Salmon swim next to the Nanaimo River Hatchery last fall. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Nanaimo Hatchery hosts Spawning Day fundraiser

Adopt a fish, eat salmon barbeque and watch spawning salmon at the annual event

Families can watch spawning chum salmon, go on a guided stream walk and adopt a fish during Nanaimo River Hatchery’s annual Spawning Day fundraiser.

Nanaimo River Hatchery will open its doors this Sunday (Nov. 5) for its fifth annual by-donation event.

The fundraiser will feature a spawning demonstration, salmon dissection, guided stream walk and a boating and fishing garbage sale. People can also adopt and release a fry, watch salmon spawn and enjoy a salmon barbecue prepared by the Nanaimo Fish and Game Club. Vancouver Island University will be on hand doing fish printing and Harbour Chandler will have a children’s prize fishing pool.

Coffee, hot chocolate and fudge will be provided by Cabela’s Nanaimo and there will also be a display by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“It’s just great to see the fish here,” said Brian Banks, manager of Nanaimo River Hatchery. “Everybody talks about going to Goldstream all the time when actually they can come here and see the fish spawning the same way and it’s just for everybody to see what we do here, and be able to see fish being spawned and dissected and all these different things is definitely interesting for a lot of people who don’t realize we’re down here.”

Last year, 1,500 people turned out to the event, which raises money to help the non-profit with education programs, maintenance and the costs of running the hatchery.

The event is from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 2775 Rugby Road behind the Cassidy rest stop and off Beck Road. There will be parking near the hatchery and if it gets busy, Banks said there will be a shuttle from the rest stop.

“Rain or shine, it’s a great event,” he said.



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