needed to install an approved control valve to replace the current one that no longer meets Dam Safety Regs.- estimated cost – 50-60 thousand dollars.

Our Society would have to assume total responsibility for the structure, all licenses related to same and all liability for any damages resulting from a failure (concerning downstream environmental and private property damages)

Our Society  would have to cover all costs listed above and incurred in future in regards to maintenance to dam and road.

As can be seen, this is an estimated cost of 100 thousand dollars + and would (or could) be substantially higher, once work was started

The society would have to approach the province, the logging company and DFO to look at transfer of ownership and access rights to begin the process.

As current president of the Society, I cannot, in good faith, consider the option of taking over control and ownership of the Dam. The initial costs would beggar the Society, even should they cost the estimated figures and not escalate during the process. I honestly feel that DFO is so committed to the decommissioning of this system that, in all probability, we would be fighting an on-going obstructive process from DFO in any case. Spending a small fortune for an assessment, only to have the resulting report be negative, would be a waste of resources and see the DFO preferred result anyway.  

My current position, and the one chosen by the members present at the last meeting, is that we only have one viable option and that is to officially inform DFO by end July that we are not in a position to assume ownership and responsibility for the Bill James Dam. If you have an opinion regarding the issue, please pass it along and I’ll keep you informed of what happens. I’ll hold off notification until July 20th. Mel

July 9th. Hi, Everybody; Still getting used to the quiet at the hatchery, with most of the water shut off. Eerie, to say the least. We’re still feeding the steelhead and they’re doing well. Might even make it to clippable size, some of them, anyway.

The re-wiring project is on track – the new lights are on order and the work should start in the next couple of weeks. We’ll be doing some upgrades to the parking area and driveway over the next month, mostly enlarging the parking and improving drainage on the road.

We’re hoping to get the intake for the emergency water system installed in the creek in August, if the paperwork gets through the maze. Gotta love the gov’t  paper work !!!

We’ve received a letter from DFO in regards to the Bill James Dam and they don’t mince words. Unless we’re prepared to assume total responsibility and cost approaching $100,000.00 for initial maintenance and upgrades, the dam is toast. Not very helpful of them !

And finally – Derby time is at hand. Any volunteers to help at the weigh-in station or the Flats would be welcomed with open arms. Rob Gamache is looking after keeping things on track for the two days and would like to have a few names. His e-mail is : robg@propeltek.com, so fire him a note, if you can help out.

 Again – my thanks to all the feeders who spent so much time doing their thing, and also the one’s who are still doing it for the steelhead. This years fry were in great shape and should make us proud in three years.  Mel


JUNE 18th. Good Afternoon, all; The fry have been released and are happily swimming about in the River. My thanks to everyone for another successful season. The Derby is getting close and if you can offer some time at either the Weigh-in Station or the Flats, Rob Gamache is putting together a roster of chores and volunteers. You can e-mail him at: robg@propeltek.com and sign up. There are some plans for summer work and improvements at the Hatchery, but it won’t be for a while. I’m not going to give any dates, that’ll just let you come up with alternate plans, so I’ll just spring them on you and trap everybody. I won’t be here, of course, but I’ll put somebody in charge. Just kidding, but it IS a thought. A camping trip – yeah – that’s the ticket ! Have a good summer (assuming one is coming !!) and see you at the Derby.  Mel

JUNE 18th. Hi, everybody; The last of the little ones were released this morning. The only fry left are the steelhead, and we`ll hold them as long as the water holds out. It will mean a morning trip to refill the feeders and do a quick clean.

 Jack and Gerry – It`s not really worth wasting a morning for you guys to come all the way out here – I`ll look after Tuesday morning for you. Thanks for your time all winter. If anyone else has better use for their time, just let me know and we`ll deal with it. A huge thanks to all of you for a lot of effort. Have a good summer (assuming there`s one coming !!) and we`ll see you in the fall. Or at the Derby.  Mel

JUNE 2nd. Hey, everybody; The preference of the guys at the hatchery today was to release the smolts on Saturday and leave the net to dry overnight, then haul everything back to the hatchery on Sunday morning. So – we’ll need a few hands on Saturday to haul the net onto the float, but the biggest job will be taking it all apart and loading on Sunday.

We will be thinning twice a week from now on, as well. Saturday morning will be the first day, then Thursday. So, if you’ve missed the trips because of work, you can see what it’s all about on Saturday mornings. Hope to see you there.  Mel

JUNE 2nd. Morning, everyone; Just a couple of things on the go – First – the  Sea-pen. We’ll be releasing the little fellas on Saturday evening, June 11th. We’ll  meet at the wharf at 6 p.m. and do the deed. The plan is to get everything back to the hatchery that day, so as many hands as possible will make it a lot easier.

The general meeting on June 15th. will be the last one for the summer. We’ll start up again in September, to start the Fall process again, getting ready for broodstock. There will be a couple of work parties over the summer months, I’ll let everyone know about times.  Mel


MAY 30th. Good Afternoon, all; We had a very successful weekend at the clipping bench. 38, 600 Coho fry went through the spa and had some serious body work done. Who knew fish were that vain, having makeovers at their age !

A huge thanks to Dave and Cristoph for the assistance of all their friends. It would have been impossible to accomplish as much without their help. But – no more media – yeeech!  Kidding, really, its always good to get the story out there. And – shame on you, Willy – you disobeyed a direct order from your president to get in front of the camera – shameful !

Anyway – the weather was kind, well – most of the time – and nobody died from the cooking (always a good thing) so it was a good two days. A big thanks to all the members who turned out. Oh yeah – a special thanks to Dr. Death aka: Dr. Kevorkian Glaum, and his faithful sidekick, Igor Bryan Meads, for all those sleepy little surgical subjects. Trust me, it ain’t hard to up the dose and see them all go belly-up and give you a cardiac event. Nice work, guys.

Next Thursday – more thinning and releases, if you have a couple of hours and want to see some great country.  Mel

MAY 27th. Afternoon, everybody; I know you all have the weekend all marked on your calendars for the clipping, right ? Right ?? Great. We have also been asked to have our display and stuff at the arena (actually – the pool part) on Sunday, June 5th. for a couple of hours. Its an event  about salmon. I can’t be there for it, another commitment that day, so I’m looking for a couple of people to take a couple of tables and the display board down to the arena and talk to visitors that day. We’ll sort out some pamphlets and stuff to go on the table, maybe a few shirts for sale, as well. Help me out here, people. Fire me your names and I’ll set it up.

Another 28,000 fry were released today and the sea-pen smolts are doing well. If anyone wants to visit the sea-pen, feel free, and toss a few scoops of food while you’re there. The more food, the bigger the fish, when we release them.  MelMAY 22nd. Hello. All; First – for the Feeders – our phone is back in service. There was a corrosion problem waaaaay down the line, by Demamiel. The tech wasn’t thrilled at the walk, but – then – neither was I ! Anyway, you can phone for your pizza next week.Next – for Jack & Gerry – stop whining, I restocked the Pop for you. Geez, run out of one thing and waa, waa, waa. I know,it’s for the kids on Tuesday. Just kidding. We’ll be stocking up on food for the Clipping session, as well, during the week, for whoever is using the Dogs and Burgers. Its good to see that stuff getting used, ‘cause frozen, wizened old buns are not the best looking things. And no remarks about mine – they ain’t all that old ! One more tray of steelhead ponded – they’re growing nicely, just slowly.  Kinda doubtful if we’ll get them big enough to clip, but we’ll have to see how water holds up.

Which brings up the Coho clipping – next weekend, Saturday and Sunday. I’d really like to see a good turnout, this year. We should, at least, have as many members as the great crowd Dave and Cristoph always muster. If you can spare one day, or – preferably – two, it would be appreciated. We’ll aim to gather around 8:30 and get organized. Hey – free food and great conversation – as good as it gets, right ? Remember – next weekend – don’t make me send the goon squad after you all – we know where you live.  MelMAY 10th. Morning, everybody;

I just want to remind everybody about the lock-box at Jack’s. Please be sure the box is LATCHED before you scramble the combination, when you’re dropping off the key. The door’s been found open a couple of times and that kinda wrecks the whole principle of the box. The other thing to remember is to return the key. That’s also happened a couple of times. If we lose keys – two things happen. One – I have to request a new one. Two – we have to shell out $500 for the replacement. Timber West is not thrilled to know that one of their keys is floating around loose, as you can understand and they could just as easily tell us they want their keys back and let us hang in the wind. It’s a relatively important issue and everybody needs to treat it that way.  Thanks - Mel

MAY 9th. Me, again; Just in case anybody didn’t get the gist of my earlier note – if anyone is free on Thursday – it would be great to have a couple of extra hands for the thinning work. I noticed that I didn’t actually extend the invite the first time, so consider yourselves invited.  The main gate has been open during the day, for the last while, so just come on in.  Usual time – 8:45 – 9 a.m.  Mel

Morning, everybody; We are going to be pushing a bunch of the little ones out of the nest this week, on Thursday. Time to send them to the prom. There are nine tanks & troughs that have to be thinned. Not a lot, just a couple of buckets from each. It will be a weekly thing, from this week on, so keep that in mind. I’ll put out a notice a few days in advance, hopefully on each Monday, if the tiring gray cells manage to process the data in time.

Thanks to everybody that showed up at the Rotary fair and helped out. It was a good day, lots of interest. I wish I’d known what an attractor baby fish were, when I was a lot younger – might have worked on the dating scene – who knew ? Sales were rather surprising, hats and t-shirts sold better than any other fair. Thanks for the doughnuts, Amy, my sagging cholesterol level is safe once more !

Two quick reminders – Derby meeting at Gerry’s tomorrow night and a General meeting on Wednesday – same old, same old.  Mel

MAY 5th. Hey, everybody; I had a call from Bruce Petrie this morning – he fed the fry and noticed a few morts about ten minutes later. I went down and fed, but didn’t see any fatalities from the feeding. Might have been a one-off thing or something in the harbour – but keep an eye onthe pen for a few minutes after you feed. If you see anything out of whack, let me know.  Mel

MAY 4th. Evening, all; As most, if not all, of you are aware, the Chinook are in the sea-pen at the gov’t wharf. For the next few days, they should be fed about half the red bucket of food in the a.m. and p.m. Once they start feeding well, we’ll up the amount. Thanks - Mel

MAY 2nd. Morning, everyone; We’re going to be clipping coho on the weekend of May 28th & 29th. The target is 40,000 over the two days, so, hopefully a number of you can give us a day, at least. Dave and Cristoph have offered their help again this year, so we need to have lots of members there, to show them we are as dedicated as they were last year. Put it on the calendar and plan to come out. Mel

MAY 2011

April 28th. Morning, everyone; Quick reminder – we’ll need as many hands as possible on Saturday morning to set up the sea-pen. We’ll meet at the gate at 8:45 and load up the trucks, then off to the gov’t wharf. If Fred’s at the gate, just head in to the hatchery.  Mel

April 28th. Hey, everybody;The Chinook from Nitinat will be arriving on Monday, due to a scheduling conflict with other deliveries. It should be around noon, so we’ll plan on being at the wharf to get everything set around 11 a.m. Come on out for the event, if you’re free.  Mel.

April 22nd. Morning, all. We will be installing the Sea-pen on Saturday, April 30th. This year. The Chinook fry are tentatively planned for the 3rd. of May. Pretty much everything is ready to go and we just need to load up on Saturday morning and haul the gear to the wharf. The assembly is fairly involved and the more hands we get, the faster it will go.

Sooo – please, if you have a couple of hours you can spare, we’ll meet at the gate on Butler main at 8:45 and go from there.

The last of the Coho are now ponded and thinning has started with the Chinook, as they grow. The Steelhead are doing well and the first eggs are hatching, as we speak. Mel

April 16th. Afternoon, All; We have a tentative date for the sea-pen fry arrival – May 04th. Sooo – on Thursday, Apr. 21st, we’ll have a work party in the morning, with a couple of targets. First – there’ll be a couple of Coho trays to pond and second – we’ll go over the sea-pen gear to make sure everything’s up to snuff. Stanchions, connectors, weights and all the stuff we need (plus the stuff we’ll probably forget, as usual !!) I have to touch base with Linda at the wharf to set up a day, and I’m hoping that will be the weekend of April 30/May 1st. More on all that later.

If we have a couple of extra moments on Thursday, we may go through the Rotary stuff, just to get a head start on that. There may be a tray of steelhead ready for shocking that day, as well. 

The fry are doing well, feeding like a teenager at a pizza place. We’ve trapped a very P/O’d Siamese cat, so far, but there is a mink sniffing around. So he’s next, I hope.  Mel.

April 15th. Morning, everyone, there won’t be a ponding party this weekend, since the next trays are a bit behind, with the cold weather. Everybody can relax and watch the hockey game.  We may just do the few trays left with the morning crews, since it’ll only be one or two trays at a time, over the next week. If it changes, I’ll let you know. For anyone who didn’t make the meeting and is interested, we’ll be doing the set-up at the arena for the Rotary Auction on Friday, May 6. The plan is to meet at the gate at 1 p.m., pick up what we need and go to the A&W for a coffee and lunch. The arena is open for set-up at 2 p.m. and we need to get the tank up and running, before we bring fry down, so it takes a while. If you can lend a hand, let me know, so I can figure out who’s doing what, as much as possible. Thanks.  Mel.

April 8th. Morning; We’ll be checking the steelhead tomorrow morning and ponding a couple of coho trays. There may be a steelhead tray ready to shock as well. General meeting on Wednesday – usual time and place. Derby committee meeting on Tuesday at Gerry’s at 7 p.m.   Mel

April 1st. Morning, All; My apologies for this last-minute note, but sometimes the memory has it’s lapses, these days. We’re going to check the steelhead tomorrow morning and most likely pond some Coho trays. If you have an hour to spare, come on out for coffee and cookies.  Mel.


March 28th. Morning, all; Got your attention didn’t it.  Just a note to let anyone interested know that we’re going to check the steelhead on Wednesday morning. With any luck, at least one of the ladies will have motherhood on her mind. There may be a tray or two of coho ready, as well. Same old at the gate. 8:45, for those not up on the “same old”.

Rob Gamache’s idea about the plan to warm the water in the Inc. Rm. seems to be working a treat. The first tray of steelhead eggs are running about half the time span as usual. Looks as though they like the hot tub idea as much as everybody else.  Mel

March 21st. Morning, Feeders; Here’s the list for this year – thank you all for your time. There are no fry in the lower tanks yet – everything went in the troughs. As they grow and we start thinning, we’ll load up the lower tanks.

There are still some steelhead broodstock in the round tanks and if you could check them every day, it would be a help. Hopefully they’ll be ready for harvest before too much longer. Mel

March 19th. Greetings, All; First and foremost - thanks to everybody who showed up this morning - it made short, easy work of the ponding. We're down to a few trays of Coho and our rather meager Sooke Chinook trays.

The feeding will start tomorrow (Sunday) with very light feedings for a few days, until the fry figure out just what the heck the stuff floating past them is. Once they get the idea of drive-through food, we'll bump the amount up slowly until they become typical junk-food teenagers.

We harvested one more steelhead female and she was very productive - roughly 2500-3000 eggs - so we're getting there, slowly, but we're getting there.

The plan at the moment is to pond a few trays next Saturday and check the steelhead at the same time.  That pretty much covers current events, so - hope to see you next weekend.  Mel

March 15th. Hi, All; This note is mainly for the Monday & Tuesday morning feeders. The group from the Options for Living place will be coming on Tuesday, after all. They have re-arranged things so they won’t miss Jack And Gerry. They will, however, be coming a bit later – closer to 11 a.m.

There will be food in one of the white totes under the desk, same as last year, and it’ll be marked. As always, go light for the first while and increase the food as they start eating. Mel

March 10th. Hi, Everybody; First – thanks for putting your hands up, once again. We thank you and the fry thank you.

We’ll start the feeding schedule on Sunday, March 20th. As usual, for the first week or so, the feeding will be very light, while they transition to outside food sources. A small pinch or two will be enough to give them the smell and taste, then larger amounts as they turn into the little pirhanas they grow to be.

Last year was a really good year for wasted food, you got the amounts pretty well perfect and there was almost no waste. As I’m sure you all noticed in the mornings, cleaning was a simple job compared to other years. The biggest trick is to keep an eye on what doesn’t get eaten – if a lot of food starts to show up on the bottom of the tank/trough – adjust accordingly. If there are any questions, just give either Willy or me a shout.  Mel

March 9th. Hi, Everyone; Finally, the little ones are ready to leave the nest. It’s been like trying to get a teenager away from his I-phone. We’ll be ponding the first coho fry next Wednesday, March 16. It looks like three or four trays will be ready.

The following Saturday, we’ll be ponding the majority, if not all, of the Chinook. That will be the 19th. We’re looking at a lot of trays that day, so the more people, the better. What could be better, a morning of ponding, followed by another gourmet lunch of burgers and dogs. Come out if you can.

This Saturday will be another steelhead check. Due to an afternoon commitment, we’ll be getting through them as quick as possible, so it should be brief.

Hope to see a lot of you at the meeting tonight. There are still a couple of spots open for the feeding crew. Saturday afternoon and Monday afternoon. Mel

March 5th.. Evening, everybody; The  steelhead were checked today with no luck. Definitely getting closer, but, typical women, they’re playing it coy. Maybe, but not just now. Kidding, ladies, just kidding, no bricks through my windows, please ! The water temp is slowly going up and that’s what  will make things work.

Much the same story with the fry – temperature is slowing them down as well. We’ll check mid-week and, hopefully have better news. The ones that were ponded last weekend are doing well.

We have our regular meeting this week, Wednesday evening at 7 p.m., usual spot and a Derby meeting on Tuesday, if anyone would like to see what’s going on with the preparations. That meeting’s at Gerry Glaum’s at 7,as well. Hope to see you all at one or the other.  Mel

March 2nd. Morning, All; We have our usual booth for the Rotary Club auction in the Spring, so keep it in mind. Volunteers will be appreciated for set-up, tear-down and minding the store that day. More later.

Saturday will be a steelhead checking day, again. Hopefully the water will have warmed up past the “damn, that’s cold !” stage, but probably not by much. It’s definitely slowing everything down, but we have to hope.

We’ll be looking at the Chinook, as well, with an eye to choosing a day for ponding later in the week. Again – the ATU’s are the sticking point. We need about 50 – 60 ATU’s for the fry to be ready, but they ain’t exactly piling up at a great rate. Temps of 0.7 kinda slow it down. It is warming up, but still a long way from sun-tanning time. Once we can start ponding, it will most likely be a fairly busy time, since the Chinook will all be ready at the same time and the Coho won’t be far behind.

Still a couple of afternoons free for feeding, if anyone has a few hours to run the drive-through. Open times are : Sunday A.M., Monday P.M., Friday P.M., and Saturday P.M. If you’re reading this, Gary G., I’ve slotted you in for Thursday P.M., let me know if that works for you. Thanks to everybody who’s filled a slot.  Mel.


February 27th. Morning, All; We have our first fry in the troughs. The Chinook fry that were in the plastic tube are now in Trough 5A and doing nicely. They seem to be a few days ahead of their siblings in the Heath trays, maybe due to the heat lamp near them. They won’t be needing much in the way of food for a while, but, if you’re up there to do water checks, there’s a bowl in the freezer with really fine-grain food. If you want to give them a TINY pinch of food, it’ll give them a taste in the water to think about. Sorta like walking past a bakery and sucking up the smell

The steelhead are still holding out – not too surprising, since the water temp. was 0.7 yesterday. Damned if I’d want to get romanced when it’s that cold – save it for a warmer day. I’ll put out the word when we’re going to harass them again.

The rest of the fry are about 50 ATU’s from ponding, at least, the Chinook fry, so, until it warms up a tad, it’ll be a while. If anyone can do an afternoon feeding, Tuesday & Wednesday are the only ones booked, so far. Thousands of hungry fry are looking for a friend, so think about it. Mel

February 24th. Good Morning from the snow-capped hill; We plan to do a steelhead check on Saturday morning, but access to the hatchery is a bit of an issue. Boy – there’s news !! Anyway, the plan is to meet at the power-line on Young Lake road and pile in whatever 4X4’s are there. I know my truck would have as much chance as getting in to the hatchery as my chances of a hot date with Angelina Jolie.  We’ll plan to gather at the crossroads around 8:45 and go from there. Don’t feel bad if you’d rather put your feet up at the fire, but come out if you can.  Mel

February 23rd. Morning; A quick note before I leave for Arizona !! If anyone was headed for the hatchery – don’t. We’ll pass on the steelhead check, not a good day for trying to get in there. Build a snowman or something. I’m not even going to try to get off the mountain. See you in the Spring !! Mel

February 19th. Greetings; First – a huge thanks to everybody who made it to the work party today. Great turnout and a huge amount of work accomplished. The hatchery looks all spiffy and tidy for spring. All the troughs are spruced up and ready for the fry and the grounds haven’t looked this good since the fall. The info sign was put up at the weir and looks great. Les and Rob fed the horde and everybody left on a high note.

The ponding may be a tad late, with the colder temperatures we’re seeing. Looks like mid-week, first week of March, at the earliest, unless it warms up a whole bunch. We will check the steelhead on Wednesday,again. Usual time at the gate, 8:30 – 9 a.m. Again, thanks, everyone, it was a productive (and, for this winter, a beautiful) day.  Mel

February 15th. Hi, Everybody; Just a reminder that we’re having a work party on Saturday, Feb. 19, to get the tanks and troughs ready for fry. The ponding will most likely be the following weekend or so. Both weekends will be fairly busy, so anyone who can spare some time will be very welcome. Free food – that’s always a good bribe !

Along the same lines – we’re close to needing feeders again. The mornings are filled, but anyone who can do an afternoon, please wave your hand in the air. Afternoons are rather simple, just feeding. The cleaning is usually done by shift change, and this year it will be simplified, since we don’t have as many Chinook on hand, about half the normal number, sadly. Let me know if you can do one afternoon a week.  Mel

February 10th. Morning, everyone; There’s going to be a work party on Saturday, Feb. 19. We’re getting close to ponding fry and all the tanks and troughs need to be cleaned out and set up. Weather permitting, we may do some burning, as well, and general cleanup. If enough people show up, it would be nice to get the info sign up at the Demamiel weir, if it’s a decent day.

There’s been a good response, so far, on the Derby front, from sponsors. To be honest, it would be a treat if we got as good a response from our members. There are a couple of new faces at the meetings, which is nice, but a few more would take some of the work off the “old faithfuls”.

The first steelhead eggs were harvested on Wednesday from one female. We’ll be doing another check next Wednesday, if anyone wants to see what’s involved in the process. Butler’s gate at 8:45 a.m.  Mel

February 1st. Morning, all; First – a reminder that there will be a general meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 09 – usual place and time. We will be going through the steelhead on the same day, in the morning. Meet at the gate around 8:45, as usual.

There will be a Derby Committee meeting at Gerry’s on Feb. 08, 7 p.m. and I hope to see some new faces on hand. It would be nice to pass some of the chores to new people and ease the load on the old faithful ones.   Mel

FEBRUARYJanuary 27th. - Morning, gang; We’ll be going through the steelhead on Saturday to see where they are as far as being ready. Usual time at the gate – 8:45 – if you have an hour to kill. Mel

Morning, everyone; We’ll be checking the steelhead at the hatchery on Wednesday morning, to see where the females are for ripening. If anyone is interested, meet at the gate around 8:45 in the morning. Should only take an hour, unless one is ready, by luck.  Mel

A crew from the Charter’s Creek project are going to be at the hatchery on Wednesday morning to pick up some pipe we’re donating to their work. If we could get a couple of people to lend a hand to deal with the loading, it would be great. If you’re free and available, it would be appreciated.  Mel

January 8th. - Morning, everyone; Finally – the last trays were shocked on Friday morning. The Chinook eggs are hatching quite happily and looking good. The new incubation tube is full of little swimmers, although the tubes, at this point, seem like a poor relation to the trays, as far as efficiency goes. We’ll have to wait for the entire process to evolve before we can make a final statement, but I suspect we won’t be seeing any major changes. They are interesting, from the visibility point of view.

Ponding is weeks away, so it’s just a case of morning checks for now. As  we get closer to ponding, we’ll have to do a big clean-up in the tanks and troughs. The call will go out on the work-party.General meeting, this week, same old – same old, and the first meeting of the Derby group is set for Tuesday at Gerry Glaum’s, 7 p.m.  It would be a treat to see a couple of new faces around the table to help out the old faithful bunch. Maureen spends hours baking up a storm, so the goodies are always great. They need to buy some CAFFIENE bearing coffee, though !! Hard to keep the burn going without the jolt.

A big thank-you to the people who spent so many hours with cold hands around the table, picking away.   Mel

January 5th. - Greetings; We will be doing a few more trays on Friday, if anyone would like to lend a hand. Usual time at the gate – 8:30’ish.  Mel

January 3rd. - Gerry Glaum has agreed to open his home to us once again for the first meeting of the yearly derby crew. The meeting will be on Tuesday, January 11 at 7 p.m. New faces are always very welcome. Hell, bring the whole body along, we’re pretty easy to get along with. Seriously, if you can offer a hand, it would be great. If you can come out and need directions, let me know and I’ll try to get you there without too many detours.  MelJanuary 2nd. - Hey, everyone; Haven’t passed any news along since last year – figured it was time.  We’re down to about three trays of coho eggs to shock, but, with temperatures the way they are at the moment, it looks like late in the week for that chore. I’ll pass along plans when it gets closer. We currently have three Steelhead at the hatchery, hoping for more as the month passes, of course.

The new sign for the weir at Demamiel is pretty well ready to go up. A warmer weather chore, I think. I’d like to thank all the die-hards that have been spending so much time at shocking and picking. We’ve missed Bryan, lately, but he’s been using a little thing like the Flu to spend more time at home where it’s warmer. What a wuss !! I’m sure his enthusiasm will go up with the temperature. Kidding, Bryan, I suspect you probably did us all a favor, sharing the germ with just Mike, Molly and Sally. Hope you feel better soon, Dude. We will be gathering at Gerry G’s later in the month to kick off the Derby for this year. If you have some time to offer, it would be great to see some new faces in the group. I’ll pass along the date in a few days.

First general meeting on January 12 at the Hall. Put it on your calendar and come on out. Hope the new year is off to a good start for everyone.  Mel


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