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.
The 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.