August 04, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Smithers - Fishing
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If you're travelling west of Smithers on Hwy 16, be sure to stop at the Toboggan Creek Fish Hatchery! I visited yesterday and was surprised at how much there is to see and learn.
The Toboggan Creek Fish Hatchery is located 13km west of Smithers. It was really easy to follow the big signs welcoming visitors to the site! The hatchery was established in order to increase the number of Coho and Spring salmon in the Bulkley River system, as well as monitor local salmon populations. Young salmon usually only have a 1% survival rate, but here at the hatchery, that increases to 96%!
I was greeted by the girl who usually provides free tours to visitors, but today she and the other few staff members were busy "clipping" young fish - this is how fishermen identify the hatchery's fish and can report the location where they caught the fish to help track the salmon's journey. It was really interesting to watch the clipping process and how quick but gentle the staff are when handling the fish! I viewed the swarms of young fish in the tanks inside the hatchery (the water flowing through these tanks actually comes from the stream outside) and checked out the large depiction of the salmon's life cycle on the wall. I then wandered outside to the trail along Toboggan Creek - this creek is so nice, I could have happily lounged on its banks for a couple of hours but it was time to hit the road once again.
I really enjoyed my visit to the hatchery and I think it would be interesting to visit at different times throughout the year to see all the different jobs they do. Make sure to drop by any time you're in the neighbourhood - the folks at the Toboggan Creek Fish Hatchery will happily welcome you!