Salmon Watersheds Program

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Salmon Conservation and Restoration in the Thompson-Shuswap Watershed

The Thompson-Shuswap Salmon Collaborative (TSSC) was established in 2021 with an overall purpose to establish a non-political, innovative, watershed-based planning process involving three orders of government (Secwepemc Fisheries Commission, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) to proactively and meaningfully coordinate, prioritize, guide, plan and/or influence, and implement anadromous salmonid conservation and restoration in the Thompson-Shuswap watershed, an area defined as  the entire Thompson River Watershed upstream from the confluence of the Bonaparte River (see map of watershed below).

Planning area for the Thompson-Shuswap Salmon Collaborative.

To support the TSSC, the Salmon Watersheds Program (SWP) has created the Thompson-Shuswap Salmon Collaborative (TSSC) Data Explorer. The TSSC Data Explorer is an interactive GIS-based application that identifies all known spawning habitats for Pacific salmon species in the Thompson-Shuswap watershed and provides a suite of relevant geospatial layers that describe broad land development pressures on fish habitats, known fish passage issues, water allocation issues, pollution issues, stream and lake networks, watershed delineations, jurisdictional and salmon management boundaries, locations of past or ongoing habitat monitoring, and other factors that may be important for informing salmon habitat management or restoration planning in the region.

User Interface for the Thompson-Shuswap Salmon Collaborative Data Explorer web tool.

The intent of the TSSC Data Explorer is to allow easy, efficient access for TSSC participants to relevant data on regional salmon populations and their habitats that will be regularly updated in a timely manner. Information stored and visualized within the TSSC Data Explorer will be used to help identify near-term TSSC priorities for salmon conservation and restoration actions at local stream scales, while also providing a foundation for development of decision support tools intended to support longer term watershed-scale assessments and planning efforts within the Thompson-Shuswap Salmon Collaborative Strategic Planning Framework. Such strategic efforts will include identification of high priority areas within the region for broad-scale protection and/or restoration and for associated development of long-term field monitoring of the ongoing condition of salmon populations and their habitats in these areas.

Outcomes

  1. Synthesized all available data on the status and distribution of salmon Conservation Units located within the Thompson-Shuswap watershed.
  2. Quantified the extent and intensity of landscape pressures (e.g., mining development, road density, logging, etc.) across the Thompson-Shuswap watershed in order to assess where human development may be having the greatest relative impacts on freshwater salmon habitats.
  3. Integrated all compiled salmon and habitat information into a publicly available online interactive data visualization tool called the TSSC Data Explorer.
  4. Made all non-confidential data visualized within the TSSC Data Explorer readily accessible through the Salmon Data Library, PSF’s online public database.