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Big Qualicum Hatchery

Notice

We want to assure Canadians of our commitment to maintaining essential services and delivering on our project requirements while advancing measures to minimize transmission of COVID-19.

For the safety of our staff and visitors, this location will be closed to the public until further notice.

On this page

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 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.

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

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.

Tours

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 3:00 pm.

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)
November 25, 2021 385.8 7.6 577
November 18, 2021 388.4 8.3 680
November 11, 2021 386.6 9.1 543
November 4, 2021 386.3 10.9 592
October 28, 2021 385.2 11.2 476
October 21, 2021 384.5 13.1 467
October 14, 2021 382.8 13.4 338
October 7, 2021 383.8 13.9 299
September 29, 2021 383.0 16.0 218
September 23, 2021 383.2 17.4 218
September 16, 2021 383.0 18.0 154
September 9, 2021 383.8 19.7 155
September 2, 2021 384.5 19.8 119
August 26, 2021 385.2 21.0 120
August 19, 2021 385.8 19.7 117
August 12, 2021 386.2 20.1 66
August 5, 2021 386.5 20.8 67
July 29, 2021 386.8 20.2 67
July 22, 2021 387.2 20.7 67
July 16, 2021 387.6 20.5 87
July 8, 2021 388.2 21.0 87
July 2, 2021 388.4 20.6 88
June 24, 2021 388.8 13.5 88
June 17, 2021 389.2 11.1 98
June 10, 2021 389.5 10.0 99
June 3, 2021 389.8 9.4 100
May 22, 2021 390.0 9.0 91
May 13, 2021 389.8 7.8 121
May 6, 2021 390.3 7.9 242
April 29, 2021 390.4 6.9 102
April 22, 2021 390.1 6.5 102
April 15, 2021 389.5 6.0 101
April 8, 2021 389.3 5.8 101
April 1, 2021 389.4 5.4 170
March 25, 2021 389.2 5.0 170
March 18, 2021 388.9 4.8 169
March 12, 2021 388.8 4.0 169
March 4, 2021 387.2 4.1 96
February 23, 2021 386.8 3.6 85
February 18, 2021 386.6 3.6 163
February 11, 2021 386.9 4.3 165
February 4, 2021 387.1 4.8 166
January 28, 2021 387.3 4.5 203
January 21, 2021 388.2 5.1 358
January 14, 2021 389.9 5.2 622
January 7, 2021 389.6 5.6 686
December 31, 2020 385.4 5.8 524
December 24, 2020 384.8 5.8 360
December 17, 2020 383.3 6.8 384
December 10, 2020 383.3 7.2 385
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