At the Oldfield Fish Hatchery, October will bring the broodstock season and a new manager for the Prince Rupert Salmonid Enhancement Society (PRSES), Femi Osundare.
“That’s when we collect the fish from the streams, collect the eggs, which we hold over the winter in our own facility. This is also the fish that we collect and bring out to all the schools as well,” said Mike McDowall, the society treasurer and a teacher in School District 52.
First, PRSES will be hosting their annual general meeting on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the hatchery. The new manager will be there. Osundare, who recently graduated from Vancouver Island University’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Program, will take over his role in October. All are welcome to join, and McDowall hopes it will help people who are interested in getting involved know more about the projects the society has underway.
“You have the chance to crawl into a creek, do some fishing, hook into some fish, bring them back to shore,” he said. “Learn a little more about some of the positive things we’re doing along the coast and some of the challenges that we’re facing as well.”
There are two big projects coming up. The fish rearing tanks are currently kept outside, and the society wants to design a way to close the area in and modernize it. They’ll also need to raise money to fund the project, and look for support from the community. Of course, the society is always looking for people to help around the hatchery by cleaning, capturing fish and who want to learn more about what happens at a hatchery.
“We find that a lot of people have some kind of connection to salmon, given it’s a keystone species, but they don’t really know how to help out and would like to become more involved in some way,” McDowall said. “This is a way our community helps enhance some of the streams, whether it’s cleaning it up, putting more fish into different systems, but it’s also a neat chance to get out to some of the different areas.”