Since 2001 Squamish Terminals has partnered with Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery (operated by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans) by providing floating fish pens to acclimatize young fish to the ocean before release.
In April 2012, Squamish Terminals installed 4 new fish pens. The objective of this joint initiative is to increase the survival rate of salmon smolts hatched and raised at Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery (TCH). The smolts are placed in the Squamish Terminals’ pens, located in a confluence of fresh and salt water which allows them to become accustomed to ocean conditions while being protected from the fjord’s winds and marine animals. Overall this program responds very well due to the productivity of the estuary around the net pens.
The smolts are released after 2-3 weeks, at which time they will have grown in size, giving them an increased chance of survival. The smolts are fed by a timed feeder which is installed above each fish pen and automatically releases food at certain intervals. The feeders need to be refilled every 24 hours and Squamish Terminals employees help out in this regard. Typically, the conversion between the amount of fish feed given to the fish and the amount of weight gain on the fish is very high, meaning that 1kg of feed converts to 2kg of growth.
The 2015 summary from the fish pens are as follows:
- 200,000 Chum total
- 100,000 delivered to Squamish Terminals on March 25, 2015 and released on April 9, 2015
- Another 100,000 to be delivered on April 13, 2015. Release date TBD.
For more information on this program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.