Premier John Horgan and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham, helping collect Chinook broodstock, Sooke River 2019. Photo from Times Colonist Oct. 5, 2019.



Vancouver – More than $950,000 has been awarded, in partnership with the Government of British Columbia, to 54 Pacific salmon science and habitat projects across B.C., announces the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

The Government of British Columbia granted $5 million to the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) in spring 2019, to address the immediate needs of Pacific salmon and their habitats. The Pacific Salmon Foundation applied these funds to projects that align with key recommendations from the B.C. Wild Salmon Advisory Council, appointed in 2018 by Premier John Horgan.

Thirty-seven grassroots projects were supported through PSF’s Community Salmon Program as part of the Province’s commitment to revitalize and protect Pacific salmon at a crucial time for these iconic species. Seventeen science and research-restoration projects were also funded as part of PSF’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Program, including ecosystem research and habitat restoration focused on Chinook and coho populations of conservation concern in the Salish Sea.

• Community Enhancement: Thirty-seven First Nations and grassroots “salmon stewardship” grants received provincial funding for hatchery operations, habitat conservation, public stewardship and education.

• Investigating Harbour Seal Predation on Chinook Salmon, Related to Log Boom Use: A collaboration with Cowichan Tribes, B.C. Conservation Foundation and the University of Victoria to assess the impacts log booms located in key salmon migration corridors are having on seal predation of returning salmon, specifically Chinook.

• Little Fish, Big Impact - Forage Fish Monitoring/ Mapping in the Strait of Georgia: This project with Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Group at Vancouver Island University researches crucial forage fish, such as Pacific sand lance and surf smelt, that are known prey to 45 species, including wild salmon.

• Eelgrass and Kelp Biodiversity: Eelgrass and kelp biodiversity provide essential nearshore habitat, and help to lower water temperatures for young wild salmon. Working with University of Victoria researcher Maycira Costa, this project will allow for identification of resilient kelp stocks in the Salish Sea. These are the stocks that need to be protected and not harvested as they are likely important source populations for re-establishment. PSF also supports the identification of thermo-tolerant strains in efforts to restore and preserve existing ecology and genetics. Through this project, a biodiversity bank of marine plants and macroalgae is being created.

• Estuary Restoration and Review: PSF is conducting a much-needed review of U.S. and worldwide programs for estuary restoration amidst climate change. Best practices will be disseminated to volunteer groups in the Salish Sea that are involved in nearshore restoration and will include information on emerging issues such as aquatic invasive species such as European Green Cab that disrupt eelgrass beds, which are productive habitat for many juvenile fish species.

• Availability of Chinook Salmon for SRKW: Whales for Tomorrow is a project that PSF has supported in collaboration with the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit, and through the DFO’s Whale Science for Tomorrow Initiative. Researchers tagged Chinook salmon off Port Renfrew this summer to determine the time that Chinook are available to killer whales, the conditions required for killer whales to successfully forage, and whether numbers of returning salmon are sufficient to meet their needs in Canadian waters. This was the first year of this novel study that is of great interest to the recreational fishing sector, particularly on Southern Vancouver Islands because SRKW concerns drove this year’s early-season closures of Chinook fisheries.

“The driving force behind each of these projects is British Columbian’s appreciation, respect and commitment to supporting wild salmon populations throughout the province. The B.C. government's actions and funding since 2017 is helping people get involved in protecting key habitat and enhancing hatchery operations, and demonstrating that our working together is giving wild B.C. salmon populations a fighting chance at recovery,” said Agriculture Minister Lana Popham.

“Premier Horgan and the Provincial government demonstrated a major commitment to community-driven stewardship of Pacific salmon with the $5 million granted to the Pacific Salmon Foundation in 2019,” said Michael Meneer, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “With provincial support we are able to facilitate more Pacific salmon projects to enhance stocks of conservation concern, restore salmon habitat, and recruit the next generation of Pacific salmon stewards. This provincial funding has amplified our ability to lever the investments of the federal government through the Salmon Conservation Stamp and our many supporters in the private sector for Pacific salmon across the province.”

In addition to funding from the Province, funds are generated from the federal government’s Salmon Conservation Stamp for the Community Salmon Program, and through Pacific Salmon Foundation fundraising dinners, auctions and donations from individuals, foundations and businesses.

Dave Townsend
Ministry of Agriculture
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-7098

Jollean Willington
Manager, Media & Public Relations Pacific Salmon Foundation
O 604.664.7664 ext.129
C 778.881.7792

About the Pacific Salmon Foundation:
Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-governmental, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific Salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. The Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific Salmon and their ecosystems and works to bring salmon back stream by stream through the strategic use of resources and by supporting local communities. www.psf.ca

Media Contacts

For media inquiries contact:
Pacific Salmon Foundation 
Elayne Sun 
Manager, Communications and Marketing