For Release September 2, 2014
Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society starts a five year Chinook Salmon Marking Program
In cooperation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the five-year coded wire tag program aims to prove higher survivability rates of hatchery bred/ocean net pen raised Chinook salmon fry.
Port Renfrew— September 2, 2014
Bob Gallaugher, President of the Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society, announced today, “We are very pleased to announce a five-year program to mark and code wire tag at least 40,000 Chinook salmon fry per year and raise them in our ocean net pens. “This is the tenth year of our net pen operation, in cooperation with our partners: the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; the B.C. Government; the Fresh Water Fisheries Society of BC; the Pacific Salmon Foundation; Gibbs-Delta; Esquimalt Anglers’ Association; Butch Jack Marina; Gallaugher’s Sports Fishing Camp; Valley Fish and Game Club; and many individuals.”“With the three to five year cycle of each generation of salmon fry returning as adults, it means that by 2024 we will be able to confirm the higher survivability rate of hatchery bred/ocean net pen raised Chinook salmon. We will confirm this through collection of the coded wire tags from the fin-clipped adult Chinook salmon.”
a great project and Fisheries and Oceans Canada would like to acknowledge the
efforts of our community partners in Port Renfrew,” said Tom Rutherford, DFO
Section Head, Resource Restoration and Stewardship and Community Involvement.
“When these tagged salmon return, the information we get from them will help to
inform our Chinook enhancement strategies in Port Renfrew and on the West Coast
of Vancouver Island in general. I can't emphasize enough how much we value the
work of the Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society and the San Juan Enhancement
Society. It is projects like these that will help to ensure the sustainability
of our salmon stocks into the future.”
Each day a volunteer travels by boat to the pens (in all weather conditions!), hand-feeds the fish, reloads the automatic feeders, and records environmental conditions. (ocean temperature, oxygen levels in and out-side the net pens, etc.) The fish are fed once daily by hand, and then later in the day with automatic feeders.
Two to three weeks later, the fish have usually doubled in size to 10-12 grams and are released from the net pens. The fish then go on a 4-5 year migration in the Pacific Ocean before they come back to the San Juan Bay and River.
Through the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program (http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/publications/docs/salmonhead-tetesaumon-eng.html) the fish heads are analyzed for coded wire tags. The resulting data are collected and a statistical model at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is used to calculate the survival rates. Recreational fishers are encouraged to return salmon heads through the Salmon Sport Head Recovery program--there are freezers at local marinas where heads can be left and collected throughout the season.
The fish marking process
On May 20/21 2014, over 46,000 Chinook fry were first adipose fin-clipped manually and then coded wire tag marked using special marking equipment operated by an experienced team of markers from Port Alberni, led by Shirley Antonelli of Shirshot Consulting Services Ltd. Each coded wire tag is just 0.25mm in diameter and 1mm long. They are implanted in the head of the fish. For reference, four rolls of 10,000 coded wire tags are so small that they fit in one large letter sized envelope. The online pictures explain the actual marking process.
The Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society
The Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society was incorporated in August 2010, as a not-for-profit society, registered in British Columbia, Canada.
located in beautiful Port Renfrew, BC and the primary objective of our Society
is to raise funds for salmon enhancement and protection, chiefly through the
Port Renfrew Chinook Net Pen project. We are in our 10th year of the project and
have raised and released a total of over 250,000 Chinook salmon. This project is
completely operated by community volunteers, including First Nations, local Fish
and Game club members, and recreational fishers. All labour is provided on a
voluntary basis; our expenses for the project are for infrastructure and fuel.
The society would like to thank all volunteers and the San Juan Hatchery, Port
Renfrew, for the continuous hard work and dedication to this project for the
past 10 years.
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More information can be found at our website http://www.portrenfrewsalmonenhancement.ca
For more information, (press only):
Bob Gallaugher, President
Gord Allen, Secretary/Treasurer
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