First generation of post-fuel spill fish returns to Goldstream

The 20,000 juvenile coho released in April 2011 coinciding with a massive fuel spill are returning to the stream this season

Goldstream Hatchery volunteer feeds some 14-month-old Coho salmon that were raised from eggs at the hatchery.

This year’s salmon run marks the first coho salmon to return since the massive fuel spill in Goldstream Park.

“We are very concerned about the coho, the adults returning are the juveniles from the fuel spill,” said Peter McCully, technical adviser for Goldstream Hatchery. “We have no idea what it’ll look like until later.”

On April 16, 2011, a fuel truck crash on the Malahat spilled 42,7000 litres of fuel into the Goldstream River. Hours after 8,000 hatchery fish were released into the river. Throughout that week about 20,000 fish were released. This will be the first year the repercussions of the spill will be seen in fish, though last year about 800 were counted in the river.

“Last year the coho weren’t affected by the fuel spill,” McCully said.

While McCully waits to see the first glimpse of how the fuel spill affected the fish, he is also concerned low water levels will affect the salmon run.

“The water is so blessedly low the fish won’t come in it,” McCully said. “The fish need a change in the weather.”

Sometimes when the barometric weather system brings in a low pressure system it can encourage the fish to migrate, McCully explained.

The rain last weekend won’t affect the river water levels, it may add a “fresh water lens” on the ocean encouraging the fish to swim up stream. The ground is so dry the water is just absorbed and didn’t run into the rivers.

“The Goldstream River is impounded (with three dams) it’s not a natural river,” McCully said. “We are releasing water at critical times.”

With low water levels, the Capital Regional District allowed the hatchery to release water, but McCully is unsure how much water the hatchery will be allowed to release.

McCully is asking all residents of the CRD to start conserving water in their homes, so more can be released into the river to aid the salmon spawning.


“Look after the water you use in your home. CRD Water will be more flexible with the water we release in the river (if less water is being consumed,)” McCully said.



Just Posted

At the age of 95, local bowler shows no signs of slowing down

Olive Olmsted has bowled for more than 55 years

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Royal Bay junior boys bring back lacrosse banner

The Ravens sent three teams to the provincial championships

Langford fundraiser for kidney disease is a success

Maureen Hobbs thinks B.C. Transplant says it best: “Live life. Pass it on.”

Preschool group helps release fish into Glen Lake

The number of fish released correlates to the number of fish caught per year

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

Most Read