Conservation science

We use a holistic approach to inform actions that benefit salmon ecosystems.

Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Raincoast salmon team has published over 22 peer-reviewed scientific papers in a variety of academic journals. Increasingly, we use a two-eyed seeing approach which weaves western science with Indigenous knowledge to better understand the wildlife and ecosystems of coastal British Columbia.

Misty MacDuffee and the field team assess salmon in the Fraser Estuary.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Woman taking notes on salmon numbers on a paper on a clipboard.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Ecosystem-based monitoring

We use monitoring to determine the quality and quantity of salmon habitat before and after our habitat restoration projects. We also monitor salmon populations over time to determine relative abundance. Information generated from our monitoring projects are used to inform holistic land-use policies and ecosystem-based governance. 

We want to better understand Pacific salmon to fill information gaps and advance the recovery and long-term persistence of wild salmon on the landscape. Embracing this vision of wild salmon on the landscape requires consideration of salmon beyond their commodity value as catch, and embrace their value as spawning salmon in rivers, feeding wildlife, nourishing ecosystems, and influencing terrestrial landscapes.

Recent articles

Douglas aster - a purple flower with green leaves.

New research proves that nutrients from the sea can increase terrestrial plant growth and reproduction

Newly published research from Simon Fraser University shows that salmon and marine plants increase both growth and reproduction in terrestrial plants.
Two sockeye salmon swimming in a river.

Bold, sustained action can revitalize wild Pacific salmon in the lower Fraser River

New research shows that Wild Salmon populations in the Fraser can recover if action is taken now.
A close up of two salmon in the bright light of the Fraser River with a map of lost streams and flood plains hovering above.

Quantifying lost habitat for Pacific salmon in the Lower Fraser

Salmon have lost access to as much as 85 per cent of their historical floodplain habitat – the biologically rich wetlands next to a river or stream that typically harbour wildlife – due to dikes and similar infrastructure.
A tiny juvenile Chinook salmon in a viewfinder in the Lower Fraser River.

Chinook salmon exhibit long-term rearing and early marine growth in the Fraser River, B.C., a large urban estuary

Using tiny salmon ear bones, or otoliths, Raincoast researchers and partners were able to demonstrate that Chinook salmon from Harrison River rely on the Fraser estuary for one to two months while they feed and grow. These findings underscore the critical nature of this habitat for the persistence and recovery of Chinook salmon…