Capilano River Hatchery

Completed in 1971, the Capilano River Hatchery was built to strengthen declining Capilano salmon stocks that were affected by the construction of the Cleveland Dam. Today, the hatchery receives 238,000 visitors annually and is widely recognized for its contribution of coho and steelhead to the sport fishery in Burrard Inlet. The hatchery’s work has also introduced chinook to the system in an attempt to establish a self-sustaining run in the Capilano River fishery and in the Vancouver Harbour tidal sport fishery. In the fall, salmon returning to the Capilano River provide an important food, social and ceremonial fishery for the Squamish First Nation. The Capilano River Hatchery interpretive centre is open for public viewing daily, giving locals and visitors from around the world a chance to learn more about the salmon life cycle.

Directions

Heading north on Capilano Road (Capilano Road exit from Highway 1 or North Vancouver exit off Lions Gate Bridge, then left up Capilano Road) About half a kilometre past the Suspension Bridge, turn left on to Capilano Park Road (Look for the Capilano River Regional Park sign) and proceed one kilometre to end of the road.

Visiting the Hatchery

Parking in Capilano River Regional Park is provided by Metro Vancouver. To find out current parking, please phone the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks West Area Office at 604-224-5739. The canyon can be a very dangerous place for people of all ages because of its steep and slippery banks. Some areas of the canyon are marked with signs and fenced off. Remember that it is possible for the river level to become dangerously high within a short period of time. Be aware -- it is not possible to safeguard the entire park. Do not leave valuables in parked cars or buses.

When can I see salmon?

Species Dates
chinook adults October to November
coho adults June to November
steelhead adults March to April
coho juveniles all year
chinook juveniles March to May

Fish Production

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

Contact

Phone: 604-666-1790 (8:00 am to 4:00 pm)
Fax: 604-666-1949
Email: Jeremy Smith

4500 Capilano Park Road
North Vancouver, B.C.
V7R 4L3

Hours:
Open to the public:

  • November - March: 8:00am - 4:00pm
  • April: 8:00am - 6:00pm
  • May: 8:00am - 7:00pm
  • June - August: 8:00am - 8:00pm
  • September: 8:00am - 7:00pm
  • October: 8:00am - 6:00pm

Key Activities

Local Fishing and Community Involvement