Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

Lawrence Vano

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

BURGER TIME – Burgers and hotdogs start the event.

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

SALMON MAN – Lawrence Vano, speaking at left, has left a legacy with a scholarship in his name.

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

STREAMING SALMON – Families enjoy participating in Sunday’s release.

Whitehorse hatchery manager retires after 37 years

“Without the salmon, we’re not here. We wouldn’t be gathering like this if it wasn’t for these fish.”

By Whitehorse Star on May 29, 2023

“Without the salmon, we’re not here. We wouldn’t be gathering like this if it wasn’t for these fish.”

This was Lawrence Vano speaking Sunday at his final fry release as the manager of the Whitehorse Fish Hatchery during the annual Yukon Fish and Game Association release at Wolf Creek.

Vano is retiring after 37 years at the hatchery.

This release was also a celebration of his decades of dedication to the fish and the youth he has encouraged and mentored throughout his career.

“What Lawrence has done for us has been amazing,” said association president Bryce Bekar.

The association awarded him the Clay Pugh Memorial Award for the second time and donated $2,500 to the Lawrence Vano Scholarship for Yukon students pursuing post-secondary education in aquaculture, fisheries science, biology or aquatic stewardship via the Yukon Foundation.

It’s in recognition of his passion and dedication for Yukon River chinook salmon and for mentoring our youth.

There was also a retirement cake.

Vano was also recognized by Michael Muller, vice-president, planning, environment and health and safety with the Yukon EnergyCorp., with a Chris Caldwell print and a $3,500 donation to the scholarship fund.

“You really have the fish at heart ... he’s always adamant that the fish go to Wolf Creek,” said Steve Smith, manager, Yukon River operations forFisheries and Oceans Canada.

“This is how we maintain our connection to them is by these activities, and over the decades Lawrence has been involved in this.

“He’s connected numerous generations of children with salmon that wouldn’t otherwise have that opportunity, and in my mind that is the real signifcance of this type of event and the work Lawrence has done,” Smith continued.

Ensero Solutions, an environmental and engineering consulting firm that runs the hatchery, also donated $1,000 to the scholarship.

Warren Kapaniuk is the new manager of the hatchery, along with new assistant Stephanie Barrett.

The release was held on Vano’s 65th birthday.

There were 2,500 chinook salmon fry released by the hundreds of people attending the event.

“I owe these finned creatures more than what I could ever put forward to you,” Vano said.

“We have to take care of these guys, you know, just like we do our kids.”

Comments (6)

Up 0 Down 0

Dorothy (Ruygrok) Cardinal on Jun 10, 2023 at 7:56 am

Hi Lawrence, Frances sent this link to me. Congratulations on your retirement! Who would have thought about 40 years ago in college, you would ventured to the Yukon and assisted with salmonid reproduction and stocks for most of your life! What an achievement and the hatchery was lucky to have you.

Up 0 Down 0

Linda on Jun 2, 2023 at 7:19 pm

Congratulations Lawrence on a job well done. You should be very proud of yourself. You have walked the talk. Enjoy your retirement.
Linda and Jurg

Up 3 Down 0

Sylvie on May 31, 2023 at 9:00 am

Congratulations Lawrence ! Thank you for the work you did and the passion you shared all these years. Happy retirement now, you deserve it.

Up 3 Down 0

Bryce Bekar on May 30, 2023 at 1:29 pm

Thank you Lawrence, we can not put into words the gratefulness we all have. The impacts you have had on the Chinook Salmon and the kids in the Yukon will be remembered forever.

Up 30 Down 4

Whitehorse Aboriginal Women's Circle on May 30, 2023 at 1:02 pm

Thank you Lawrence Vano for your dedication, work ethic and unending care for all you have done over the last 37 years for our salmon, the Hatchery and the education of our children. You are "one in a million"!

Up 32 Down 3

Janet Patterson on May 30, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Congratulations Lawrence! It was a pleasure working with you during my time at Yukon Energy, and seeing the deep love you had for those beautiful salmon. I learned so much from you. Thank you and all the best!

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.