Each year in mid September, volunteers from the Nootka Sound Watershed Society team up with staff from the Conuma River Hatchery and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation to collect brood stock on the Burman River. Volunteers and staff meet at the Gold River docks and are transported by jet boat to a remote site on the Burman River. There, everyone takes part in multiple beach seines, fish sorts, and the subsequent egg and milt collection. The eggs and milt are transported first by jet boat, then by float plane to the Conuma River Hatchery, where they are fertilized, incubated and reared to the smolt stage.
Nootka Sound Watershed Society provides the funds for transporting the eggs and milt via float plane, as well as for the fish food required to raise these fish. The smolts are eventually transferred into sea pens at the mouth of the Burman river, where trained volunteers help feed and monitor the fish. Eventually, approximately 350 000 Chinook smolts are released into the Burman River estuary because of Nootka Sound Watershed Society’s financial and in-kind support.
For more information on this project, and for ways you can get involved, please contact