More than 100 people gathered at PKOLS this weekend to toss dead salmon in Douglas Creek to help restore its ecological balance.
The salmon transplant took place Saturday (Jan. 14) to refill the creek with fish-supporting nutrients.
“All of these carcasses were used to provide eggs and milt for our next generation,” Goldstream Hatchery technical advisor Peter McCully said. “They were euthanized in a very humane way. Now they’re contributing their goodies to another watershed.”
The salmon that were transplanted in the park (formerly called Mount Douglas Park) all came from the Goldstream Fish Hatchery.
“We’ve got a great crowd here,” said Darrell Wick, president of the PKOLS-Mount Doug Conservancy. “Many of them might not have known there was a creek here before. Those that know the creek is here are shocked to hear that we have salmon coming back. This is amazing.”
Another goal of the event was to inform the public about the importance of this process with educational talks by McCully and fisheries biologist Tom Rutherford.
“We have to devote awareness of this creature and start to appreciate the role of salmon,” McCully said.
“You’re actually holding a small miracle when you hold a salmon,” Rutherford said. “This should be fun, and it is fun. It’s something that’s super important.”
As the park’s surrounding area started to urbanize around the 1960s, the once-productive salmon run faced huge surges of rainwater being piped into the creek instead of sinking into the watershed.
That diversion caused the water flow in the creek to boom above normal levels, leading to its banks becoming washed out and the bed of the waterway eroding.
PKOLS-Mount Douglas Conservancy also donated $500 to the Goldstream Fish Hatchery during the salmon transplant event.
“These donations are very important to us,” McCully said. “This will go a long way. We can use that to buy fish food. We can use that for maintenance and other things at the hatchery which will cater to the longevity of the hatchery.”
– With files from Jake Romphf