A New Generation…

A new generation of salmonids begins……………………………….

Today (11/4/2015), we had our DFO gurus Sandie Hollick-Kenyon and Scott Ducharme on site at the hatchery to help start our Chum egg incubation from the 2015 brood year.  But it was only a start – the story goes like this………………………..

Sandie (our DFO Community Advisor) called earlier in the week and said that the Alouette River run of Chum was starting to slow.  Not a good sign when it wasn’t until next Saturday (11/7) that Noons was going out there to get all our Chum broodstock!  So Sandie suggested that as she was heading out there with another group on Wednesday (11/4), she would grab a bunch of eggs to bring back to Noons in case we were short the following Saturday.  Good plan!!

So this afternoon at around 2pm, both Sandie and Scott showed up at Noons Creek with an estimated 27,500 Chum eggs (circa 11 fish @ 2500 eggs per fish) and 12 bags of milt (male sperm) to start the fertilisation and incubation process.

The eggs were divided evenly into 12 sterilised plastic bowls (arranged in a long row), and into each approx. 75% of each bag of milt was emptied. The bag of milt was then passed along to the bowl to the right and the rest emptied into that one.  This is done so that each female’s eggs are fertilised by more than one male…….it helps to strengthen the gene pools.

After fertilisation, the eggs are then sterilised in ‘ovadine’ solution to kill any impurities or bacteria on the eggs for 10 minutes. Then they are placed in ‘heath trays’ and carefully placed in our stacks in the incubation room.  They will now stay undisturbed (with fresh creek water running over them constantly) until the eggs develop the ‘eyed’ stage – when you can see the little black dot on the eggs that is the fish’s eye.

What happens after that is another story……………….you’ll have to wait until the next exciting episode of ‘Noons Creek Nannies‘!

Many thanks to both Sandie and Scott – and Noons volunteers Aude BertoncelloDave Bennie and Doug Calder for helping out today!

And special thanks to Noons stalwart Eric Olsen for getting everything ready earlier this morning in preparation for the whole exercise!!!!

Below are some photos taken today of the fertilisation and incubation process…….enjoy!!!

Photo credits:  Brian Wormald

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Sandie Hollick-Kenyon (DFO) separating the Chum eggs into 12 equal sized portions – prior to fertilisation. The small bags of milt are just to the left of the bowls – ready to pour on the eggs.

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Volunteer Aude BERTONCELLO ‘stirring’ the eggs after the milt (sperm) has been added – to fertilise them.

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Sandie checking that all looks good before sterilising the eggs prior to placing in the incubation room.

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PMES Vice President Dave Bennie (left) helps Scott Ducharme (DFO) do the housekeeping – washing up after the fertilisation process!

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Chum eggs carefully placed in a ‘heath tray’ in our incubation stacks after being sterilised of any impurities or bacteria.

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Some immediately noticeable infertile or dead eggs are removed to prevent bacteria growth on the remaining healthy eggs.

 

 

 

Side Channel

We continue to be thrilled that our side channel ‘makeover’ has been so successful. It started with the Pink Salmon taking a liking to it, then the Chum and Coho moved in.  All in all, the traffic through there – and up to the over-wintering ponds – has been a joy to see.

I want to thank our stalwart steward, Eric Olsen, for instigating the makeover.  His initial idea of removing the old weirs and making it a ‘stream’ with a steady gradient with refreshed spawning gravel, was looked at sceptically by some at first.  But time has proven his theory to be sound.  Thanks also to the volunteers (and Eric) who moved much gravel to complete the makeover.

Shall we ‘love it’ or ‘list it’?    I think we’ll ‘love it’!

Here’s some pics of recent fish activity in the ‘rejuvenated’ side channel.

Photo credits to P.ME.S. volunteers: Aude Bertoncello and Brian Wormald

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Pair of Pink Salmon preparing to spawn in one of the Noons Creek Hatchery side-channels on 2015-09-03.

Pair of Pink Salmon preparing to spawn in one of the ‘renovated’ Noons Creek Hatchery side-channels on 2015-09-03.

 

Coho Broodstock

We’ve been catching a bunch of Coho broodstock lately (thanks to the rain!) – and they are beautiful fish.  Here’s some pictures of a couple we caught in the flume on Friday 11/30.

Plus a short video of some attempting to make their way up to our rearing pond via the side-channel – with a VERY interested spectator!!

Check it out:  Pond channel action

Photo credits go to P.M.E.S. volunteerBrian Wormald

 

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2015-10-31

Chum….finally

Well folks………….what little rain we have been getting over the last day or so has obviously been an enticement to the Chum that have been milling around Burrard Inlet for some time.  Yes, we had some a few weeks ago when we got that absolute (but short) downpour, but finally they seem to be coming back in some numbers.  We still need a lot more rain however – as you’ll see exampled below, most fish are struggling with the low flows so far in the creek.

But if this rain keeps up – and it’s supposed to for the next 5 days or so – then we hopefully will have a creek full of fish by the end of the Halloween weekend!  Let’s hope the ghouls don’t scare them away!!!!  🙂

It had gotten so bad that when Dave had a school class the other day, he had to resort to using a very dilapidated and smelly carcass found in the creek to show the kids (first photo below). It had seen better days and obviously been a variety of critters meals for the few days days prior.  The kids really appreciated Dave taking the trouble to find one – but that interest waned significantly once the ‘aroma’ of decaying flesh filled their nostrils!!!!!    Dave himself was even struggling to deal with the smell……………………………

As with the Pink Salmon that came in a few months ago, the Chum have definitely take a liking to the ‘refurbished’ side-channel.  I would like to thank Eric, Doug and the rest of our amazing volunteer crew that undertook this work in the Summer season to make a ‘renovated’ home for our anadromous visitors!

Our elusive Coho population is still to show up in anything but the odd one or two………………….but again, the rain over the next few days should bring them streaming in – fingers crossed!

Here’s some photos below – and a couple of video links –  from the last few days………..enjoy!!!!

1) Chum in Noons Creek mainstem

2) Chum navigating entrance to side-channel

Photo credits go to P.M.E.S. volunteers : Aude Bertoncello and Brian Wormald

 

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Salmon Come Home

Fantastic, fun day at the Hoy / Scott Creek ‘Salmon Come Home’ Festival today!!! Lots of exhibitors (including P.M.E.S.) and activities for all.

Our friends from DFO (Scott & Maurice), Maple Creek Streamkeepers, Hyde Creek Watershed Society, Friends of DeBoville Slough, Burke Mountain Naturalists – plus Jay Peachy and his awesome coffee and singers, were all there to make it a super fun day.

Sadly though, fish were not exactly plentiful…………there were a few spawned out and dead Chum up and down the creek, but with the unseasonal absence of rain we’ve been having, wholesale access to the creeks has been lacking for these magnificent creatures. But with some forecast for later this week, lets help it along a little by keeping your fingers crossed!!!!!

Thanks Rodney (Hoy / Scott) and Caresse Selk (City of Coquitlam) for organising yet another great day!!

Here’s some photos from today………….enjoy!!!!

Photo credits go to P.M.E.S. volunteer Brian Wormald

 

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More visitors

Nothing too startling here but some great nature observations nonetheless.

Coyotes, eagles and a fantastic geese shot……………………..check ’em out below!

Photo credits go to P.M.E.S. volunteer Aude Bertoncello

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Just chillin’ in the grass…………

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What you lookin’ at?

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A young bald eagle scouting the inlet for a snack.

Canada Gooses Fly

An extremely well timed shot of some geese taking flight near the mouth of Noons Creek

 

More fish!

It seems the small run of Pink Salmon has run it’s course in Noons……..we haven’t seen any for over a week now.  BUT – our regulars are starting to show up…..Coho and Chum Salmon have now been spotted both at the mouth of the creek and further up.

A male / female pair of Chum were spotted spawning on October 13 near the footbridge over the creek leading to the Rec Centre……….see the video link below.  The next day they were gone.

We have also had some Coho enter our hatchery side-channel.  These were netted on October 13 from the flume under the trail outside the hatchery and placed in our broodstock tanks awaiting their ‘ripening’ before we harvest their eggs and milt (sperm).

Check out the photos and video link below………………

Photo and video credit goes to P.M.E.S. member Aude Bertoncello

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Female Chum digging her red near the footbridge to the Rec Centre. Male is slightly to the left of her.

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Closer look at the Male and Female Chum in Noons.

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Bright and shiny Coho extracted from the flume outside the hatchery on 10/13.

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Another Chum from the flume.

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The usual suspects extracting Coho from the flume. Scott Ducharme (DFO) is wielding the dip-net!

Video: 2015-10-14 Chum Salmon 5

 

Rotary R.I.P.S.

Port Moody Rotary club partnered with the City of Port Moody and P.M.E.S. on Saturday 3rd October to hold an invasive plant removal working-bee on the Inlet Park path leading from the Hatchery.

Great day, with over 20 amazing volunteers putting their heart, soul (and backs!) into it for around 4 hours, resulting in an amazing amount of Ivy being removed – and a significant amount of pizza being devoured after the event!!

Huge thanks to Cleone Todgham (Rotary), Anur Mehdic and Margot Davis (City PoMo) and Dave Bennie (PMES) for organising and coordinating efforts for this very successful day.

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Ioco Days!

Thanks to Port Moody Station Museum for organising another awesome Ioco Days Festival for Sunday 4th October!!

P.M.E.S. was there for a fun day packed with lots of great exhibitors and a huge public turnout.

Thanks everybody for making it a huge, fun-packed success!!!

 

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Big Appetite!

At the mouth of Noons Creek the other day (Sept 22), a Blue Heron was observed that had eyes bigger than its stomach.  The heron was seen wading in the shallows of the mud-flats near the mouth of the creek and attempting to ingest a salmon that was clearly too big for it’s own good!

The heron struggled for some considerable period of time to get the salmon into it’s stomach, as can be seen in the photos and video we share here.  Whilst it actually did get the fish down it’s throat, it was quite obvious it was not going any farther (anytime soon anyway), and that the heron was very uncomfortable with it’s meal choice.

Then things got a little dramatic.  A fellow Blue Heron arrived on the scene, and for whatever reason (jealousy? territory?), decided that the gluttonous Blue Heron needed to be punished.  An attack ensued resulting in the first Heron being wounded. Now bleeding from a few wounds and still with a very full throat, the heron must have decided it was all too much. After some frenzied regurgitation attempts, the salmon was finally ejected from the heron’s throat into the water – the last photos show the heron looking pensively down into the water at the meal that wasn’t to be  🙁

This would have been no easy task, when you remember that fish are really only designed to move in one direction (forward) and all fins etc almost act like barbs and tend to stick into any surface if pushed backwards.

Both herons lived to fight another day…………..but they sure entertained a large crowd along the Inlet Park boardwalk at the mouth of Noons Creek that day.

Some in-sequence photos are embedded below (check out the heron’s blood stains on the rock in the last two photos) – but more are available at:  http://1drv.ms/1O74K00

Credit for ALL photos and video goes to one of our amazing volunteers, Aude Bertoncello!

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Ahhhh…..check this out – this’ll feed me for months!!!!

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Wow – this is heavy……………….

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Now, if I line this up right, it should just slide down nicely……………….

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Almost there……………..hmmmmmmm, my throat is feeling a little tight.

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Just the tail to go now…………………is that my legs bowing from the weight? Hope I can fly after this!!

Cough!   That feels better!

Cough! That feels better!

 

The classic 'one that got away'!   Bummer - that would have nourished me for weeks!!!

The classic ‘one that got away’! Bummer – that would have nourished me for weeks!!!

Video:  2015-09-22 001 Heron+Fish