In 2003/04 over 600 juvenile salmon were removed from the Medway River and taken the Coldbrook Biodiversity Facility as part of the “grow out” or “gene-bank” programs of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The fish were removed from many different locations in the Medway system for diversity reasons. They were retained until sexually mature and then released back into the Medway River.
On October 11, 2007, 290 mature gene-bank salmon were released to six sites: Lake Pool, Dean’s Brook, Big Salmon, Limestone Brook, Westfield River and South Brookfield. Members of the MRSA assisted DFO staff from Coldbrook and Mersey Biodiversity Facilities in the release. Shown below are some of the characters involved.
In addition to the release, thirty gene-bank salmon (15 female, 15 male) were retained at the Mersey facility for a breeding. From this breeding 29,700 fall parr were released into 11 sites on the Medway River and its tributaries in October, 2008. Locations included Wildcat, Lower Westfield Bridge, Harmony Bridge, South Brookfield, Bridge between 1st/2nd Christopher, Lake Pool, Bangs Falls, Buggy Hole Brook, Deans Brook, Wentworth Brook and Limestone Brook.
October 1, 2008 the remaining sexually mature gene-bank salmon were released back into the Medway at the same sites as in 2007. In addition, 28 immature fish were transferred from Coldbrook to the Mersey Facility for conditioning and release in 2009.
Here are some of our dedicated members enjoying a beautiful fall day on the Medway while taking part in the gene bank salmon release: