Salmon Watersheds Program

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At the northwestern edge of British Columbia (BC), lie some of the most remote and rugged salmon watersheds in Canada. The ‘Transboundary region’ includes watersheds which cross the Canada – United States border, with salmon spawning in the headwaters of Canadian streams and lakes and migrating out to the open ocean in southeast Alaska. These transboundary rivers include the Alsek, Chilkat, Taku, Whiting, Stikine, and Unuk river drainages. Collectively, they are critically important areas to salmon, First Nations, and local culture and economy. Yet, despite their importance there remains very limited publicly available information on salmon returns to these rivers, the distribution of salmon spawning habitats, and the overall status of these transboundary populations and their habitats. As such, the Pacific Salmon Foundation is working to strengthen the collective understanding of the current status of salmon and their freshwater habitats in the Transboundary region and make this information publicly available via the Pacific Salmon Explorer.

This project involves working in partnership with local First Nations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and other salmon experts to achieve the following outcomes:


  1. Synthesize publicly available data on salmon populations (e.g. spawning locations, spawner surveys, catch and run size, run timing, enhancement).
  2. Quantify the extent and intensity of freshwater habitat pressures (e.g. mining development, road density) in known spawning areas in order to assess habitat status.
  3. Assess the biological status of salmon CUs.
  4. Integrate the above salmon and habitat information into an online data visualization tool called the Pacific Salmon Explorer.
  5. Make all data readily accessible through the Salmon Data Library, PSF’s online public database.


Draft spatial extent of the Transboundary Region