The Port Renfrew salmon hatchery puts almost one million fish into the water annually. (Contributed photo)

The Port Renfrew salmon hatchery puts almost one million fish into the water annually. (Contributed photo)

Port Renfrew’s salmon hatchery enters a new era

Community support is critical to a quiet but efficient operation

Despite its 41-year history, the San Juan Salmon Enhancement Society’s work was often overshadowed by its Sooke counterpart.

But for the people of Port Renfrew, it’s their local salmon hatchery that’s the model for environmental stewardship and it’s the support of the community that has kept the hatchery moving forward.

Most recently, part of moving forward has involved the dissolution of the founding society and the establishment of the 4Mile Creek Enhancement Society, which has now taken over the operation.

RELATED: Closures have hurt Port Renfrew

“Over the past four months, the (old) society was phased out and a new society has taken over,” Shane Bruinsma, the manager of the hatchery, said.

“Morris Tremblay has been running it since 1976, but at 87 years old, he’s decided it’s time to pass the operation on,” Bruinsma said.

“I’m now managing the site along with Lisa Margetish, and we’ve got some exciting things planned. We know that the community’s support is at the heart of our ability to move forward.”

To illustrate support, Bruinsma recently issued a statement thanking Port Renfrew Marina for its unflagging support of the hatchery operation.

“The 4Mile Creek Enhancement Society would like to thank Port Renfrew Marina for the more than 20 years (of support). Their patrons and everyone involved in raising their $12,000 donation toward hatchery projects this year were greatly appreciated,” Bruinsma wrote in a prepared statement.

He pointed out the marina has traditionally donated between $6,000 and $7,000 a year and that the increase in this year’s donation was even more of an indication of the community’s support.

“We do our work quietly and efficiently – getting the job done – without fuss and without fanfare,” Bruinsma said.

Rex Coburn, the owner and operator of the Port Renfrew Marina, said the real heroes behind the donation are the guests and customers of the marina.

“We raise a lot of money (for the hatchery) through our fishing derbies. For example, in September we raised $1,900 in our coho derby,” Coburn said.

“So the donation is not just from Port Renfrew Marina, but from all of our guests.”

ALSO READ: Port Renfrew reborn

Coburn said the Port Renfrew hatchery has a special relationship with the community.

“It’s just very close to home so it makes sense for us to offer them our support. It’s a worthwhile cause that we believe in, and we’re firm believers that more money should go into the operation,” Coburn said.

Bruinsma said the changing of the guard at the hatchery has meant they have to develop a new three to five-year plan for how the operations should develop.

“One example is power generation. We’re four miles out of town and have no power transmission lines out there, so we had to create a water turbine system to generate our power. Now one of our administrators is taking a course on solar power, and next year we’ll be looking at solar” Bruinsma said.

One thing that won’t change, Bruinsma said, is the care the operation takes in fertilizing and raising the million salmon it adds to the ecosystem every year.

“Our system is about as close to natural as you can get, and it’s something we’re very proud of. We plan to keep that up and make sure we’re around for another 40 years and beyond.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

New salmon pens are only one of the initiatives being implemented at Port Renfrew’s salmon hatchery. (Contributed photo)

New salmon pens are only one of the initiatives being implemented at Port Renfrew’s salmon hatchery. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Most Read