Big Qualicum Hatchery
215 Fisheries Road
Qualicum Beach, B.C.
Open to the public: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm daily. Please telephone to confirm holiday hours.
- Freshwater: Region 1 - Vancouver Island
- Tidal Water: Area 14 (Comox/Parksville/Denman and Hornby Islands)
- Community Projects: Central portion, east coast of Vancouver Island and adjacent mainland inlets
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.
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.
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.
Visiting the Hatchery
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 4:00 pm.
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.
|Date||Lake Level (ft)||Surface Temperature (°C)||River Flow (cfs)|
|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|
|December 3, 2020||383.7||7.0||392|
|November 26, 2020||382.4||8.3||305|
|November 19, 2020||381.5||8.6||256|
|November 12, 2020||379.3||9.7||189|
|November 5, 2020||379.5||11.6||190|
|October 29, 2020||379.2||12.5||188|
|October 22, 2020||380.0||13.8||189|
|October 15, 2020||380.4||14.6||223|
|October 8, 2020||380.7||17.0||224|
|October 1, 2020||382.0||17.5||234|
|September 17, 2020||383.7||19.4||233|
|September 10, 2020||384.5||19.9||153|
|September 3, 2020||385.7||19.7||154|
|August 28, 2020||386.3||19.4||111|
|August 20, 2020||386.6||20.0||112|
|August 13, 2020||386.9||17.9||77|
|August 5, 2020||387.2||18.3||78|
|July 30, 2020||387.5||16.0||69|
|July 23, 2020||387.8||15.2||70|
|July 16, 2020||388.1||16.4||124|
|July 9, 2020||388.6||15.7||108|
|July 3, 2020||388.8||15.1||70|
|June 18, 2020||389.0||10.4||70|
|June 11, 2020||389.92||10.4||107|
|June 4, 2020||389.9||12.0||110|
|May 28, 2020||389.9||9.1||130|
|May 21, 2020||390.0||9.6||130|
|May 14, 2020||390.8||8.9||170|
|April 30, 2020||390.6||6.9||83|
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