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Kristen Walters, Lower Fraser Salmon Conservation Program Coordinator

A vision for salmon

As the Lower Fraser Salmon Conservation Program Coordinator, Kristen supports Raincoast’s work in restoring salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser river by developing a long-term governance and funding structure to guide the future management and protection of the estuary. This Vision for salmon in the Lower Fraser is being developed with community members and stakeholders in the Lower Fraser to discuss issues, concerns and considerations in developing this vision, which has an overarching priority of long-term ecological resilience.

Kristen completed her Masters of Science in Biology at Simon Fraser University, where she studied predator-prey dynamics in salmon watersheds. She also studied at the University of British Columbia where she focused on environmental history and law. After completing her BA in Environmental History, she soon found herself getting her hands dirty in the field, and has since transitioned to biology.

Kristen originally hails from Jackson, Wyoming U.S.A, where she grew up surrounded by the abundant wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and passionate citizens who aim to be responsible stewards of our ecosystems. She has always known she has wanted to be involved with wildlife conservation. In her free time, you can find Kristen rock climbing and skiing in the Sea to Sky corridor.

Kristen is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches to conservation initiatives by collaborating with people of all backgrounds and professional fields.

Kristen Walters, smiling, standing in the forest.

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Dispatches by Kristen

Salmon smolt underwater.

Restoring the upper Pitt River

On three, we haul the lead line in. One, two, three! I kneel in the stream holding up the seine net and begin combing through debris of leaves, sticks and small rocks, looking for flashes of silver amongst the dull colours. Coho! My colleague, Ian Hamilton, a Fisheries Biologist and Habitat Restoration Department Head at the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance, ...
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The Lower Fraser river as seen from the air with city in the background.

Watersheds 2020 Forum – some lessons from the Lower Fraser River

Since 2017, Raincoast has been collaborating with the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance (LFFA), West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and the Martin Conservation Decisions Lab at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to address the systemic failure of governments and agencies to protect salmon habitat or incorporate Indigenous knowledge in their management of the Lower Fraser River and estuary. As of ...
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A salmon splashes in a shallow stream, surrounding by the vibrant colours of autumn.

Finding communities in salmon conservation

As I crouch on the riverbank taking measurements of the salmon carcass, the ever-telling sensation of being watched creeps up my neck. I look up to see a mother black bear and her two cubs across the river, staring right at me. Our eyes meet, and time slows. In this moment of connected eyes and mutual understanding, I reflect on ...
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Moving marine-derived nutrients from the sea to the land

Across the Pacific Northwest, if you look around the estuaries of any salmon spawning rivers you will see little white heads peppering the green canvas of trees that surrounds the river’s mouth. These little specks are bald eagles, which have migrated hundreds of kilometers to opportunistically scavenge post-spawning carcasses that accumulate on riverbanks during the salmon spawning season. This mass ...
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Waters of the Great Bear Rainforest turn a milky turquoise with Pacific herring during spawning.

Protecting (marine) subsidies – nutrient flows from ocean to land

Each spring along the coast of British Columbia, the typically calm nearshore waters begin to churn with thousands of spawning fish, turning the deep blue water a milky turquoise. Ranging from California to Alaska, Pacific Herring are a schooling forage fish that constitute the largest amount of vertebrate biomass in marine ecosystems. As intermediaries between the bottom and top of ...
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An eagle sits watching over a BC coastal stream.

First rains bring spawners and bald eagles back to Vancouver Island rivers

Last fall, while the dry start to autumn put the brilliant golds, reds and oranges of tree leaves on display, my mind continuously returned to the rain. Not the rain that many dread, but the rain that floods small watersheds and raises the water levels in the rivers, bringing the salmon back en masse and with them the bears, bald ...
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