Spring 2019 News Letter

Chairman’s Report

Coho Male

Welcome back to our quarterly informative newsletters. I know it has been a while since an update on the events and happenings at your facility. This will be a symbolic re-launch because 2019 is the “Year of the Salmon”. Hopefully everyone will join us in recognizing the significant importance of this year. We have endured an exciting, eventful and interesting time since our last message. We have had significant staff, political, and environmental change and challenge over the past year. We have endured, remained on track and actually made positive change by acknowledging and working with these challenges. Over the past year, we welcome another new management group to our NVISEA organization.

The Stewardship Centre has a refocused development plan for NVISEA with new manager Karen Steele. Karen comes to us with a tourism / fisheries background. Her focus is on guest and visitor experience as well as expanding and continuing some programs that have been established (Corporate / Club sponsorship, “Stream to Sea Education Program”, facility rentals, family / individual membership and volunteer recognition and programs). Local community involvement displays have continued with positive support (Family Fishing Weekend, BC River’s Day, Oceans Day, Filomi Days, and Orca Fest). The North Island is aware and supportive of the Stewardship Centre and we hope to do more. We are currently closed for the season but will gladly organize tours or visit with anyone upon simple request. Just give us a call or email. This makes it a great time to come by and meet Karen and take part in the positive changes at the center. Welcome Karen.

NVISEA Rivers Day 2018

The changing climate is becoming the norm. This continues to create difficulty each brood year (excessively warm water, low flows, low oxygen, increasing forest fire activity and sporadic fish returns). Getting all of our species and our usual release numbers has been challenging. We have young fish now at the facility albeit less than normal. Lorraine Landry provided successful hatchery management up until June when she requested we find a replacement for the position. We all wish her well for the future.  Kelly McLaughlin (fisheries tech) has very successfully advanced into the Assistant Manager’s position. Once again, our dedicated member, past chairman, and true “friend of the salmon”, Grant Anderson has stepped in as the acting manager to provide management guidance and ensure stable operations until a suitable manager can be trained or found. His long volunteer history with NVISEA and knowledge of salmon and our facility has continued to guide and assist staff, trainees and managers.

Our campground under managers Patrick and Candy continues to be one of the most positive and “liked” facility on the North Island. They have truly made this their passion and created a welcome “Home Away From Home” atmosphere in our forested oasis. If you have friends, family or guests, be sure to have them visit our Quatse Campground and Regional Park for a fascinating experience. Remember too, proceeds from the campground go directly back into our salmon programs. A win – win for everyone.

As the “Year of the Salmon” has started, our important and valuable mission is to deliver the message of “hope for our salmon’s future”. As Chairman, I hope all of you will come to your centre to see why we are more than “just a hatchery”. We operate a successful world-class stewardship centre; educate future generations with our interpretive displays, tours, and outreach programs; create greater awareness and appreciation of all issues surrounding wild salmon survival; assist salmon populations with healthy habitat, fish production and juvenile releases; and continue to work towards being self-supporting.

Thank-you for being a critical part of this valuable organization that helps us help our environment. Please, come by, visit (or even better – volunteer at) your facility!

Steve Lacasse

Stewardship Report

My name is Karen Steele and I have been the manager here at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre for just over a year. It has been a real honor and privilege to be in this position.

Classroom after a release with Karen Steele

In 2018, nine classrooms on the North Island took part in the DFO Stream to Sea’s Salmon in the Classroom Program. This spring only seven classrooms were able to participant. This experience allows students and teachers to have eyed coho eggs delivered to their class where they will hatch and develop in an aquarium. When the baby salmon reach fry stage, the schools and myself take the fish to their natal river for release.

Karen collecting eggs for Salmon in the Classroom participants

The most powerful tool a person can have is education. Providing North Island students with an experience and opportunity to take care of live animals and release them into the wild is something that will stay with them for life. Parents and friends share stories remembering when their classroom participated in the program and the lasting insight it provided.

Eagle View Elementary
Salmon Dissection

This year, many classrooms participated in salmon dissections. Each organ and part of the fish can tell us a story about their lives, how they function and the indicators we look for in a healthy vs unhealthy fish.

We continue to offer schools in our community with a variety of education activities and programs that promote aquatic stewardship and ecosystem health. Some of these include Salmon In the Classroom, beach walks, riparian walks, fish prints and other crafts, dissections, stewardship talks and human impacts on our environment.

Peter Mieras and Karen Steele

The Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre and River Hatchery is currently having a documentary made by the charming Peter Mieras with Subvision Productions. The short film will showcase everything the Quatse embodies in respects to education, stewardship plus an inside look at hatchery operations. When the film is completed it will be shown in our Salmon Cinema in the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre.

One behalf of the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, I would like to thank all of our supporters and corporate members that have chosen to be part of the International Year of the Salmon. Thank you!

Karen Steele

Hatchery Report

Hello, my name is Kelly McLaughlin and I am now the Assistant Manager at the Quatse River Hatchery. I was a Junior Fisheries Technician for the summer of 2013 here at the hatchery and once I completed my education at Vancouver Island University with a diploma in Fisheries and Aquaculture, I was hired as part of the fall crew in September 2015. NVISEA kept me on full-time and from there my responsibilities continued to grow and now I am happy to say as of December 2018 I have advanced into the Assistant Managers position.

The day to day hatchery operations for the most part are carried out by myself and the hatcheries two technicians; David McDougall and Trevor Wesley. Our success in enhancing salmon throughout the year wouldn’t have been possible without their hard work and dedication as well as our awesome fall crew and group of volunteers.

Kelly fertilizing eggs

This past fall and winter, we had a fairly successful brood stock season with most of our production targets being met. We are happy with our egg/fry numbers going into the spring and we have already begun Pink and Chum releases.  Starting in May we will begin smolt releases and are looking forward to it. 

I look forward to what the future will bring at Quatse River Hatchery and I would just like to thank everyone again who has been involved in helping us help salmon.

Kelly McLaughlin