Rain didn't stop families from celebrating Father's Day at Maple Ridge Park or releasing 11,000 chinook fry into the Alouette River this past Sunday.
"ARMS' annual Father's Day fish release brightened the day even though the rain was coming down hard," said Greta Borick-Cunningham, the acting executive director for Alouette River Management Society (ARMS).
The Father's Day fish release has become a tradition during the past few years, held in partnership between ARMS and the Silver Valley Neighbourhood Association.
BC Corrections staff handed children bucket-loads of juvenile chinook, then beamed as they watched the kids hurry to the water to empty them into the Alouette River, Borick-Cunningham said, explaining how the chinook fry are raised at the Allco fish hatchery through a partnership between ARMS and the prison.
After being raised at the hatchery, the fry have a higher survival rate once they are returned to the river, Borick-Cunningham said.
"The children were delighted to learn that they were able to help the salmon and share the experience with their dads," she added, noting that ARMS also provided children of all ages with wooden fish to decorate while parents enjoyed free coffee and treats.
Families were also able to learn more about ARMS environmental programs, including the Adopt-A-Stream program and the week-long, ecothemed summer camps held in July and August at the Rivers Heritage Centre in Allco Park.
Provincial conservation officer Denny Chretien was also on hand to remind families about the importance of abiding by fishing closures on the Alouette River.
These closures are important to help improve the fry's chance of survival, Chretien explained, reminding folks that closures are enforced and could net a $250 fine.
More information on river closures can be found on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website http: //www.pac.dfo-mpo. gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/fresh-douce/region2-eng. htm.