April 1, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sarah Veesay, Port Moody Gazette-Intelligencer
FRASER MILLS FERMENTATION DISCOVERS 1,500 POUND STURGEON IN BASEMENT
Owners of Port Moody’s newest brewery, Fraser Mills Fermentation Company were shocked today when demolition of the concrete slab in their lower floor revealed a live fish as long as a compact car.
As they cut a section of the slab at 3044 St Johns to install drainage grates for their brewery the floor fell away to reveal a previously unmapped section of Dallas Creek, a covered section of the Chines Stormwater Management area. Trapped inside was a sturgeon, alive and thrashing.
Fraser Mills Operations Manager Al Dehyde said he was cutting the slab when suddenly everything gave way. “I landed on something wet and squishy and really stinky, and it turned out to be a fish!”
Mr. Dehyde went on to say that the sturgeon, perhaps upset at having a full-grown man land on it, reacted violently. “It threw up on me,” he said, “You can’t imagine the smell.” Standing downwind of Mr. Dehyde, we actually could.
“The white sturgeon, acipenser transmontanus rarely reaches this size, ” says Ishmael Spearman, a biologist from Fisheries and Oceans who was called in to help deal with the fish, “But this one appears to have been trapped here for decades, possibly shortly after the creek was covered over as Port Moody built up the area.”
Sturgeon have no teeth, but larger individuals can swallow salmon whole. Spearman speculates that may be what drew the enormous fish to the creek: “Dallas Creek is an important salmon habitat and this sturgeon may have gotten trapped partway up. Once it was covered over it simply had to sit and wait for salmon to return every year to enjoy a feast!”.
As of today Fisheries and Oceans have relocated the Sturgeon to the Fraser River and the hole in the creek covering has been repaired. For its part Fraser Mills Fermentation Company says it has been inspired by this fishy encounter.
“We’re going to name the first beer in our lineup ‘Sturgeon Spit IPA’, in honour of the fish,” says head brewer April Foules. “Since we’ll never get that smell out of Al we might as well roll with it.”
Fraser Mills is planning to open in July of this year and will welcome all members of the community, piscine or human. For more information check out frasermillsfc.com or follow them on FaceBook @frasermillsfc