Open house highlights efforts to restock salmon — and feed the whales

Anglers and whale watchers are hosting a Saturday event to highlight the upcoming release of 280,000 young salmon into the ocean — part of ongoing efforts to rebuild chinook runs and provide food for orcas.

The public can take a look at the fish during a 1-3 p.m. open house at the Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina, where another 220,000 chinook smolt were released this past week.

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Salmon are an important food source for the Salish Sea’s endangered southern resident orcas. The population has dropped from 96 in 1993 to 76.

Dan Kukat of Spring Tide Whale Watching & Eco Tours said help for the orcas is necessary.

“This project isn’t just about putting fish in the water here in Sooke and helping our southern resident orcas, it’s about inspiring everyone of all ages to get involved in the recovery of the population wherever and however they can,” he said in a statement.

“All hands on deck.”

The event is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Sooke Harbour Resort and Marin, 6971 West Coast Rd., Sooke.

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