Wild Salmon Program
Misty MacDuffee, Biologist, Wild Salmon Program Director
Dave Scott, Biologist, Lower Fraser Research and Restoration Coordinator
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.
Raincoast’s Wild Salmon Program is focused on ensuring that BC’s 450+ unique and irreplaceable Conservation Units of wild salmon persist over their historic range at spawner abundance levels suitable to meet the needs of wildlife and ecosystems. CUs consist of thousands of spawning populations from hundreds of coastal rivers and watersheds across BC.
BC salmon face multiple obstacles. Domestic and international harvest, habitat loss (including watershed development), interactions with hatchery and cultured salmon and climate change can individually and cumulatively reduce the abundance of spawning salmon. We address these issues through academic, community, policy and on-the-ground initiativess.
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.
Some current projects are:
Spirits of the Coast – live event
Join us on July 22 for an unique evening bringing together contributors from the book, Spirits of the Coast. Hear from Jess Housty, Nikki Iyolo Sanchez, Misty MacDuffee and Eric Mazimpaka, as they discuss their own connection to killer whales…
A bond through salmon, language and grandmothers
The book was produced to accompany the Royal BC Museum’s 2020 feature exhibition Orcas: Our Shared Future which, due to the pandemic, is rescheduled to now open in May 2021…
Terminal 2 expansion threatens the Fraser estuary
The Port of Vancouver is proposing to double the size of its shipping terminal beside the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, putting further stress on an estuary that has already lost more than 70% of its natural habitat…
Toward a Vision for Salmon Habitat in the Lower Fraser River
Our new report, Toward a Vision for Salmon Habitat in the Lower Fraser River sets bold recommendations to address the loss of salmon habitat that has been identified as a key factor in the crisis many recognize for Fraser River salmon…
Backgrounder: The 2019 fishery and endangered Fraser Chinook
This backgrounder on endangered Fraser Chinook has been produced by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, David Suzuki Foundation, and Watershed Watch…
Raincoast’s Small Stream Surveys document the existence of hundreds of small streams that support salmon, yet are not catalogued federally or provincially.
In partnership 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 partnership 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.