SUMMERLAND REVIEW FILE PHOTO GONE FISHING The annual fishing derby at Garnet Lake, held each year on the Sunday of Action Festival, promotes fishing in the area. Garnet Lake is one of the many lakes stocked with fish from the Summerland Trout Hatchery.

Summerland Trout Hatchery holds open house

Fish culturing marks 100 years; hatchery celebrates 90th anniversary

An open house this weekend will celebrate the 100th anniversary of fish culturing in the region and the 90th anniversary of the Summerland Trout Hatchery.

The open house will be held at the hatchery on Saturday, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The hatchery is a great source of pride in our community. As the oldest continuously running trout hatchery in B.C., we have deep roots in Summerland,” said Kyle Girgan, manager of the hatchery.

“We hope the community will come out to help us mark the occasion and we’ve created an anniversary sticker so people can show their hatchery pride all year long.”

Girgan said fish culturing in the region began in Summerland in 1918, when George Gartrell began a small fish culturing operation in the Peach Orchard area of Summerland.

In 1927, the federal government purchased the property to use as a hatchery.

The site had been a concrete powerhouse. The location had constant water flow and constant water temperature from Shaughnessy Spring.

That year, Granville Morgan was appointed Special Guardian of Fisheries for Okanagan District No. 1 under Gartrell, who was now inspector of fisheries.

Girgan said the spring remains one of the most important features of the hatchery.

“One of the things that makes us so unique is our water source, Shaughnessy Spring,” he said.

“It’s very rare to find a hatchery like ours, with a water source like ours.”

He said it is important to protect the spring, since it supplies the water the hatchery needs to continue its operations.

When the hatchery was opened, it was initially run on a part-time, seasonal basis.

The first releases were into Darke Lake and Garnet Lake. Both lakes are still stocked with fish from the hatchery.

In 1937, the province purchased the hatchery from the federal government andtook over all fish culture activities relating to inland species.

In 1947, the hatchery building was replaced with the current structure.

The visitor centre was opened in 1990.

In 2003, the ownership of the hatchery was transferred to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. was created in 2003 as a private, not-for-profit organization.

Each year the society stocks eight million trout, char and kokanee in 800 lakes around the province.

The Summerland hatchery stocks one million fish in lakes from Grand Forks to Revelstoke and Kamloops.

Each spring, the hatchery trucks fish to 120 to 150 lakes, and each fall, a similar number of lakes in the region are stocked by helicopter.

The fish from the hatchery include some sterilized trout, sterilized eastern brook char and some unsterilized females.

Girgan said eastern brook char are not native to the area, but are still supplied to area lakes.

“The brookies have been stocked in this part of the province for decades,” he said.

He added that efforts are made to ensure the fish from the hatchery will not breed with wild fish. This is the reason for releasing sterilized fish in lakes where wild native fish may be found.

In addition to breeding fish, the hatchery also has a visitor centre, with information about its fish breeding and stocking efforts.

The visitor centre is now open, and during the summer it will be open seven days a week.

This year, the hatchery will have a learn to fish program operating out of the facility.

Girgan said the hatchery intends to continue operating in the community.

“We’ve been here for 90 years and we’re committed to another 90 years in Summerland,” he said, “but we need to have another 90 years of protection.”

 

JOHN ARENDT FISHING TRADITION The Summerland Trout Hatchery has been in place for the past 90 years. Fish culturing began a century ago, in 1918. On May 12, the hatchery will hold an open house.

Just Posted

How to roll a joint with Kelowna’s Bob Kay, Owner of Cannabis Culture

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Big Brother holds casting call in Kelowna

Hopefuls can audition Oct. 18

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

UPDATE: B.C. man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, of Nelson, will face mischief and assault charges

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Most Read