Salmon Watersheds Program

photo by Paul Colangelo

New Data Visualization Tool – the Pacific Salmon Explorer!

June 15, 2016

We are excited to announce the launch of the Pacific Salmon Explorer!...

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Salmon Habitat Report Cards for the Nass Area

June 2, 2016

The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) is pleased to announce the release of The Nass Area: Cumulative Pressures on Salmon Habitat (Summary Report Cards).

The Nass Area - summary report cards book (front cover)Through direction from the Nisga’a Lisims Government, and in collaboration with the Gitanyow, Gitxsan, and Lax Kw'alaams First Nations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Ministry of Environment, ESSA Technologies, and other local experts, the PSF coordinated an assessment of landscape-scale pressures and the resulting risks to salmon habitat in the Nass Area of northern British Columbia. 

The “Nass Area” encompasses the Nass River watershed along with watersheds draining into Portland Canal and Observatory Inlet. This project assessed risk to salmon habitats posed by human and environmental pressures in the region. Using the best available data, a “report card” was generated for each geographically and genetically distinct Nass salmon populations (called Conservation Units under Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy).

This type of coarse-scale assessment is useful for building a common understanding of the pressures on freshwater salmon habitats and for informing land-use planning decisions and developing strategies that mitigate risks to freshwater salmon habitat.

More information about the project, as well as links to the full technical report, can be found here.

The Skeena River Estuary: A Snapshot of Current Status and Condition

December 8, 2015

The Pacific Salmon Foundation's Skeena Salmon Program is pleased to announce the release of The Skeena River Estuary – A Snapshot of Current Status and Condition.

Skeena River Estuary - Snapshot

The Skeena River estuary provides important nursery habitat for juvenile chinook, coho, pink, chum, and sockeye salmon from over fifty genetically and geographically distinct wild salmon populations. As juvenile salmon migrate out to sea, the estuary serves as a critical transition zone where salmon can grow rapidly as they adapt to their new saltwater environment.

Understanding how anticipated environmental and anthropogenic changes in the Skeena River estuary affect salmon populations is essential to the long-term conservation of wild salmon populations.

This report summarizes the results of our assessment, based on a suite of pressure and state indicators related to water quality, salmon habitat and food, and salmon populations. The methods and design for the assessment were guided by a Skeena Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), who provided valuable feedback, data and advice throughout the project's development. The results of this project provide a snapshot of our current understanding of the state of the Skeena River estuary, current pressures on estuary habitats, and critical information gaps and key monitoring needs required to evaluate changes in habitat status over time.

More information about the project, as well as links to the full technical report and data quality assessment supplemental, can be found here.

Skeena Salmon ‘Conservation Unit Snapshots’

April 9, 2014

The Pacific Salmon Foundation's Skeena Salmon Program is pleased to announce the results of a project to produce 'Conservation Unit Snapshots' for all salmon populations in the Skeena Watershed.

CU snapshotConservation Unit (CU) Snapshots are short graphical reports that summarize key information about the state of a distinct salmon population (or CU) and its habitat. This project developed snapshots for every CU in the Skeena watershed. Snapshots include information on both biological status (e.g., abundance trends) and habitat status (e.g., development pressures).

Snapshots are intended to serve as reference documents to support discussions about the state of Skeena salmon and their habitat, as well as priorities and approaches for their conservation and management. More generally, the snapshots aim to make information on the state of Skeena salmon available to a broad audience.

The full results of this project, including snapshots for Chinook, sockeye, coho, pink and chum salmon, are available here.

 

Salmon Habitat Assessments for Chinook, coho, pink and river-type sockeye

March 26, 2014

The Pacific Salmon Foundation's Skeena Salmon Program is pleased to announce the release of new Habitat Report Cards for Chinook, coho, chum, pink, and river-type sockeye salmon in the Skeena Watershed. 

Chinook Habitat Report CardThe Skeena River is the second-largest watershed in British Columbia and one of the most productive rivers in the Pacific Northwest, providing extensive habitat for all five Pacific salmon species (Chinook, coho, pink, chum and sockeye). The Skeena has so far avoided much of the development pressure that has compromised fish habitats in many large watersheds throughout the world. However, there are exceptions in some locations which have led to concerns about the cumulative effect of habitat degradation on fish populations. There is also a growing awareness that new development proposals for the region could present threats to the continued health of Skeena salmon and their habitats.

Each Habitat Report Card presents an evaluation of the vulnerability of an individual Skeena salmon population ('Conservation Unit') to regional habitat threats and pressures. The report cards can be used to better understand the state of freshwater salmon habitat and how this may be affecting salmon populations. More specifically, they can be used to assist in setting priorities for local salmon habitat monitoring, or to inform regional land use policies and planning. 

This project complements a previous analysis that created Habitat Report Cards for all lake-type sockeye salmon in the Skeena Watershed. The project's approach is adapted from a similar overview of habitat pressures recently completed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for southern BC Chinook, but modified to make the best use of data available for Skeena salmon. The project methods and design were also guided by a regional Technical Advisory Committee, who provided valuable feedback, data and advice throughout the project's development.

Habitat Mapper