What we do
We operate a strategic enhancement hatchery, raising Pink, Coho, Chum and Chinook Salmon. Using a mixture of “low-tech” and “state of the art” enhancement techniques, the society has helped to transform a severely depleted river into one of the most productive volunteer-driven producers on Vancouver Island.
The society works on habitat restoration projects for natural spawning, rearing and overwintering of salmonids. In the past 20 years, the ORES has focused on the creation of side channel habitat and constructed several man-made channels. Side channels provide stable spawning habitat for Coho, Chinook, Pink and Chum salmon, Trout, Steelhead and overwintering habitat for rearing juveniles.
These channels divert a small amount of water via river intakes which control the amount of water flowing through providing protection during periods of high water and prevent a loss of flow during the summer.
The channels have been built with structures that salmonids use as habitat. These structures include deep pools and ponds, shallow bubbling riffles, undercut banks, boulders and large woody debris.
While representing only 6% of the total river area, the side channels account for 25% of the estimated total coho smolt production in the system and there has been a significant increase in the numbers of returning salmon since ORES was founded.
Enjoy your walk through these side channels and respect this restored habitat. The future of our precious salmonid resource is in our hands and we all can make a difference.