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REPORTING · 15th January 2010
Walter McFarlane
Councillor Randy Halyk provided a report to Kitimat City Council under new business at the Fish Hatchery on Monday, January 11th. He had taken the time to contact them about an update on his own time.

First, he explained that Eurocan has been providing hot water for the Hatchery to help speed up the incubation of the Steelheads. With the announcement of Eurocan’s closure, the Hatchery has metaphorically found itself in hot water.

A The Sport Fishery Advisory Board meeting where this was discussed was reported on here.

Councillor Halyk explained that he has learned that hatchery plans to install furnaces to heat the building but are still working on a plan for the hot water. He explained that the hatchery has received money to solve this problem.

According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Kitimat Fish Hatchery is looking at all avenues for an answer to this problem and does not

“The Hatchery is not going to close. The Hatchery is there and will be there. It is there policy and their plans to maintain it,” said Councillor Halyk.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan thanked Halyk for his report. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans would like to let the people of Kitimat know that the Hatchery is not going to be closed because of this problem.
Federal DFO not interested in Hatchery Program
Comment by Tracey John Hittel on 27th January 2010
After a weekend Sport Fishing Advisory Board meeting held in Victoria, with representatives from across the province as well Fisheries minister rep, Sue farlinger from Ottawa. Concerns about the Kitimat Hatchery were brought forward to the 50 or so participants, and blank stares from DFO with no answers was the result. Kitimat for sure is off the DFO radar.
DFO has finally signed off on the "Vision for Recreational Fisheries in British Columbia" document, a huge step forward for BC fisheries. Part of this vision document includes the Stock Enhancement and habitat restoration that may be used to rebuild fish stocks and create fishing opportunities.
DFO has made it very clear that Aquaculture (fish farms) does not stimulate the Federal and Provincial economy, like a Salmon Hatchery facility. Kitimat may have missed out on a financial opportunity as last year, the Salmonoid Enhancement Program (SEP), poured monies into facilites that requested funding, in excess of 1 million dollars was spend on individual facilities. I was told that Kitimat did not make a request for funds so monies were not received. DFO facilities across the province and especially the Snootli Hatchery in the Central Coast has support from 1st nations with access to more funding from a federal fund that 1st nations have access to and supports the local hatchery with this fund.
Currently the Kitimat facility has received 4 propane heaters to keep the building from freezing up. Next week the hot water supply to the Kitimat Hatchery will end and so may the facilities program to maintain the current output of Salmon.
Local DFO managers in Prince Rupert are onside when it comes to the Kitimat facility, unfortunately their hands are tied as local DFO does not write the cheques and another issue arises as many of the fisheries management people in PR are approaching retirement and new positions are being filled with people unaware of the local politics, crippling the North's ability to move forward. As for the Kitimat Hatchery they as well are understaffed and have no manager to fill the void as well no administrative staff, including the hatchery employees who are overworked and understaffed, this raises a huge flag and is just another example how DFO has laxed on the production facilities across the province the last 10-20 yrs.
On a slightly positive note, a consultant was hired thru DFO to put forward a number of proposals including costs to provide the much needed water, either by drilling additional new wells to catch the 8C ground water costing about 1 million dollars to installing a hot water system exceeding 20 million dollars, or do nothing. what the final outcome will be is still up in the air. Not to mention a critical timeline for the fish in the troughs and trays that will be released in 2010.
People that turn a blind eye locally, provincally, federally and globally thinking that this issue will resolve itself should be aware that another blow to the Kitimat economy will be the nail in our coffins as we will have a complete collapse in our tourism sector, MK and other marina expansions as well tax dollars exiting the ciy's already fragile budget . Why would anyone want to store or launch a sports fishing vessel in Kitimat when the fish are all gone.