Each year in early October, volunteers from the Nootka Sound Watershed Society team up with staff from the Conuma River Hatchery and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation to collect Chinook brood stock on the Gold River. Volunteers are actively involved in performing the beach seines and fish sorts to capture adult Chinook salmon. The adults are live-transported to the Conuma River Hatchery, where they are kept in ponds until they are ready to spawn. The fertilized eggs are incubated, hatched and reared at the hatchery until being transferred into lake and sea pens.
Nootka Sound Watershed Society provides the funds for the fish food required to raise these fish. Approximately 350 000 Chinook pre-smolts are transferred into a lake pen in Muchalaht Lake, and approximately 150 000 Chinook smolts are transferred into a sea pen at the mouth of the Gold River. Trained volunteers are actively involved in feeding and monitoring these fish. Eventually, approximately 500 000 Chinook smolts are released into the Gold River watershed 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