News

Mossom Creek hatchery and education centre will be rebuilt

Ruth Foster, co-founder of the Mossom Creek Hatchery, and Kyle Pilon, president of the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society which oversees operations, survey the damage from Wednesday night
Ruth Foster, co-founder of the Mossom Creek Hatchery, and Kyle Pilon, president of the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society which oversees operations, survey the damage from Wednesday night's fire at the hatchery.
— image credit: DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

Volunteers hope friends and supporters of the Mossom Creek hatchery in Port Moody will rally around efforts to rebuild after Wednesday's fire destroyed the building.

Ruth Foster, who co-founded the hatchery, and Melanie Mattson, the teacher who now sponsors the Centennial Salmon Club (in the Coquitlam high school) that helps to look after it, say hundreds of former students and stewards from hatcheries have already reached out to support its replacement.

"It's a good thing. We're going to build it even better," said Foster, as she surveyed the smouldering pile of wood that used to house a classroom and hatchery.

Among the groups pledging support are Noons Creek (Port Moody), Seymour (North Vancouver) and Kanaka Creek (Maple Ridge) hatcheries, and students from around B.C. have contacted Foster as well.

She said a trailer will likely be placed on the site as a temporary shelter until new buildings can be erected to replace the hatchery, built in 1992, and the conference room, built in 2003.

Mattson, whose father, Jim Mattson, sponsored the Centennial Salmon Club before her, said students would be disappointed if work has to stop while rebuilding takes place. But she expected there would still be a need to look after the 4,000 coho that weren't affected by the fire.

Choking back tears, Mattson said the destruction was a devastating loss, and she was particularly disappointed because this year's students were keen. "They give me energy every day," she said.

There are concerns, however, that the hatchery archives are lost, including hundreds of newspaper clippings, although Foster said the program would rise like a "phoenix."

"We're going to need another logo," joked one volunteer, as the group stood around waiting for police and fire officials to leave so they could begin work fixing the plumbing to the coho tank.

• For more information about Mossom Creek Hatchery visit www.mossomcreek.org.

HOW TO HELP

• An account has been set up with TD Canada Trust for donations. Those wishing to contribute can make a deposit at any branch of the bank into account 539-5000965. Businesses can be issued tax receipts. A fundraiser is expected to be announced in the new year.

• People with photos, newspaper clippings or any other material related to the hatchery are asked to email the images to elaineawillis@gmail.com.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

 

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