Last night a neighboring community and our family lost 40 years of history and love and sweat and heart. Mossom Creek Community Salmon Hatchery burned to the ground late yesterday evening. “The Hatchery” as it is known around our house is where Ray’s son, Kyle, grew up volunteering. It’s where he engaged his passion for the environment and provided a service to the community. As an adult, Kyle is the current and long serving president of the organization. He spent every Sunday there along with many other volunteers who were committed to seeing the hatchery succeed and helping Mother Nature with the salmon stocks. Along with the history, equipment and heart that was lost last night, they also lost fish. From the Mossom Creek website:
Every year the hatchery releases approximately 100,000 Chum fry into the area and between 5,000 and 10,000 Coho smolts. Chum salmon are released into Mossom and neighboring streams during the spring of their first year and quickly swim to salt water. Each year, about half of the young fish from Mosson are nurtured within the protection of the Ioco Sea Pen facility for a week or two. There, as they adjust to the salt water and are protected from predators, they increase in weight and their chances of survival also increase. Coho have an entirely different life cycle than the chum. They must spend an extra year in fresh water before going to sea. At Mosson they are kept in two large circular tubs in the courtyard and every day a volunteer comes to check on them, flush their tanks and feed them.
We’re so sad, it might appear to have been just a small building sitting in the woods, but for us and many others it was another member of the family to be cared for and nurtured and loved. When the investigation concludes and the site reopens, we’ll be there helping clean it up and put it back together.
I just realized that the picture in the header of my blog is a shot from Mossom Creek from a couple of years ago!