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

Transplant caregiver starts website for financial, mental health support

Beth Campbell-Duke started Transplant Rouges after her husband’s double lung transplant

Victoria ranked as one of B.C.’s worst cities to work in

High living costs and low average incomes drop Victoria from the top 10

Saanich swimmer has ribs removed, posts them on social media

Long distance swimmer endures 16th surgery ahead of next big attempt

Cyclist without helmet thrown onto windshield in Victoria

Despite damage to bike, cyclist uninjured following accident

Victoria no longer interested in hosting a downtown casino

Mayor puts forward letter that retracts interest in hosting a casino

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read