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Nitinat Hatchery

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About us

The Nitinat River Hatchery was built in 1980 to help sustain salmon populations for local commercial, recreational and Ditidaht First Nations fisheries. The hatchery sees about 100 to 500 visitors annually and has salmon returns that can range up to about 500,000 salmon each year. Depending on the time of the year, visitors can see returning adult salmon, salmonid eggs, alevin and fry. The hatchery is also involved in several research projects.

Visiting the hatchery

Address and contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 369
Port Alberni BC  V9Y 7M8

Telephone: 250-745-3321, Telephone: 250-745-3322
Fax: 250-745-3416
Hatchery manager: Caroline Cherry


8 am to 4 pm daily
Please telephone to confirm holiday hours.


From 3rd Avenue in Port Alberni, turn onto Ship Creek Road and continue for about 11 minutes. Ship Creek Road becomes Franklin River Road. Continue on Franklin River Road until Bamfield Road and continue to Coleman Road. Turn left and continue on Coleman Road until it becomes Carmanah Main. Make a hard right onto Nitinat Road and the hatchery is on the right.


There are no self-guided tours available at the hatchery but guided tours for large groups are available if arranged in advance. If staff members are available, they are happy to show visitors around the facility. Washrooms are available to the public during operational hours.

Key activities

Local fishing and community involvement

When can I see salmon?

Species Dates
Chinook adults September to October
Chum adults September to October
Coho adults mid-September to December
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