The main purpose of the Seymour Hatchery is to enhance fish stocks in the Seymour River that have been cut off from their traditional spawning grounds by the construction of the Seymour Falls Dam. We collect adult fish and take their eggs and milt. The eggs are fertilized and then incubated until the alevins hatch. The alevins use up their yolk sac and turn into fry. When the fry turn into smolts they are released to go to the ocean. See the Salmon Life Cycle page to find out more.
We raise Coho, Steelhead, Pinks, and Chum at the hatchery until they are ready to start their migration to the ocean. The length of time we have them at the hatchery is dependent on their life history. Coho and Steelhead are at the hatchery for over a year while Pink and Chum salmon fry are at the hatchery for a much shorter time before they are ready to migrate to the ocean.
Each year we raise the following:
• 30,000 steelhead smolts
• 120,000 coho. Of these, 40,000 fry are released into the reservoir above the dam, around 35,000 fry are released into habitat projects and approximately 45,000 are released as smolts
• Around 1-1.2 million pink smolts every second year
• 500,000 chum smolts
We support other groups including hatcheries and schools with assistance in stewardship. We supply eyed eggs and supplementations to the ‘salmon in the classroom’ program run in North Shore schools.
Another directive of the Seymour Salmonid Society is habitat creation. Because the fish have lost most of their original spawning and rearing habitat to the dam, we have been active in the creation of new habitat by way of spawning channels and over-wintering water in the river below the dam. Over 40000 square metres has been created.
The society has developed an education program called ‘Gently Down the Seymour’. It has been developed for elementary school students. This unique program combines outdoor hands-on experience with classroom research. To find out more about this program go to our Gently Down the Seymour Page.
Partners in Enhancement
The Seymour Hatchery is supported in part by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, (Community Economic Development Program), Metro Vancouver and the Ministry of the Environment. We also rely on financial support from our corporate sponsors and individual members of whom we are extremely grateful.
Ensuring Healthy Salmon and Trout Stocks
Long ago salmon returned by the millions to spawn in the local rivers of North Vancouver. In a dramatic and captivating spectacle this cycle of life went on for thousands of years without disruption. Today the effects of urbanization, dams, loss of habitat, pollution and over fishing have reduced the resource in a comparatively very short time. Today fish stocks are assisted and replenished by protecting habitat, creating new habitat by enhancement facilities such as the Seymour River Hatchery.