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Underwater close up of a salmon head

Wild Salmon Program

Misty MacDuffee, Biologist
Andy Rosenberger, Biologist and Analyst
Dave Scott, Biologist

Salmon are an important food and cultural focus for First Nations and coastal communities; they are also the foundation of British Columbia’s coastal ecosystems. For millions of years, Pacific salmon have journeyed back to their natal streams and lakes to spawn, delivering critical food to wildlife, and nutrients to the ecosystem.

The BC coast is home to over 450 unique and irreplaceable populations of salmon called ‘Conservation Units’.  These CUs come from thousands of spawning populations in hundreds of coastal rivers and watersheds. Yet these salmon face most of the same threats that have depressed and eliminated them from the US Pacific Northwest – harvest, habitat loss, and hatcheries. Now climate change, and even hydro-electric projects, are a growing threat to the salmon runs that still persist.

Raincoast’s Work

Raincoast’s wild salmon initiatives are the product of coordinated strategies between diverse groups including First Nations, coastal communities, academic institutions (like UVic and SFU) and other NGOs. Our policy recommendations and advocacy on behalf of salmon conservation and wildlife are informed by our research.

Fraser River Estuary Project

Fisheries Management & the Wild Salmon Policy

Managing Salmon for Wildlife

Past projects:

a salmon half out of the water while trying to swim upstreamRaincoast’s 2008 Ghost Runs paper (CJFAS) and 2002 Ghost Runs Report found that salmon runs have repeatedly failed to meet their  escapement targets – meaning that not enough fish are returning to spawn.

 

Raincoast researcher studies a salmon bearing streamRaincoast’s Small Stream Surveys document the existence of hundreds of small streams that support salmon, yet are not catalogued federally or provincially.

 

In paMeasuring a fish on a small gridrtnership with SFU, the Chum & Coho Stream Ecology project found that juvenile coho abundance is up to 3x higher in streams that have pink and chum runs compared to streams that don’t.

 

In paA small fry covered in parasitesrtnership with SFU and the UVic, the Juvenile Salmon Ecology Project found that salmon farms on the migration routes of juvenile salmon disrupt survival of sockeye, chum and pink salmon.

Salmon Papers →

Salmon Reports →

Support Raincoast’s Salmon Conservation Efforts

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