Can you help us raise funds and reduce costs to operate the Marble River Hatchery? Volunteers with the Friends of the Marble River and its predecessors have managed the hatchery on the Marble River since 1981, and have raised and released more than 16 million Chinook and Coho fry to the watershed in that period.
The Marble River is the major west coast salmon river on northern Vancouver Island. In the 1970s and 1980s, fall fish counts on the river were well below 600 Chinook and 100 Coho returning annually. Fish could not be seen making their way to spawning beds. Today, Coho and Chinook are commonly seen in the river during the fall spawn. Our objective is to raise the numbers of returning salmon to 10,000 Chinook and 3000 Coho annually, to match the numbers reported for mid-20 th century counts. Due to low ocean survival rates, we know that we will have to work even harder to achieve our goal and maintain salmon production in this watershed.
The hatchery was initially an environmental project supported by the BHP Billiton Island Copper Mine and Western Forest Products under the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Public Involvement Program. Changes have come to all these agencies: the Mine no longer operates, thus; the costs of maintaining the pumps and paying electrical bills are no longer covered by the mine; and DFO has expanded its program scope to include a wide range of projects, reducing support for the PIP hatchery projects. Support from WFP remains, but they also have other pressures for support of local projects, and are not positioned to fill the gap at this time.
Operating a hatchery that raises and releases a million fry annually is a significant undertaking. Our annual costs exceed $60,000. No wages are paid; all the work is undertaken by a team of volunteers from the neighboring North Island communities. A very significant portion of the cost is for electricity to run the pumps. We are examining options to reduce this cost, among others, and improve the sustainability of this Hatchery.
Please check out our web site at:
to view a Power Point presentation and a short video that demonstrates much of what we do at the Marble River Hatchery. Many local youth acquire their volunteer hours at our hatchery. Some of these youth have followed career paths into fisheries resource management. We are a vibrant participant in North Island community life.
The Friends of the Marble River are looking for new sustaining donors – donors who will commit to an annual donation of $5,000 for five years. With your support, we can apply for grants for capital projects that will improve our success and reduce our costs. With this five-year financial commitment, we can confirm the sustainability of the hatchery. We will recognize your contribution on our Marble River web page and our wall of heroes at the Marble River Hatchery.
Thank-you for your consideration of this request. Your grandchildren and their grandchildren will fish for Marble River salmon, and see orcas in our waters because you made a difference.
Treasurer and CFO,
The Friends of the Marble River
Charitable Donation Number – 86252 0426 RR0001
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