Photos of people holding massive Chinook salmon are turning heads on social media in B.C. this week, showing just how big these fish can get.
The photos making the rounds came from what is known as an "egg take" that recently took place on the Wannock River in Owekinuxv village in Rivers Inlet, for a hatchery program. Each year a limited number of spawning male and female salmon are caught, then relieved of their sperm or eggs so that they can be reared and released into the river system by the Percy Walkus Hatchery.
The Wannock River is one of two rivers in B.C. that produce salmon of the size shown in the photos shown here, shared by the Sport Fishing Institute of BC. The other river is the Kitsumkalum which is supported by the Deep Creek Hatchery and is located a few hundred kilometres to the north.
It has been estimated that 22-37% of all the salmon in the Pacific are of hatchery origin, however it was found that global Pacific salmon abundance in 2020 was the lowest it's been in more than four decades.
There are more than 40 salmon hatcheries in this province, and more are on the horizon as the federal government announced a $647-million investment in conservation efforts which will include funding more of these types of facilities.
With files from Nelson Bennett