The Hyde Creek Watershed Society was born of a necessity to protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Hyde Creek Watershed.
About 1982 Peter Crowder began the process of revitalizing an abandoned salmon incubation project. It began in his backyard at Windemere Place in Port Coquitlam. Peter, his son PJ and family, along with creek neighbour Ken Rempel, Jim Wycherley and families, and Maurice Coulter-Boisvert of Fisheries & Oceans took up the challenge.
They began by capturing and harvesting the few salmon remaining at the time in Hyde Creek. With the help of volunteering neighbours they operated their hatchery. Pagers were linked to alarms at their hatchery and volunteers were electronically tied to the operation - day and night. The salmon eggs and milt were retrieved and placed in a wooden incubator then transferred into a bathtub for a further two months before being released back into the stream. This small group operated like this for approximately 4 years until a holding pen for the adult salmon was obtained. This was a great step forward in their operation as they had no way of holding adults that were not ready to be harvested. The holding pen was also crucial to hosting Coho fry that needed to be held for a year before their release.
In 1995 the hatchery relocated to Ken Rempel's backyard on Charlton Court. And the volunteers kept on working. Through help from Maurice Coulter-Boisvert and the Department of Fisheries, Ken obtained additional tanks, a Capilano trough, a double set of incubation systems known as Heathe trays, as well as a shelter from the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The makeshift hatchery had a cleaning system with a sand filter that contained a float- activated paging system that would alert Ken at any time of the day or night to come and clean the filters! Ken and his wife Bev, Jim Wycherly, Janice and Jordan Wycherly, Allan Jensen, and Dave Palidwor decided that education was the key to sustaining and bringing back salmon stocks into the Hyde Creek system.
Raising young salmon in an old bathtub.
Over the years a lot has been done to restore the stream and make it a healthy home for the salmon who use it. To learn more about what has been done by the Hyde Creek Watershed Society and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada click here.