Something fishy!


The Noons Creek hatchery played host to two community involved guests last Friday (4/22) – Port Moody City Mayor Mike Clay and Pacific Coast Terminals Office, HR and Communications Manager, Jennifer McKinnon.

After a pre-arranged meeting with Mayor Clay, Jennifer insisted he show her the hatchery on Noons Creek – and so he obliged!

And at this time of year, no visit would be complete without asking our guests to pitch in and help release some of our nearly 40,000 Chum fry into the creek.  So with buckets of fry in hand, PMES Vice President Dave Bennie ushered them both down the path to the creek to get some practice in before our iconic Fingerling Festival on 7th May.  And as you can see, both had a fun time.  Alas, they did fail in one regard….neither of them named any of their fry prior to release.  🙁

Seriously, we wish to thank Mayor Clay for bringing Jennifer down to the hatchery to see first hand how we interact with the local community!  And thanks Jennifer for continuing the long-standing relationship PMES has with it’s community partners, including Pacific Coast Terminals.




PMES-25th-Anniversary-CakeOn Wednesday, February 17 2016 at 7 pm, the Port Moody Ecological Society hosted their annual general meeting at the Port Moody Recreation Centre, 300 Ioco Road.

Formal AGM Proceedings:

1 – Reports of 2015 results and activities

2 – Election of 2016 Board of Directors
Your 2016 Board of Directors are as follows:

  • President – Brian Wormald
  • Vice President – Dave Bennie
  • Treasurer –  John Andrew
  • Secretary – Elaine Golds
  • Membership – Brian Wormald
  • Director of Hatchery Operationsno nominations – not filled
  • Director of Water Quality Lab – Jennifer Whitcher
  • Director of School Programs – Dave Bennie
  • Director(s) at Large – Jim Mattson, Nicole Maniago and Bryan Robinson

(Past-President – Dave Bennie)

We particularly welcome Nicole as our newest Director-at-Large.  A young, enterprising student who not only fills her days with scholastic pursuits (environmental studies) but volunteers for several ecological / wildlife organisations.  Not sure how she even manages to fit us in……..but sure glad she does!!!  Please extend a warm welcome to her next time you’re down the hatchery!!!

Guest Speaker:  Chris Cooper of Spirit Dancer Canoe Journeys (
Chris shared stories of a number of journeys by canoe on the British Columbia coast; a coast he knows extremely well. He is blessed to have an amazing relationship with our First Nations people, traveling the coast by canoe is an amazing way of experiencing the wonders of what he calls ‘The Jewel of Canada’. He also shared photos of some past trips in various parts of the world.


Chris has been in the professional guiding business for over 30 years organizing high-end custom expeditions to areas in Canada’s High Arctic and further afield. His expeditions have included: winter ski expeditions in remote areas in British Columbia and Canoe programs for Corporations, Private schools, Public schools, and ESL schools.

On March 31, 2007 Chris was inducted into the Ridge/Meadows Hall of Fame. Chris was instrumental in opening up the Voyageur Canoe business in Western Canada and owned the largest fleet of Historical Voyageur Canoes in Canada. He has had the opportunity of being a guest lecturer / speaker to many organizations over the past 20 years.




P.M.E.S. 25th ‘Siler Anniversary’ birthday cake!


PMES Director Jim Mattson (eldest member present) and PMES member Rowan Ducharme (youngest member present) do the honours in blowing out the candles on our 25th Anniversary birthday cake!!


After the fish…….

Life goes on – and nature has it’s ways.  Everything has a purpose for all species – except for us humans, who have selfishly determined that we are better than any other animal and have turned the natural order of things on their head!  Apparently we think the laws of nature don’t apply to us.  But I digress……………….   🙂

After the fish have done their thing, they die, decompose and become nutrients for not only creek organisms, but all sorts of fauna and flora in the environment. Do you know that certain nitrogen elements from returning oceanic salmonids have been found in trees and plants many kilometres from any creek or river?  The Pacific Salmon is one of the key species on this planet. The nutrients they give back to the earth sustain life on this planet far more than anyone would ordinarily think.

One such benefactor of the returning salmon is a little bird called the American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus).  And his favourite food is salmon eggs!  You’ll see him in rivers, streams and creeks in prolific numbers when salmon return home to spawn. They’ll be seen on rocks in the water, with their characteristic ‘bobbing’ action.  They will look for salmon ‘redds’ and any stray eggs that may have been washed downstream.  They can also be seen underwater, either ‘walking’ along the bottom or ‘flying’ underwater!

Here’s an excerpt from the American Dipper page on the website:

Feeding behaviour Most food is caught underwater. The Dipper may walk with only its head submerged, or may dive, “flying” underwater and walking on the bottom, probing under stones in streambed. Also will swim on surface to pick up floating insects. Occasionally takes insects from streamside rocks, rarely makes short flights to catch insects in mid-air

DietMostly aquatic insects. Feeds on many kinds of aquatic insects, including larvae of caddisflies, mayflies, beetles, bugs, and mosquitoes, as well as adults of these insects and many others; also some worms and snails. Also eats fish eggs and very small fish (less than 3″ long)

Below are some local Noons Creek photos of the American Dipper.  He’s quite entertaining to watch, so if you get the chance, just stand back and enjoy for a while.  Also included is a short video of one of our local Dippers.

American Dipper video #1  (video will open in new window; please give it a few moments to load)  Watch at about the 2 minute 30 second mark as he scores a salmon egg, then proceeds to drop it several times, but each time he recovers to finally enjoy his catch!

American Dipper video #2  (video will open in new window; please give it a few moments to load)


Photo and video credits to volunteer Aude Bertoncello.

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Coho Video in the rearing pond

Our intrepid French volunteer, Aude Bertoncello (11th Nov 2015) captured some underwater footage of a gorgeous Coho pair in our channel leading from the rearing pond to Noons Creek.

The video is also a great education tool – you can easily differentiate the male from the female.  Upon their return to fresh water to spawn, both male and female Coho lose the stunning silver colour they have in the ocean and hue to a vibrant red.  The female retains the classic fish face with smooth lines and silhouette; whereas the male develops a very aggressive, hooked jaw. These characteristics are common to all species of Pacific Salmon.  Here ends your lesson for the day – you are now a salmonid expert!   🙂

Check it out………………the videos are not too shabby considering they were done with her cell phone.  Our understanding is that it was in a waterproof case at the time!!!!!   Whew!

Coho video #1   (video will open in new window; please give it a few moments to load)

Coho Video #2  (video will open in new window; please give it a few moments to load)

There are also some still photographs of the same fish below………………


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Chum Egg-Take

P.M.E.S. had our 2015 Chum Salmon egg-take from the Alouette River today (November 7) – with subsequent fertilisation and incubation process back at the hatchery.  It was a VERY wet day and the catch was good but not as voluminous as we would have liked.  We took 7 female and 9 male – so that takes our grand total of Chum to about 18 ‘eggers’ (after our DFO Rep, Sandie got 11 female  and 12 male for us last Wednesday). It would appear that the Alouette Chum run is just about on it’s last legs…………………………..

But the day was great is many ways. There were a lot of newbies that had not seen this process before and learned a lot by jumping in and getting some hands-on experience. In fact, we probably had a record participation today so thanks to everyone that made it out!  And special thanks to Noons stalwart Eric Olsen for once again, getting things ready for us when we returned; and to our DFO Community Advisor, Sandie Hollick-Kenyon for organising the day!

I include some photos below, but there are many more at the link below.  As more people come forward with photos, I’ll add them to the link.!40645&authkey=!AKaDnTCPyVNLCyE&ithint=folder%2cjpg

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