|Store Type |||Government Services, Other Services|
|Neighbourhood |||North Vancouver|
|Getting There |||232, 236|
|Cross Street |||Capilano Rd. and Montroyal Blvd.|
|Open daily. Hours vary seasonally: Nov–Mar: 8AM-4PM Apr: 8AM-4:45PM May: 8AM-7PM June–Aug: 8AM-8PM Sept: 8AM-7PM Oct: 8AM-4:45PM|
Profile Last Updated: April 27, 2009
Salmon that grow up at Capilano Salmon Hatchery have all the advantages a fish can have. The hatchery is an extensive facility dedicated to restoring the health of the Burrard Inlet salmon fishery. Migrating fish are collected from the Capilano River, then sorted and spawned here. Salmon fry are reared with tender loving care before being released back into their natural ecosystem. By taking a free self-guided tour of the hatchery, you can see this wonderful natural drama up close.
Climbing the ladder
Salmon have an extended family tree and you'll see some of its main branches at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery. Coho, Steelhead and Chinook salmon live here together, though in separate quarters. A river weir prevents them from going upstream, guiding them toward a fish ladder instead. At certain times of the year (depending on the species) the ladder is thick with returning adult fish - a spectacular sight that visitors can take in through large glass viewing windows. After their climb, the salmon are diverted into special tanks where they are sorted by species. A new generation of fish is spawned, and the offspring live in a series of troughs and ponds until they are returned to the river as adults.
Taking care of salmon
The educational self-guided tour is a crash course in the lives of Pacific salmon. Interpretive displays also teach about fishing and issues of watersheds and fish habitat. The hatchery is an interesting place to visit because it demonstrates the extent to which humans have come to accommodate nature. When the nearby Cleveland Dam was built in the 1950s, it greatly affected the salmon's natural habitat. At first, the authorities built a river weir and fish ladder and transported the fish upstream by truck. This system didn't improve things much, so they built a full-scale hatchery, which was completed in 1971. After that, the salmon flourished once again.
Tours and Groups: Free to visit for a self-guided tour of the interpretive centre.