The Howard English Fish Hatchery is located on the Goldstream River on the outskirts of Greater Victoria at 2979 Sooke Lake Road.
The Hatchery was established more than 40 years ago to restore the dwindling salmon runs in the Goldstream River. Now owned and operated by the Goldtream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association. The facility spawns and rears up to a million salmon smolts every year.
Golden Rods and Reels has been an active supporter of the hatchery since our inception. Seven of our members are currently hatchery volunteers, each working at least one 3-4 hour shift a week, year-round, providing more than 2,000 volunteer hours a year. Their duties include:
- Netting the various salmon, stripping the eggs & milt, & taking salmon past ladders.
- Eliminating dead salmon eggs (morts) that would otherwise contaminate the viable ones.
- Feeding the salmon fry, & releasing the fry to various streams.
Other related jobs are maintaining the water filtration system and keeping out pests such as mink & bears.
Up to a million salmon smolts are spawned and reared every year. Most of the young fish are released back into the river; others are used in salmon enhancement activity around southern Vancouver Island, and for the Salmon in the Schools program.(the largest in Canada) which provides fertilized eggs for incubators in 150 area Elementary Schools so students can rear and eventually release juvenile salmon as a learning project.