Salmon Enhancement Program (SEP)
There are sections to the SEP
- Federal Facilities
- Community Economic Development Program (CEDP)
- Public Involvement Program (PIP)
- Streamkeepers Program
- Education Projects
Each of these has a volunteer component to them as they are open to involving the public in their work to assist the salmon populations and streams of BC and the Yukon.
Federal facilities are government employees taking the major role with volunteer assistance around the hatchery and education. Some CEDP hatcheries are operated by non profit societies with very limited paid staff and many volunteers. Many are run by First Nations bands. PIP projects are smaller scale enhancement facilities where the operations are run by community volunteers. Fisheries and Oceans has Community Advisors who assist the enhancement community with permitting, training and guidance to ensure hatchery practices are up to date and the best for the fish and workers. Streamkeepers Program has a how to handbook as well as a training program. The Streamkeepers Federation and CA’s provide resources, tools and guidance for the many groups monitoring stream health. Education Projects are done through Community Advisors and DFO contract workers, they work with schools and community outreach. All the groups assist in public education. Throughout the year volunteers keep the hatchery, equipment and area clean and in good working condition. They monitor streams to ensure fish passage as well as perform surveys from the Streamkeepers protocols.
Hatchery Salmon Enhancement Projects
Care for salmon and/ or trout eggs. Ensure water supply, remove nonviable eggs, shock eggs (nonelectrical) and keep records of development. Timing depends on water temperature in the region Eggs usually hatch within 3 months, then alevins incubate for up to another 3 months before emerging as fry to be fed and cared for.
Fry – daily feeding, ponding of fry and eventual release to streams. Measure, check health, clean ponds.
Smolts – release to stream or ocean, operate smolt traps to assess numbers of smolts leaving the stream.
Adults – seine, angle or gillnet adult salmon from stream or traps, transfer to hatchery or if ready spawn onsite. Monitor fish being held for ripeness and when ready harvest the eggs and milt. Counting of adults may be done by marked recapture, snorkel counts or a fence and trap. More info on spawner surveys can be found in Module 12 or the Streamkeepers Handbook.
As a reminder here is link to short paragraphs on Modules from Streamkeepers Handbook