Chinook in the lower Fraser River are among the stocks of concern. (April Bencze/Raincoast)

Restoration of salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser is key: report

Raincoast Conservation calling on government to match funding to scale of problem

Habitat restoration in the lower Fraser River may be the key to survival of dwindling Fraser River salmon stocks.

The returns the last two years have been brutal. But one thing is clear according to a new report, habitat needs to be higher up on the priority list.

The new report, ‘Toward a Vision for Salmon Habitat in the Lower Fraser’ from Raincoast Conservation Foundation has six recommendations to try to turn the tide.

“Fraser salmon face a host of complex problems including overfishing, climate related impacts and hatcheries,” said Raincoast’s Wild Salmon Program Director, Misty MacDuffee. “However, the conservation and restoration of freshwater habitat in the Lower Mainland are among the few things that most salmon advocates agree on.”

They are calling on federal and provincial reps to match funding to the scale of the problem and to stop making land-use decisions that continue to degrade salmon habitat.

The timing of the report release comes as several key chinook and sockeye stocks are currently at a crossroads.

The folks with Raincoast are tracking the root causes of habitat loss, working with First Nations, conservation groups and individuals to record ideas. Despite token efforts ongoing habitat destruction has never really stopped, so it urgent, goes the substantiation.

Here are the six recommendations:

• Collaborative efforts on habitat conservation and restoration;

• Implementation of fish-first policies;

• A legislated Fraser watershed plan;

• Sustainable funding;

• Rebuilding of monitoring and research capacity; and

• Investment in wild salmon education and youth

The report notes tens of thousands of hectares of wetlands and forests have been lost in the Lower Mainland since the 1930s. Dikes were disconnected the river by mid-century on 70 per cent of the floodplain.

“There are clear opportunities for municipalities to implement green infrastructure options that help recover salmon populations and reconnect kilometers of habitat all while enhancing our ability to adapt to climate change and sea-level rise,” said Raincoast biologist Dave Scott.

More on the report

READ MORE: Funding for habitat restoration on the Vedder

READ MORE: Taking aim at flood control infrastructure


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

EnvironmentFishSalmon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The cover page art was by artist Carrielynn Victor for the report ‘Toward a Vision for Salmon Habitat in the Lower Fraser’ from Raincoast Conservation Foundation. (Carrielynn Victor)

Just Posted

Stay off the tracks and stay alert, rail police warn

Last year, seven were killed and 10 seriously injured in rail crossing, trespassing incidents

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

What would you like to ask Hope’s Mayor on COVID-19?

Send us your questions, ahead of a conversation with Peter Robb

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Most Read