RCA Salmon Hatchery

RCA is part of the Lake Huron Fishing Club School Salmon Hatcheries Program.     http://lhfcschoolhatcheries.blogspot.ca/

The project is spearheaded by Richard Elliott of the Lake Huron Fishing Club.  One of our RCA parents, Shawn O'Connell, has also assumed the role of supervisor of the project locally and RCA students will care for the fish and watch over them for several months.  

RCA is one of several schools in Ontario to participate in the Lake Huron Fishing Club's salmon hatchery program, which aims to rejuvenate a salmon population that has been severely diminished in recent times.

The Lake Huron Fishing Club has created a full-fledged Chinook salmon hatchery in Saugeen Shores. Over the past 11 years, the salmon population in Lake Huron has been ravaged by invasive species that gobble up the salmon food supply, the salmon eggs and smolts. The recent arrival of the round goby from the Caspian Sea has been disastrous for the salmon population.  Environmental changes due to climate change have also been threatening salmon populations due to warmer river waters and streams. 

The small hatchery set up at the school includes a chiller module and a pump that circulates the aquarium water and keeps it at an optimal temperature. Students conduct research projects concerning salmon whereby they learn about the life cycle of the salmon as well as the environmental threats to the salmon population. 

A small webcam also streams the progress of the salmon all over the world to help increase awareness.  We are the only school in the program that has a webcam that allows visitors to view the salmon as they progress.  We have had over 1700 views since we started the program.  In the spring the salmon are then released into the lake to continue their life cycle.

Photo courtesy of the Guelph Mercury.  Click here to see full Mercury story. Shawn O'Connell and Richard Elliott head up the project at RCA.