Big Qualicum Hatchery

The Big Qualicum Hatchery deploys a number of natural and artificial enhancement techniques to increase populations of Pacific salmon. It was the first of the modern enhancement projects to be undertaken in this province and has provided a model for other developments. Research and assessment at this facility have increased the scientific data available on salmonid behaviour, life cycle and habitat requirements. The hatchery is a resource for recreational fishers in the area and an employer for the Qualicum First Nations. The hatchery also provides an important source of fish for native food fisheries and countless hours of enjoyment for local recreational fishers. Big Qualicum is the hub facility for the Little Qualicum and Rosewall facilities.

Directions

From the Inland Island Hwy (19), take the Horne Lake exit (75). Follow Horne Lake Road until you pass the railroad tracks and take the next left (continuing onto Horne Lake Road). On your immediate left (you will see a Big Qualicum Hatchery sign), turn onto the gravel road (River Road). Follow that down to the hatchery parking lot.

From the Island Hwy (19A), take the exit on Horne Lake Road. Take the first right onto a gravel road (River Road) and continue until you reach the hatchery parking lot.

Visiting the Hatchery

There is a display room containing a topographical model of the Big Qualicum project, public washrooms, viewing area (allows you to watch the fish eye-to-eye), a picnic site and nature trails. You can book a guided tour by calling the hatchery or you can do a self-guided tour. The hatchery operates 24 hours a day; the office is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

When can I see salmon?

Fall (mid-September to mid-November) is usually the best time, when the chinook and pink salmon return and the hatchery does eggs takes and sorting.

Fish Production

Annual fish releases are available through a query to the release database.

Horne Lake

Date Lake Level (ft) Surface Temperature (°C) River Flow (cfs)
September 20, 2017 384.6 19.1 167
September 14, 2017 385.2 20.0 127
September 7, 2017 385.7 21.6 80
August 31, 2017 386.4 20.8 80
August 17, 2017 387.0 21.5 63
August 10, 2017 387.2 23.8 63
August 3, 2017 387.4 21.9 63
July 27, 2017 387.8 20.5 63
July 20, 2017 388.1 19.8 64
July 13, 2017 388.4 20.7 64
July 6, 2017 388.6 21.3 85
June 29, 2017 389.0 20.3 85
June 22, 2017 389.3 17.5 128
June 15, 2017 389.4 16.1 129
June 8, 2017 389.7 16.7 151
June 1, 2017 390.4 15.8 151
May 25, 2017 390.5 14.7 153
May 18, 2017 390.5 11.2 153
May 11, 2017 390.2 10.8 178
May 4, 2017 389.9 9.0 179
April 27, 2017 390.2 8.1 220
April 20, 2017 389.0 7.4 261
April 13, 2017 387.7 6.2 224
April 6, 2017 386.6 6.1 261
March 30, 2017 386.3 5.1 254
March 23, 2017 383.2 4.4 189
March 16, 2017 382.3 3.6 301
March 9, 2017 380.8 3.9 296
March 2, 2017 381.9 3.6 433
February 23, 2017 384.3 3.6 396
February 16, 2017 383.0 3.2 453
February 9, 2017 381.3 2.2 369
January 26, 2017 383.8 3.6 244
January 19, 2017 381.6 4.0 211
January 12, 2017 379.5 0.2 146
January 5, 2017 379.6 2.4 216
December 29, 2016 380.3 2.5 314
December 22, 2016 381.5 5.7 479
December 15, 2016 387.0 6.2 468
December 8, 2016 386.4 7.6 454
December 1, 2016 388.6 8.5 565
November 24, 2016 388.3 9.4 574
November 17, 2016 389.4 10.6 657
November 10, 2016 391.0 11.4 851
November 3, 2016 388.5 11.6 610
October 27, 2016 385.6 12.2 454
October 20, 2016 385.0 12.7 445
October 13, 2016 382.2 14.2 393
October 6, 2016 382.7 16.3 220
September 29, 2016 383.1 17.8 186
September 22, 2016 383.9 19.1 167
September 15, 2016 384.6 20.2 127

Contact

250-757-8412
Fax: 250-757-8741
Les.Clint@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

215 Fisheries Road
Qualicum Beach, B.C.
V9K 1Z5

Hours:
Open to the public: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. Please telephone to confirm holiday hours.

Key Activities

Local Fishing and Community Involvement