Salmon Watersheds Program

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Haida Gwaii: Snapshots of Salmon Populations and Their Habitats

Haida Gwaii, off the northern coast of British Columbia (BC), is a collection of 350 ecologically rare islands. The southern and western regions of Haida Gwaii are rugged and mountainous while the northeastern part of the region is low lying. Together, this diverse archipelago provides a diversity of spawning and rearing habitats for Pacific salmon.

Haida Gwaii is home to 29 biologically, ecologically, and genetically unique groups of salmon populations, known as Conservation Units (CUs). These salmon are vital to the economy and culture of the Haida Nation and other British Columbians in the region. However, the lack of standardized and easily accessible information on status and trends for salmon CUs and threats to their habitats is challenging efforts to make informed decisions regarding the conservation and management of salmon in the region. The Pacific Salmon Foundation is collaborating with the Haida Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada, the Gowgaia Institute, the Hecate Strait Streamkeepers and independent salmon experts to improve baseline information for Haida Gwaii salmon.

Preview of Haida Gwaii on the Pacific Salmon Explorer

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
 

Salmon Watersheds team at the Yakoun River