MOSSOM CREEK: In the beginning...
Stream stewardship groups were a relatively new idea when the Salmon Project was launched at Coquitlam’s Centennial secondary school to protect Port Moody’s Mossom Creek.
“This was kind of the beginning,” says Rod MacVicar, who along with fellow teacher Ruth Foster founded the club. “Now, there’s barely a creek without a stewardship group.”
MacVicar drove over the bridge crossing the creek every day, commuting between his home in Belcarra and his job as a biology teacher at Centennial. One day in 1976, he took a closer look at the waterway to see what he could do.
There were no salmon in the system at that time, likely because it was fished out, he says. But with the help of Foster and students, the fish came back.
Starting with a few rudimentary incubation boxes at the edge of the creek, the hatchery eventually grew into a large compound with incubation rooms, rearing ponds and an education centre.
When the building burned down last December, Foster and MacVicar were devastated. Then they were caught them off guard was the outpouring of grief that came from former students and the community.
With their support, the mourning quickly turned into action, and the pair believe that they can restore the Mossom Creek Hatchery to its former glory.
THE PAST & THE FUTURE
Adam Lewis’ may have graduated from high school in the 1970s but he is still doing what he can to help out at Mossom Creek Hatchery. His company has provided equipment to hatchery volunteers that measures the temperature, turbidity and water levels of the creek at all times. The information is then relayed through a cellular signal and uploaded to the internet, currently to a secure website. “The eventual goal is to make it publicly available,” he says. “People will be able to see what is going on in the creek on an hourly basis.”
Part 3, Wednesday: The salmon and the next steps in rebuilding