Gillard Pass Fisheries Association president Rupert Gale (left) accepts a $2

Brewery grant to enhance fisheries project

Gillard Pass Fisheries Association has been rebuilding the Phillips River Chinook run for more than 30 years

At a fund raising event on Stuart Island this past weekend Pacific Western Brewing’s (PWB) Community Foundation awarded a salmon enhancement grant of $2,000 to the Campbell River-based Gillard Pass Fisheries Association (GPFA).

Association President Rupert Gale expressed his thanks: “Gillard Pass appreciates the financial commitment from Pacific Western Brewing which helps leverage hundreds of hours of volunteer activities and other support. When others see a company like PWB providing this kind of support they want to be part of it as well.”

The GPFA has been rebuilding the Phillips River Chinook run for more than 30 years. Phillips River is at the head of Phillips Arm north of Sonora Island.

Currently 200,000 juvenile salmon are released into the river annually; 150,000 from Gillard Pass and 50,000 from the Omega Pacific Hatchery, located near Port Alberni.

Gillard Pass volunteers rear ocean type smolts that are fed for three months prior to being released, whereas Omega Pacific raises stream type smolts that are reared for a year before being released. This is a trial; all fish are tagged and have their adipose fins clipped. These procedures, combined with an intensive stock assessment program, allow the GPFA to compare ocean survival and returns.

Kazuko Komatsu, owner of the Prince George-based brewery, says it is this decades-long commitment to the health of wild salmon that PWB is proud to support.

“Hundreds of tireless volunteers are working hard in many BC communities to rebuild wild salmon stocks and rehabilitate their habitat. We are thrilled that volunteer salmon enhancement groups and stream keepers have taken advantage of the PWB salmon enhancement fund to support their efforts in communities around BC.” Kazuko says.

PWB – maker of Pacific Pilsner, Cariboo Genuine draft and other beers – announced the establishment of its salmon enhancement fund in 2013.

To date five grants have been awarded. To apply for support go to PWB’s website home page ( and follow the prompt.