Salmon in the City (formerly Colquitz Salmonid Stewardship and Education Society)
A Department of Fisheries and Oceans funded project, where we count the incoming spawning Coho in the fall each year. The Colquitz is temporarily blocked with panels, and the fish are directed into a holding pen. Each day, many times per day, they are counted, using a net to retrieve them from the pen, and are quickly assessed for the following: species, gender, age, predator marks (fresh or old are recorded), whether they have an adipose fin, indicating a hatchery fish if the fin is missing. General health of each fish, and estimated length of time in fresh water, depending on spawning colour and development of the jaw kype.
From the first week of October until December, we attend the fish counting fence daily. We try for a ten a.m. count, which the public depends on. See Esquimalt Anglers for club and meeting times.
About a kilometer upstream of the estuary and mouth of the Colquitz at Portage Inlet. The fence is located behind Montana’s Restaurant, in Cuthbert Holmes Park, along a pathway beside the parking lot. There is now a large sign from Saanich indicating the project, and the short zig zag pathway to the fish fence.
Multiple school and community visits to view the salmon count and wildlife. Data collected for DFO and the upstream projects in the Colquitz watershed.
Salmon counting is ongoing each fall. Year-long school education regarding the river and Cuthbert Holmes Park.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend and see what we do. In the past, DFO put on a workshop to train enumeration volunteers, and we all learn from each other. In-stream insurance is mandatory. There is also a need to help with the school classes and community members who attend, often in large numbers.
Most recently, equipment contributions and support have come from, the Gorge Tillicum Community Association, Esquimalt Anglers, Haig Brown Fly Fishing Association, World Fisheries Trust, Golden Rods and Reels, Saanich Parks, Goldstream Hatchery, Trotac and DFO.
Presently there is no specific web page, but the Gorge Tillicum Community Association posts updates to their web page and facebook.