MacLean Bay Hatchery
The Sechelt First Nation operates the Maclean Bay Hatchery located in Sechelt Inlet, approximately 8 km from the town of Sechelt. The facility opened in 1978 under the DFO Salmon Enhancement Program Economic Development Partnership Program. It was first operated as a seapen operation with both 20,000 coho and chinook transplanted from Capilano Hatchery and imprinted into the saltwater of Sechelt Inlet. In 1981 the staff with the assistance of the DFO Community Advisor built our first incubation facility at Shannon Creek that consisted of a bulk incubator to raise chum. In 1982 we expanded by installing a half stack heath tray incubation off a tributary at Gray Creek.
Construction began on the main hatchery facility in 1983 with freshwater piped through a 4” line from Shannon Creek and a 2” line from Angus Creek. The hatchery production target for the new hatchery was to raise coho, chinook and chum for a total production of 500,000 eggs.
In 1987, we had approval to transplant pink salmon eggs from Sechelt Creek located 20 miles north of our hatchery in Salmon Inlet. The adult returns in 1989 allowed us to incubate 42,000 eggs and in 1991 we had over 5,000 pink adults return. This gave us an opportunity to apply for a transplant to supply the Sliammon First Nation, Powell River Salmon Enhancement Society and the Sunshine Coast Salmon Enhancement Facility 500,000 eggs each to raise at their hatchery facilities. In the early 90’s the chinook production increased to 150,000 and we formed a partnership with the Powell River Salmon Enhancement Society to supply us smolts for release into Sechelt Inlet. Our cold water temperatures did not allow us to get the smolts up to size for optimal release sizes.
We shared the freshwater supply from Angus Creek with Rivtow who operated a gravel pit on the adjacent property to our facility. When their gravel operation shutdown it was too big of liability to take over the responsibility for the aging waterline from Angus Creek line. This created a problem for our facility as the Shannon Creek freshwater supply had a silting problem and was high in iron concentrate.
We phased out incubating coho by the mid 90’s and went back to coho transplants from Capilano hatchery. Our chum and pink eggs were incubated off site at Outlette Creek until the Sakinaw sockeye recovery program needed this freshwater facility. In 2005 we were offered rearing and incubation by the Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society. We signed an Agreement with the SCSES in 2006 that allows us to use their facility located on Chapman Creek and continue to a good working relationship with the Society. Our current production targets are 200,000 coho smolts,150,000 chinook smolts and 500,000 chum and 5000,00 pink in the odd years.
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