Kids who contributed to releasing smolt put their names on cut-out fish cards and place them on the Oldfield’s entrance (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

7200 smolt released this year into the Oldfield Creek

11th annual Smolt Festival at the Oldfield Creek Hatchery

The 11th annual Smolt Festival was held at the Oldfield Creek Hatchery on May 4 and families from Prince Rupert headed to the creek to release smolt with the hope that one day they will return.

The annual fundraising event gives Rupertites the opportunity to learn about the life-cycle of salmon and then release small coho smolt into the Oldfield Creek.

READ MORE: VIDEO and STORY: Juveniles releasing juvenile… salmon

Mike McDowall, a volunteer at the Oldfield Creek Hatchery, said this is the best part of his year, adding there are lots of activities for the family to participate in.

Tina Cann, also a volunteer at the event, manned the salmon print art stand.

“It takes four years for them to come back this big and the kids learned how to tell the difference between male and female coho,” Cann said.

READ MORE: Smolt Festival releases thousands of smolts into Hays Creek

Lorelle Sunduk is the Vice President of the Prince Rupert Salmonid Enhancement Society and was at the event and said that this year, around 7200 coho smolt would be released into the creek.

“This is the 11th year running for the festival and we want to thank all the volunteers for making the event possible, ” Sunduk said.

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Heidi Richardson, a volunteer for the day at the Oldfield Creek Hatchery Smolt Festival, May 4 (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

Families had the opportunity to release coho salmon into Oldfield Creek (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

Lorelle Sunduk, Mari Mackwood and Nicholas Mackwood just released their smolt at the Smolt Festival (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

Irie, Nicole, Earth and Nicolas Brown just released their smolt at the Smolt Festival (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

Const. Dawson and McCormick of the Prince Rupert RCMP took part in the festival (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

Franz Weiland mans the ring toss, salmon catch stand at the Smolt Festival (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

Rene Samels and Jake Sullivan at the salmon print art stand at the Smolt Festival (Gareth Millroy | The Northern View)

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