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WUIKINUXV NATION

Before going further, we wish to acknowledge the ancestral, traditional, and unceded Aboriginal territories of the Oweekeno People, and in particular, the Wuikinuxv First Nation, the great work to this beautiful land and rivers they are proud of.

HISTORY

History of Development of Stock Assistance and Hatcheries in Rivers Inlet

1935 to 1955 - Sockeye and pink hatchery operated by Wuikinuxv Nation/PSC at Meadowese Creek near the top end of Wannock River on the Oweekeno lake. Oweekeno Lake sockeye fry (Amback, Genesee and Medowse Creeks) were outplanted into various lakes on Vancouver Island and the North and Central Coasts; while pinks were outplanted to Vancouver Island streams.

1983 to 1991 - DFO/Wuikinuxv egg take and release Wannock Chinook using Snootli hatchery in Bella Coola. Shot Bolt Bay also operated a small hatchery.

1989 & 1990 - construction of Oweekeno Pilot Hatchery North of Wuikinuxv Village. Hatchery water is well-fed and operates on diesel generators. Percy Walkus intimately involved in the stock assistance activities.

1992 to 1995 - Wannock Chinook egg take pilot hatchery operating, rearing and outplants by Wuikinuxv Nation

1994 & 1995 - Neechanz and Wannock Chinook egg take, rearing and outplants by Wuikinuxv Nation using Oweekeno Pilot Hatchery.

1995 last year operation of Oweekeno Pilot Hatchery North of Wuikinuxv Village.

2007 to 2009 - DFO/Wuikinuxv/RINCSEA/PSC egg take and release Johnston Creek coho using Snootli hatchery in Bella Coola

2003 to 2010 - DFO/Wuikinuxv/RIHPSFA/RINCSEA/PSC egg take and release Wannock Chinook using Snootli hatchery in Bella Coola

2004 to 2005 - DFO/Wuikinuxv/RINCSEA/PSC egg take and release Oweekeno sockeye using Snootli hatchery in Bella Coola

2007 & 2008 - RSSEPS/DFO/Wuikinuxv Nation produced report on site options for Owikeno salmon enhancement hatchery. Sites investigated included the old village site, Meadowese Creek, Nicknaqueet, and the Oweekeno Pilot Hatchery North of Wuikinuxv Village.

2014 - Wuikinuxv Nation retained Barkley Project Group of Nanaimo to review feasibility of Nicknaqueet RoR (run-of-the-river) project. During this planning activity, the Wuikinuxv Fisheries Manager saw the potential for an attached hatchery at the site. The Fisheries Manager requested that the consultants working on designing the proposed Nicknaqueet RoR hydro-electric to include a small hatchery component - as all the infrastructure will be built (access road, penstock pipe, small retaining dam, electrical, etc.) - that could readily be utilized for a hatchery - along with water delivered in a pipe. The vision was for a small-scale chum hatchery, when/if it was built. The Fisheries manager then contacted the Rivers Inlet Salmon Steering Committee (RISC) comprised of DFO, Duncanby, Good Hope, RHF, LGL and Wuikinuxv Nation soliciting interest, and subsequently requesting support. That idea was quickly supported and expanded by the RISC, and subsequently funding was graciously generated and approved to look at water quality suitability. Since Chinook was the species of interest – it was important that the overwintering water temperature was high enough to facilitate early emergence by the Chinook fry from the incubating eggs in time to feed and release the Chinook fry as large-enough smolts. As water quality data was generated through the next 2 years – it became apparent that the ambient overwinter water temperatures in the Nicknaqueet would likely be unsuitable (too low) for early emergence of Chinook fry. Alternatives were sought, and the RISC graciously funded water quality testing of several alternative sites.

RIVERS INLET SALMON INITIATIVE

2015 – Water quality data on 2 sites in and around Wuikinuxv suggested that copper levels in groundwater might be limiting, so a Heath tray incubator was set-up to overwinter and incubate Chinook eggs to fry stage to test concerns about suitability. Duncanby Lodge had a fundraiser and graciously and incredibly committed to building of the hatchery in the village of Wuikinuxv. Over the course of the year various experts in fish culture, hatchery design and water quality gave input into the design and a site was chosen in Wuikinuxv and an agreement was developed and signed between the Wuikinuxv Nation and the “River's Inlet Salmon Initiative”.

GROUND BROKEN & WORK BEGAN

2016 – Incubation test proved suitability of Wuikinuxv ground water. Ground broken and work began on the Percy Walkus Hatchery in Wuikinuxv. Another fundraiser at Duncanby Lodge. Intend to be operational by Wannock egg take 2016.

ADDRESS
Oweekeno Village

CONTACTS
Email: brydonp@pwhatchery.org
Phone:  (604) 449-2040