With the help of a handful of community members, the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society released about 3,000 salmon fry into the lake on Saturday, July 4.
The release took place at the Lake Cowichan First Nation’s Kaatza Adventures dock, with four pails worth of chum and coho fry going into the water.
The chum salmon leave for salt water right away, said society president Bob Crandall, and their main purpose is to eventually provide protein for the river ecosystem. The coho will hang around in the lake for a year to get bigger before they head out to the ocean.
Crandall was joined by vice president Kevin Lowe and his two-year-old son, Noah, as well as members of the Lake Cowichan Lions Club, which meets in the same facility as the Salmonid Enhancement Society.
Usually, Crandall noted, a lot of students help out with the release, but the COVID-19 pandemic made that difficult this year.
The society’s hatchery is used almost exclusively for educational purposes, Crandall added.
“Some are for production, some are for research, and some are for education,” he said.
As part of that mandate, the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society provides all salmon eggs that are used in classrooms in School District 79.