A family releases Coho Smolt Salmon at last year's Smoltfest event.

Fifth annual Smoltfest at Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery on May 26

The Prince Rupert Salmonid Enhancement Society will be holding the fifth annual Smoltfest on Saturday, May 26 starting at 4 p.m.

The Prince Rupert Salmonid Enhancement Society will be holding the fifth annual Smoltfest on Saturday, May 26 starting at 4 p.m., a family event where members of the community help with the release of nearly 6,000 Coho Smolt Salmon.

At Smoltfest, people will take smolt in a bucket (buckets should be brought from home) and release them into the Oldfield Creek, where they will spend a short amount of time in before starting their journey to the ocean. If everything goes right, the smolt will return in two or three years to spawn.

Approximately 5,700 Coho Smolt Salmon will be released at the Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery during the event.

On top of the smolt releases, there will be fun events such as fish tossing, smolt races, educational booths, arts and crafts, as well as a delicious barbeque.

Entrance will be by donation, with all funds raised going towards the hatchery and the education center that is currently being developed at the hatchery. The center will be one of the few centers of its kind in British Columbia and will be beneficial in assisting schools in the district that participate in the “Stream to Sea” program that aims to teach children about the life cycle of salmon, as well as their importance to the way of life in the north.

The Prince Rupert Salmonid Enhancement Society is a non-profit organization that started Smoltfest five years ago to help raise awareness and get the community involved with the Oldfield Hatchery.

The society is always in need of volunteers for the hatchery. Anyone interested in donating his or her time is encouraged to call the hatchery at 250-624-5127.

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