The Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society is a non-profit organization that was formed by a group of volunteers in 1985. Our mission is to address the diminishing salmon returns in several rivers in Clayoquot Sound.
The first hatchery was built in 1985 and operated for six years. It was a small hatchery, capable of rearing up to 100,000 coho fry. Construction was started on a much larger facility in 1990 allowing us to rear 500,000 coho fry and chinook smolts.
In 1992, we initiated a strategic enhancement plan for rebuilding Tranquil Creek chinook which had less than 100 adults return. Over the course of 12 years, we rebuilt the chinook population to 2,100 adults.
To date, we have rebuilt the chinook populations in the Cypre River as well as the Bedwell River. We have continued our enhancement efforts on Cypre River and Kootowis Creek coho as well.
In addition to our enhancement goals we operate three “Salmon in the Classroom” projects in two of the local schools. Each class is given 50 coho eggs for their aquariums. They monitor the daily temperatures and feed the fry once they swim up. The classes spend the day out in the field releasing their fry as well as an additional 10,000 fry back to Kootowis Creek.
Each spring we operate a smolt trap on Mackenzie Creek for 70 days counting the out migration coho smolts in this wild system.
We also have a snorkel survey contract with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to monitor salmon returns on ten river systems with Clayoquot Sound.