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Big Qualicum Hatchery

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About us

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 members of the Qualicum First Nations and the local community. 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.

Our hatchery and interpretive centre includes a display room containing a topographical model of the Big Qualicum project, public washrooms, viewing area which allows you to watch the fish eye-to-eye, a picnic site and nature trails. You can take a self-guided tour of the hatchery, which is open from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm daily, or tour the nearby walking trails at any time.

Visiting the hatchery

Address and contact information

215 Fisheries Rd
Qualicum Beach, BC
V9K 1Z5

Telephone: 250-757-8412
Fax: 250-757-8741
Hatchery manager: Aaron Burgoyne
Email: Aaron.Burgoyne@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Hours

7:00 am to 3:00 pm daily
Please telephone to confirm holiday hours.

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.

Key activities

Local fishing and community involvement

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.

Horne Lake

Date Lake level (ft.) Surface temperature (°C) River flow (cfs)
June 20, 2024 388.8 11.5 70
June 13, 2024 389.0 11.2 63
June 6, 2024 389.2 10.4 55.0
May 30, 2024 388.7 9.6 55.0
May 24, 2024 388.7 9.6 115.0
May 23, 2024 388.7 10.0 55
May 16, 2024 388.8 10.0 57
May 9, 2024 389.0 9.4 58
May 2, 2024 389.1 9.0 63.0
April 25, 2024 388.7 8.6 68.0
April 18, 2024 388.9 7.0 72.0
April 11, 2024 388.9 7.2 79.0
April 5, 2024 388.7 6.0 82.0
March 28, 2024 388.8 6.0 154.0
March 21, 2024 388.9 5.3 154
March 7, 2024 387.3 4.2 153
February 29, 2024 386.8 4.6 120
February 22, 2024 386.4 4.4 120
February 8, 2024 387.9 4.7 353
February 1, 2024 389.2 5.5 535
January 25, 2024 385.2 5.2 438
January 18, 2024 385.2 4.1 307
January 12, 2024 386.0 5.0 311
January 4, 2024 385.1 6.3 310
December 28, 2023 385.0 6.8 400
December 22, 2023 383.6 7.0 321
December 14, 2023 383.3 7.2 288
December 8, 2023 384.0 7.0 368
November 30, 2023 381.9 7.9 261
November 23, 2023 383.5 8.8 340
November 16, 2023 385.2 9.5 452
November 9, 2023 384.8 10.8 397
November 2, 2023 383.0 11.6 234
October 26, 2023 383.8 13.0 227
October 19, 2023 383.6 14.7 200
October 12, 2023 382.2 15.4 150
October 5, 2023 382.7 16.0 150
September 28, 2023 383.4 16.5 177
September 21, 2023 384.1 17.4 135
September 14, 2023 384.7 18.9 135
September 7, 2023 385.3 19.2 100
August 31, 2023 385.7 20.0 100
August 24, 2023 386.1 20.0 70
August 17, 2023 386.5 20.8 70
August 10, 2023 386.8 20.5 70
August 3, 2023 387.1 20.0 70
July 27, 2023 387.4 20.0 70
July 20, 2023 387.8 18.9 70
July 13, 2023 388.1 16.2 77
July 6, 2023 388.4 14.3 77
June 30, 2023 388.7 12.4 77
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