After two years of a pandemic that forced the Nicomekl Enhancement Society to cancel the annual open house at their Langley hatchery, the event will return on Saturday, April 30.
Running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the facility located at 5263 232nd St., the event will feature the release of 25,000 Chinook salmon into the Nicomekl River system.
There will be free hot dogs and pop (donations are welcomed), and, for the first time, live music by Fuzz and Sweet Max playing popular 60’s and 70’s music, as well as a scavenger hunt, with prizes.
Society president Nigel Easton said it is part of a return to normal that has also seen the resumption of the hatchery school program, with planned visits from K-to-5 classes, and, more volunteers on site.
During the pandemic, Easton said they had to restrict the size of the volunteer crews who work at the hatchery, who are often seniors and more vulnerable to COVID-19.”
“We said [to everyone], if you don’t have a job to do, don’t come by,” Easton recalled.
Easton said it will be the second release of Chinook this season.
“We’ve been feeding them well,” Easton said, describing the Chinook smelts as “huge” at seven to eight grams,
“They’re little whales,” he laughed.
They will need the size, he explained, “because they head to the ocean right away. They need to get to salt water as soon as possible.”
In the past, the open house at the volunteer-run hatchery has drawn around 600 people.
“We look forward to seeing everyone,” Easton said.
“We’re all very excited.”
The society got its start in 1989, when the Langley Rod and Gun Club hosted a public meeting to organize a group of Langley area volunteers willing to work on restoring and enhancing the troubled Nicomekl River watershed.
First known as Fish for your Future, and later as the Nicomekl Enhancement Society, the all-volunteer organization has released hundreds of thousands of salmon fry into the Nicomekl River, which originates in the Township of Langley and flows east to west through the City of Langley and Surrey to Mud Bay at Blackie’s Spit.
Have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.