Seymour Salmonid Society is a non-profit organization that operates the Seymour River Fish Hatchery and Education Centre. We enhance salmon populations and encourage proper management of fisheries in the Seymour River. Our mission is to educate the public about the value of the Seymour River and the salmonids it supports as a resource for everyone living in British Columbia.
ROCK SLIDE UPDATE
Work began to mitigate the Seymour River rock slide on August 22nd and continued for 7 weeks before being suspended by high water flows. Work entailed roughly a week of drilling into the boulders at the downstream end of the slide, followed by a day of rock breaking. Five breaking sessions took place over the 7 weeks (to see a video of a blast go to the rockslide page). Over the last week river level rose dramatically in the river. We are looking forward to seeing (when the water levels drop) how the newly broken boulders have moved and reshaped the area with the high velocity water.
Video of the high water flowing through the slide area. Sorry for the poor quality but it gives a good idea of the water velocity through the canyon.
Eric Carlisle: 1946 to 2016
We regret to announce that Eric Carlisle passed away Sunday 25th September as a result of complications following what was anticipated to be a routine surgical procedure. Eric was one of the founding members of the Seymour Salmonid Society in 1987, and continued to serve on the board as secretary until his death. His invariably pleasant demeanor masked a true passion for fish: in addition to serving on the board of the Seymour Salmonid Society he worked with SEHAB and several other fisheries organizations. He was an expert fisherman and wrote a book on the subject titled “West Coast River Angling”: he also for a time wrote a fishing column for the Vancouver Sun. He was sometimes referred to as “Rainman” in reference to his remarkable memory: for example, it seemed he was able to recall the date, time, river conditions and many other details concerning every fish he had ever caught. He will be missed.
PLEASE REPORT ALL POACHERS AND POLLUTERS
We have had issues as of late with poachers snagging fish below the fish fence in the lower Seymour River.The Seymour River is closed to angling from the railway bridge to the Seymour falls dam because of conservation concerns due to the rock slide. If you see people fishing on the river please call: Observe Record Report (ORR) at 1-800-465-4336 and/or Report All Poachers and Polluters (R.A.P.P.) 1-877-952-7277.
We have filled the seasonal staff position!
Welcome back Brian Har! We are happy to have Brian (last year’s seasonal employee) returning to the Society starting next week.
Thank you to all who applied.
Listen to Brian Smith, Hatchery Manager talk to Steven Quinn on the CBC Early Edition this morning, August 22nd.
Join us at Seymour Hatchery’s Open House!
We want to share and celebrate our accomplishments with you and tell you about the project we have on the go.
Come and join us in the beautiful Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve for a tour of the hatchery, live music, a BBQ, kids art and a prize draw.
This events offers shuttle service to the hatchery from Rice Lake gate from 10 am – 3:30 pm.
Fry Releases in the Seymour Watershed
Last month over a 100,000 coho fry were released into habitat areas above and below the Seymour Falls Dam. Good luck little guys!
THE FLOATING FISH FENCE IS IN!
After a lot of hard work the fish fence has been constructed and installed. Not operational yet but in place and ready to go. We plan to start catching fish mid July, some will be kept for hatchery broodstock and the rest will be moved above the rock slide to spawn naturally. THANK YOU to all the volunteers that came and spent many hours working with us on this project. Thank you to Tsleil Waututh and Squamish Nations staff for your hard work and putting up with the loud noise next to the Band office. Another big thank you to DFO staff for your technical support and guidance thus far.
The Vancouver Sun Article,
‘Super-historic’-scale salmon rescue making waves in North Vancouver’s Seymour River
can be read here
To see more pictures visit our Facebook page.
GENTLY DOWN THE SEYMOUR WRAPS UP ANOTHER GREAT YEAR!
A big THANK YOU to the 2016 Gently Down the Seymour Education Team for sharing their passion and expertise with over 1500 school visitors this spring! Student highlights included wearing chest waders, collecting aquatic invertebrates and feeding salmon fry.
Follow us on Instagram for more program photos @seymoursalmon.ed #seymoursalmon
SEASONAL STAFF MEMBER!
The Seymour Salmonid Society has now hired our seasonal employee. We would like to welcome Eric Lotto to the team!
OUR EDUCATION PROGRAM ‘GENTLY DOWN THE SEYMOUR’ HAS KICKED OFF FOR 2016
Gently Down the Seymour is off to a terrific start in 2016! Students, teachers and parents from Vancouver and Burnaby classes joined us during the first week of field trips. One class was lucky enough to observe the collection of eggs and milt from winter steelhead! These grade 2 students collected an aquatic invertebrate sample from Hurry Creek to investigate further in our classroom.
BC NATURE KIDS TOUR THE HATCHERY AND FOREST
Nature Kids BC (Vancouver Club) visited Seymour River Hatchery in February. Kids and parents discovered the salmon species supported by Seymour River Hatchery and viewed coho, steelhead and pink salmon fry in rearing ponds. A guided walk through neighbouring old growth forest to Seymour River provided the opportunity to learn how important salmon are to a forest ecosystem.
JANUARY 19, 2016
The 2016 season is underway! We will continue to use our dedicated broodstock anglers to help bolster our stock on hand and eventually move excess above the slide. Please note that anglers are operating under Federal and Provincial scientific collection permits – there is no public retention of steelhead in the Seymour River.
Depending on river conditions, we may augment these efforts with more tangle-netting sessions. Keep an eye on your email for upcoming volunteer opportunities on the river! If you are not on our email list, you can sign up to receive all volunteer opportunities by email by filling out our volunteer form.
The floating fish fence is set to be installed in the spring of this year. The fence will be operational approximately six months
of the year until passageway through the slide can be restored. It has the potential to provide us with high-precision stock assessment data for all migratory species in the river which will allow us to manage the Seymour more effectively.
An agreement in principle regarding a permanent mitigation method for the rockslide has been reached by Seymour Round-Table members from six levels of government including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Metro Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Squamish First Nations and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Northwest Hydraulic Consultants and BGC Engineering will re-shape the slide debris with scaling crews, low-velocity explosive rock-breaking and river flows. The method uses non-conventional rock breaking techniques and will require limited heavy equipment. River hydraulics will redistribute 10 000 – 20 000 m3 of material into a gradient that can be utilized by all salmon species. This method would be the safest and least disruptive to the surrounding ecosystem and will likely take between two and five years.
Our vision statement for the Seymour Rockslide Mitigation Project is
“To restore migration conditions for all species in the Seymour River that existed before the 2014 rockslide, in a safe and sustainable manner.”
This project will require a large amount of funding. We have applied to a number of grants to help assist us in this matter. To donate directly to the rockslide mitigation efforts, please click the Fundraise for the Rockslide button on the right-hand side of this page.
Our next step is to host a public forum. Details will be posted here once they have been confirmed.
SALMON COLLECTION & TAGGING PROJECT
On December 7, 2014, a rock fall estimated at 50,000 cubic meters, impacted the Seymour River, at a location at the upstream end of the lower canyon. The debris field from this slide raised the water level in the river some 10 meters creating
a blockage to downstream-migrating juveniles and upstream-migrating adult salmon. The upper Seymour River, above the rock fall, contains the large majority of the productive salmon habitat in the watershed, and therefore there are justified concerns about the health of the Seymour River salmon run in coming years, if migration past the rock fall is not restored. In fact, coho and steelhead could be reduced to remnant populations by as early as 2019 if we are unable to mitigate the effects of the slide.
To scientifically confirm whether or not fish are able to pass through the debris, juvenile steelhead were acoustically tagged and adult coho and steelhead were radio tagged. Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, UBC, Kintama & Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC contributed emergency funding and equipment for the tagging programs. Receivers were placed at both the downstream and upstream end of the slide and mobile trackers were deployed. To date no fish have been detected by fixed or mobile receivers.
Snorkel surveys conducted in July of 2015 confirmed that a number of fish were holding in two pools directly below the slide debris.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working in partnership with the Seymour Salmonid Society, Metro Vancouver, Squamish Nation, Tsleil Waututh Nation and North Vancouver District, to attempt an emergency rescue effort to capture returning salmon in the lower Seymour River. Salmon recovered from these efforts will be placed in transport tanks and transported to the Seymour River Hatchery until target broodstock numbers are achieved. Surplus fish will be released directly into the upper Seymour River, above the slide and below the dam.
Initially, a PVC and net trap was set up in the lower river adjacent to the Squamish Nation Band Office. High-water events due to summer storms thwarted these methods and hoop nets and seine
nets were quickly put to use. These methods proved highly successful for pinks, but staff was forced to adapt once again for coho and steelhead. Tangle nets and angling is currently being used to capture fish out of the lower river with good success.
All 2015 in-river work is done with hand labour and does not require heavy machinery access this season. Vehicle access in close proximity to the river bank near the capture sites may be necessary, given that all trap materials and captured salmon must be moved by hand from and to transport vehicles. Captured salmon will be moved by field crews to the transport tanks daily depending on capture success in the river trap.