This morning we are putting two deliveries of chinook salmon smolts into a net pen in the Discovery Harbour Marina . If you like , you could just drop by to see the 3 inch long little guys come pouring out of a pipe from the tank truck , down hoses down the dock, and whoosh into a temporary net pen.
These are from the Quinsam hatchery, the Campbell River Guides Association supplies this pen, and volunteers to pull the pipes and feed them for a couple of weeks. This is one of 3 such pens , the Tyee Club will host one at the Fisherman’s Harbour, and there is a small one at Hidden Harbour. they will be held for about two weeks to be fed and conditioned to the salt water, giving them a leg up in survival.
When they return as adult chinooks in a few years, they will linger right in front of town before heading into the river. Some will be caught from motorboats, of course, but at the Campbell River Fishing Pier the general public can appreciate a chance at these icons of this city, casting from the pier.
Of particular interest, these fish are the genetic line of the famed Campbell River Tyees and the Tyee Club of British Columbia. Joining this unique Club rules requires catching a chinook over 30 lbs under Club rules, which include fishing only from a rowboat with specified light tackle. Check out the section on this topic on my website, . http://gobrightfish.com/tyee-fishing/
Interesting note ; these little fish face into the current , as they would in a stream, while they are being swept down the pipe. Then when they fall with the water out of the pipe , they turn in that short distance, or try to, and dive in head first. That’s why someone holds the end of the pipe up a bit, to give them a softer landing.