Dinner funds salmon restoration projects

Pacific Salmon Foundation fundraiser helps groups re-establish Nanaimo salmon runs

If you’ve noticed pink salmon spawning in Departure Creek or chum salmon ascending Chase River over the past few weeks, it’s not a fluke.

It is because of many local interest groups that came together to breathe life back into Nanaimo waterways, re-establishing and in some cases establishing salmon runs that were non-existent for decades.

Much of the funding for the projects comes from the Pacific Salmon Foundation, which hosts its key fundraiser Nov. 26 at Beban Park.

It’s an event salmon lovers circle on their calendar annually.

“It’s the ninth annual Pacific Salmon Foundation dinner auction, and it’s a great way for all of the people and groups involved in these projects to get together and keep the momentum going,” said Mel Sheng, dinner organizer and quarterback for many salmon enhancement projects in the area.

The event, which includes an auction and dancing, raises more than $40,000 each year with all net proceeds directed toward salmon restoration between Duncan and Fanny Bay.

Partners involved in many of the projects around Nanaimo include: the Island Water Flyfishers, British Columbia Conservation Foundation, Island Corridor Foundation, Nanaimo and Area Land Trust, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the City of Nanaimo and Vancouver Island University.

Over the past several months, stakeholders worked to re-introduce more than 2,000 chum to Chase River by installing nine baffles, with some fish reaching as far as Cat Creek for the first time since 1911. And for the first time in decades, more than 200 pinks swam up Departure Creek and successfully spawned in picturesque Woodstream Park, while 200 chum returned to Beck Creek near Pryde Vista golf course.

This year, coho expected to arrive over the coming weeks in the Millstone River and its $500,000 side channel will experience improved spawning grounds as money raised from last year’s dinner and auction was used to build new gravel beds along the channel.

“The Pacific Salmon Foundation dinner is a way for us to get funds for this area and then distribute those funds to the various groups for their projects,” said Jean-Michel Hanssens of the Harbour City River Stewards, an organization created to oversee many of the salmon enhancement projects around the Nanaimo area. “The highlights this year have been pinks spawning in Departure Creek for the first time and the chum returning to Chase River.

Future projects to benefit from PSF fundraising include introducing pinks to the channel between Neck Point Park and Pipers Lagoon Park, various water storage projects to ensure local streams and rivers have enough flow in the dry months to sustain salmon fry, and a science educational centre floated for Bowen Park near the side channel.

“It’s all about the community coming together and becoming involved,” said Hannsens. “And it’s all about the fish.”

Thanks to the dinner auction and other fundraising, a successful pink run was re-introduced to Departure Bay and Nanaimo Harbour over the past few years, providing sport fishing opportunities that have attracted thousands of people to Nanaimo’s shoreline.

Tickets for the Pacific Salmon Foundation are $60 each and can be purchased at Gone Fishin’ at 2980 North Island Highway (Rock City Centre), Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitters, or at DFO at 3225 Stephenson Point Rd. or DFO at 303-60 Front St.

The auction will include fishing adventures, original artwork and other unique items, while dinner includes a seafood bar, buffet, and dessert. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m.


Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Most Read