Quatsino twins are salmon farming legends

September 6, 2017 - Coal Harbour, B.C.

For thirty years identical twins Terri and Sherri Tromley have grown fish together in Quatsino Sound. Over the last three decades, they’ve only worked apart during maternity leave.

“We always wanted to be landscapers, our Mom really liked gardening and we really enjoy working outdoors,” Terri says.

But when they started working on other people’s gardens in Coal Harbour, they realized their own gardens were neglected, so they decided to become fish farmers and garden for pleasure on their days off.

Aquaculture met their post-high school job criteria such as earning a decent wage, working outdoors, and living in Coal Harbour. The most important factor was being able to work together.

The twins started fish farming in 1987 for Will Moore at Thorpe Point (Tidal Rush Marine Farms). Being the closest site to Coal Harbour, they were able to come home to their family every evening.

They found partners about the same time, Sherri was engaged in 1989 and Terri followed in 1990. Sherri was the first to become pregnant with Telisha, 27, while Terri followed with Carmen, 23, (who also works for Marine Harvest) and Courtney, 20.

When salmon farming expanded to Mahatta East, Mahatta West, Koskimo and Monday Rock, the twins changed to a camp shift. In order to continue working together, they agreed that Terri would become an assistant manager, as less people were needed on each site.

“We’ve quietened down which suits camp life,” Terri says.

Sherri and Terri describe fish farming in Quatsino as a constant challenge because of plankton, which is common in the Sound in summer.

The twins briefly grew Chinook salmon, rainbow trout and sable fish at Thorpe Point. They even spent some years growing brookstock for wild Chinook for the Marble River hatchery as a community service.

But most of their careers have been spent caring for Atlantic salmon.

The twins have spent brief stretches of time at other Marine Harvest operations. In 2011 they worked a few months at the Tsulton broodstock hatchery near Port McNeil, and in 2015 they worked at the Port Hardy Processing Plant sampling broodstock. Last year they worked at Port Hardy farm Shelter Pass when the Quatsino farms were fallow.

“We like it here. Quatsino is our backyard. We live a five minute walk from the Coal Harbour dock,” Terri says.

The twins will celebrate turning 48 at the end of the month.

The photos were taken by their proud mother during their first week of work in 1987. 

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 Sherri Terri Tromley

Sherri Terri Tromley