Ryan and Nicole Fredrickson operate the Citizen Science route out of Qualicum.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2015
Supports Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Efforts to Restore Fisheries in the Strait of Georgia
VANCOUVER - Qualicum Beach has become a key part of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Citizen Science Program because of the dedication of local residents Ryan and Nicole Frederickson. They are two of the many volunteers taking part in the Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, which is working to understand the causes of declines in Coho and Chinook salmon.
“When my wife Nicole first heard about the project, she said that we needed to be a part of it,” said Mr. Frederickson. “It is something that is making a difference, helping to manage a natural resource and making the fishery sustainable once again for future generations.”
The Citizen Science program is a partnership between the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Ocean Networks Canada. The brainchild of Dr. Eddy Carmack – a retired scientist from the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada – it involves volunteers using a “mosquito fleet” of their own fishing vessels to do oceanographic surveys in nine overlapping areas - Campbell River, Baynes Sound, Qualicum, Cowichan Bay, Victoria, Lund, Powell River, Sechelt and Steveston. This approach makes it possible to be “everywhere at once” and make accurate, consistent data comparisons like never before.
The Fredericksons’ attraction to the program also stemmed from their life-long interest in salmon and fishing. Ryan’s father was a fishing guide as well a commercial fisherman. And both Ryan and Nicole have fished on all coasts of Vancouver Island. Even the effects of an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) accident in 2007 hasn’t stopped him.
“I lost the use of my legs in that accident, but luckily I never lost my love for the outdoors,” he added. “That has been the one thing since the accident that has kept me grounded.”
Like the other citizen scientists, the Fredericksons use state of the art scientific equipment to gather important oceanographic data. That includes checking salinity, temperature, fluorescence and oxygen content. Once the data is gathered, it is transmitted using the “Community Fishers smart phone app”, uploaded to an oceanographic data management system, where it is made freely available to anyone. Additional work done by hand includes water nutrient sampling, plankton collection and water turbidity measurements. The results of all of this research could be key to the future of Pacific salmon.
“I hope we can gain a greater understanding for the salmon living in the Salish Sea, and we can help to keep the resource a viable one for our family, friends and anyone else who shares a passion for or makes a living from the sea,” Mr. Frederikson concluded. “As well, we want to be able to tell our children one day that we were a part of a project that bettered them and the world we live in.”
Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, emphasized that it is because of people like the Frederickson’s that the Citizen Science program will be successful.
“The Fredericksons’ life experiences with salmon and fishing are really important, because they get to the heart of what this is all about,” said Riddell. “That kind of commitment to the future of Pacific salmon is why the program will be a success.”
The Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is supported by major contributions from the Government of Canada (in Budget 2015), the Pacific Salmon Commission, the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund Society, the federal Salmon Conservation Stamp, and numerous individual, corporate and foundation contributors. Working with 14 other partners, the Foundation has been able to undertake a total of 38 projects so far in 2015.
Note: Qualicum Beach residents can help support the Pacific Salmon Foundation by attending the 2015 Oceanside Dinner/Dance and Auction on January 30, 2016 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. For information, go to www.psf.ca/events.
About the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project
The Pacific Salmon Foundation and its U.S. partner, Long Live the Kings, in Seattle, Washington designed the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project for ecosystem research and habitat restoration intended to increase the production of Pacific salmon in the Salish Sea. The Pacific Salmon Foundation is leading the Canadian efforts in the Strait of Georgia. More information is available on the Project at http://marinesurvivalproject.com.
About the Pacific Salmon Foundation:
The 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 local communities. www.psf.ca
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