Bill Pedneault (left), Richard Green, Dave Saunders, Wally Vowels and Mike Hicks at the site of the new salmom hatchery site at Charters River. Clearing began at the site on Thursday. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Land clearing begins for new salmon hatchery in Sooke

Construction of facility expected to begin next spring

The clearing of land that will allow for construction of a new salmon hatchery along the Charters River began Thursday.

A crew from Dave Saunders Enterprises was on site at Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre on Sooke River Road clearing trees and shrubs for the 5,000-square-foot facility.

The Juan de Fuca Salmon Society and Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society announced plans to build the hatchery last September. The new hatchery will see the closure of the Jack Brooks Hatchery on DeMamiel Creek.

RELATED: $1 million salmon hatchery eyed for Sooke

The Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society operated the Jack Brooks Hatchery for more than 40 years, but in recent years dwindling water supplies has made it more difficult to harvest the fish for brood stock.

The Jack Brooks Hatchery has a licence to raise 500,000 springs and 150,000 coho fry every year. A free pen operation also raises upward of 80,000 chinook salmon annually. The Capital Regional District has agreed to increase the Sooke reservoir water supply to the new hatchery, with the hopes of taking the salmon run from 500 to 5,000.

“The clearing of land is the first phase of this exciting project, which is right on track and moving forward,” said Mike Hicks, a spokesman for the hatchery group.

READ MORE: ‘Street-proof fish’ have better chance of survival, says researcher

Most of the work for the $1-million project is donated and so far many local businesses have stepped forward, said Hicks, including Dave Saunders Enterprises, Hallgren & Faulkner Lawyers, West Coast Design, District of Sooke, Port Renfrew Marina, Capital Regional District, Arden’s Self Storage, Alpine Enterprises, Butler Brothers, Ian Laing, Elida Peers, Wally Vowels and Bill Pedneault.

“I’m not surprised by the community effort,” Hicks said. “I’m hoping to attract other players now that people see we’re actually doing it.”

The clearing of the land is expected to be completed in a week, and Hicks hopes to have the building slab built by March 1, with construction completed by September – in time for the return of the salmon next fall.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Peninsula Streams Society to restore 120 metres of Colquitz Watershed

With goal of contributing to the recovery of cutthroat and coho salmon

Sidney Museum donates 60,000 Lego bricks to local schools

Sidney, Deep Cove, ḰELSET, Brentwood, Keating and Cordova Bay elementary schools get Lego avalanche

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read