2015 salmon trip


Working together in the canoesCanoeing together


This program has been running since 2006 with funding from a variety of sources. This year it was funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Scout Island Nature Centre, the Williams Lake Kiwanis Club, Lake City Secondary School PAC, Gavin Lake Camp, SD 27, and Quesnel River Research Centre (QRRC).

The program is designed to get youth out in nature and working with experts in biology and related fields. Students (grades 9-12) were matched with people working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, local biologists, and researchers at the Quesnel River Research Centre (part of University of Northern BC). Students learned about forest ecosystems, the importance of riparian habitat healthy watersheds, First Nations cultural connection to Salmon, and research and restoration work being done in the watershed — through hands-on activities. The goal is to develop the next generation of stewards for our watersheds.


SD 27 Teachers: Nara Riplinger, Laura Storochuk, Kim Zalay, Frances McCoubrey

Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Guy Scharf

Scout Island Nature Centre: Sue Hemphill, Paula Laita

Quesnel River Research Centre/University of Northern BC: Sam Albers, Sarah Lehnert, and Laszlo Enyedy

Mount Polley: Katie McMahen

Volunteers: Roy Argue, Steve and Lynn Capling, Fred Robbins, Laura Ulrich, Mike Doherty

8 students grades 9-12 took part in the three-day program
32 students from Grade 7 outdoor academy plus Greenologists took part in the 2 nights and 1 day program


Untangling the Chinook


  • Learned about canoe safety and then canoed edge of lake. We learned about the riparian edge from the water.
  • Walked the forest trail learning about the three ecosystems we walked through.
  • Collected aquatic invertebrates from marshy area.
  • We learned about the salmon life cycle and habitat needs through a presentation and discussion.
  • Greenologists and Grade 7 Outdoor Education class arrived and had dinner with us.
  • Steve and Lynn Capling did a presentation about astronomy and we did some viewing through the telescopes when the clouds cleared up.

TUESDAYChinook eggs being incubated

  • At 9 am we were at the bridge in Likely watching the Chinook spawning below us. The birds-eye view was good for seeing the behavours of the fish. By 10 am we were on the Quesnel River for the gamete collection. This went well this year and we had the gametes we needed within a couple of hours. The grade 7 students also took part.
  • We traveled to the QRRC for fertilization, enumeration and disinfection of eggs. We learned how to measure eggs and the procedures needed to ensure the successful fertilization of the eggs
  • Students took time to work on their journals and to answer observe and answer questions about the aquatic invertebrates caught the day before.
  • Fred Robbins discuss First Nations connection with salmon, their culture, their concern and helped us prepare fish for cooking over the fire.
  • There was a great dinner including the salmon we cooked over the fire and vegetables provided from Ms Kaufman’s corn farm and Sue’s garden.
  • The grade 7 students left after dinner and things were much quieter.
  • We gathered around the fire to share stories with Fred Robbins

Prepping fishWEDNESDAY

  • After breakfast, cleaning camp and packing up we left for the QRRC.

  • Mike Doherty taught us how to observe from nature and we practiced sketching under his guidance.

  • Students learned about Sarah Lehnert’s research with the two strains of Chinook and practiced some of the techniques she uses to focus on areas of research such as mate choice, genetics and gamete quality.

  • Sam Albers described research surrounding the Mt Polley tailings pond breach since August 4th, 2014. Students were introduced to the methods being used to evaluate the Quesnel watershed post-breach. Students were also introduced to some of the scientific principles relevant to the Mt Polley breach.

  • We traveled to Hazeltine Creek and toured the restoration work being done on Hazeltine and Edney Creek led by Katie McMahen who works for Mount Polley.

  • We concluded by sharing our Two Stars and a Wish

Student Projects:
This year, students were required to do stewardship projects in order to come on the trip. These included:

  • Leading activities at the Horsefly Salmon Festival

  • Taking part in the monitoring of the Williams Lake River

  • Planting trees at Scout Island nature Centre

    Students also kept journals while on the trip and a song was written and performed by the "Hip Waders"
  • I have my ticket from the great big sea all the way back to Quesnel.
    I’m sure I will see the people of Likely
    And I’m following my nose what ya say
    When I spawn, when I spawn
    I will reproduce before I am gone
    Your gonna miss me by my scales
    Oh your gona miss me when I am gone

    I built my redd in the river deep
    The one with the clearest of views
    It's got bears. It’s got fishers.
    It's got nets to catch my sisters
    It sure would be clearer without fumes
    When I spawn, when I spawn
    I’ve swum this river for too long.
    Your gonna miss me by by redd.
    Your gonna miss when I’m dead
    But hopefully my young will live on

    Stars and Wishes 2015 — favourite activities and Discuss the coming yearideas for 2016

    The last event for the three days is to discuss each students two stars (favorite activities) and a wish (what shuld we do differently next year). We are sitting together after a tour of Hazeltine and Edney Creeks.


    • Forest Walk and learning about plants and fungii
    • Working and talking with Sam and Sarah, researchers at the QRRC.
    • Catching the Chinook on the river.
    • Meeting Fred and hearing his stories
    • Art with Mike


    • Shorter pesentations in the evening

    • Arranging the trip so students did not have to miss 3 whole days of school — too much homework to make up

    The 2012 Salmon trip page

    1305 A Borland Rd.
    Williams Lake, BC
    V2G 5K5


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