Salmon Watersheds Program

The State of Pacific Salmon in British Columbia

This report was written by the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) in 2018 to help inform the BC Wild Salmon Advisory Council’s understanding of the state of salmon in BC and their efforts to develop a “Made-in-BC Wild Salmon Strategy“. This report was commissioned by the Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative in their capacity as the Secretariat to the BC Wild Salmon Advisory Council.

In this report, we specifically refer to the state of salmon as opposed to a status assessment, since the latter requires the existence of abundance targets or biological reference points that at the time did not exist for most Pacific salmon in BC. Disparity in the available information combined with the limited time available to produce this report (1 month), resulted in varying levels of detail summarized by region and species. For BC’s North and Central Coast, we were able to summarize data for all species using data available through PSF’s Pacific Salmon Explorer tool. Data for southern BC sockeye, pink, and chum salmon were compiled by PSF and summarized in a similar manner, but the same data were unavailable for Chinook and coho salmon in southern BC. Instead, reporting for the latter species was based on recently published reviews and Fisheries and Oceans Canada documents, and our summary focuses primarily on southern BC Chinook and Interior Fraser River coho salmon.