Big Qualicum Hatchery

Contact

250-757-8412
Fax: 250-757-8741
Aaron Burgoyne

215 Fisheries Road
Qualicum Beach, B.C.
V9K 1Z5

Hours:
Open to the public: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm daily. Please telephone to confirm holiday hours.

Key Activities

Local Fishing and Community Involvement

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.

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.

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.

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.

Horne Lake

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