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Creative retiree takes new role with Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society

Doug Palfrey of the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society and the Ford F-150 donated by Creative

Retirement often means a party, an engraved gift, and the freedom to spend extra time on the golf course.

For one long-time Creative crew member, retirement included none of the above. Instead, Creative’s trusty field truck – a 2009 Ford F-150 4×4 extended cab – immediately launched into its second career working with the non-profit Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society (TSES), supporting their work revitalizing local wild salmon stocks.

The donated Creative Ford was a welcome addition to the fleet, says Doug Palfrey, TSES hatchery manager, co-founder, and volunteer.

“It’s actually replacing two trucks,” Doug says, “one that has a broken frame, and another that has no brakes that we have to hotwire to get going.”

On its first day on the job, the Creative truck will take a 1.5-hour trip by barge through Clayoquot Sound to Rankin Cove where it will be driven seven kilometres to the mouth of Tranquil Creek. From there, it will be used to transport equipment and TSES volunteers up and down a 10-kilometre access road while they harvest Chinook and Chum eggs, milt, and bio-samples for their hatchery program.

The truck will also support snorkel survey crews that swim along the spawning length of the creek multiple times a year to take counts of all salmon species and trout.

In this rugged place, the truck will likely spend the rest of its life, contributing to the big impact TSES has on local wild salmon stocks.

When Doug and the other founders of TSES started in 1992, Tranquil Creek saw less than 100 adult Chinook return annually to spawn. Twelve years later, in 2004, the Chinook population was at
2,100 adults.

This year, TSES will harvest about 50,000 Chinook eggs and 50,000 Chum eggs from the Tranquil. Over 32 weeks, the eggs will grow to smolts and be released into the creek with the hope that they’ll return to spawn and start the cycle again.

Despite the work being time-consuming and expensive, the TSES operates on a modest budget and puts every dollar to work.

According to Doug, TSES has had the same annual budget for 26 years. They get $8,000 from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and rely on donations to make ends meet.

“The truck is a huge boost from Creative,” Doug says. “They have always been one of our longest and strongest supporters.”

To donate to the TSES, visit:


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