A government-appointed council says British Columbia must take immediate action to increase wild salmon populations. (Photo Courtesy of Monica Lamb-Yorski)

Wild salmon council calls for immediate actions to increase B.C.’s wild salmon

Council says government must focus on ‘tangible, achievable, near-term actions’

A government-appointed council says British Columbia must take immediate action to increase wild salmon populations.

The Wild Salmon Advisory Council says in a report Friday the provincial government must focus on “tangible, achievable, near-term actions” that address the immediate needs of wild salmon and their habitat.

The council’s 30-page report says the government should take on the role of the champion of wild salmon.

It says that despite billions of dollars in public and private investments over the past 30 years to protect, restore, enhance and manage B.C.’s wild salmon and steelhead populations, the stocks continue to weaken, with some at alarming rates.

“We heard at multiple times, and in many ways, that increasing wild salmon abundance is and should be a provincial government goal,” the report says. “We also heard repeatedly that the citizens of B.C., and particularly adjacent communities, must benefit directly from the public investment that will be required.”

READ MORE: B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

The 14-member council included representatives from the fishing industry, conservation groups, Indigenous communities and provincial politicians, including NDP co-chairman Doug Routley and Green legislature member Adam Olsen. Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett also served as the council’s co-chairwoman.

The council held meetings in seven communities, including Campbell River, Kamloops and Skidegate, in December and January and met with wild salmon stakeholders in Vancouver for two days.

The report makes 13 recommendations to the government to increase wild salmon populations, urging quick action to protect salmon habitats that have not been disturbed and restore degraded habitats.

The government said it is reviewing the council’s report as part of its plan to restore wild salmon stocks.

Salmon conservation groups said they were pleased with the council’s recommendations to increase wild stocks and protect and restore habitat, but were concerned about calls to support the commercial fishery in areas of threatened fish stocks.

“There’s a strong focus on revitalizing the commercial fishing industry, but no talk at all about the impacts of fishing on endangered salmon stocks,” said Aaron Hill, executive director of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. “And there’s no talk of moving to new technologies that will allow for sustainable harvests of abundant runs while minimizing the harvest of endangered stocks.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing

$17.7 million project of six cottage-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society seeks support for grant application

The society hopes to complete extensive renovations on the exterior of the historical powerhouse.

City of Cranbrook concludes urban deer removal efforts, culls three deer

Challenges included trap vandalism, shortened window under wildlife permit terms

Highways maintenance contractor seeking public feedback

Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting to share results of survey ahead of pre-winter public forums

Paul Blais provides daily, free breakfast to Cranbrook’s homeless

After winding up on the streets in 2018, Blais wanted to do everything he could to help others

Dynamiters keep their winning streak going

Nitros beat out the Nitehawks 4-3 in game two of the Conference finals.

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing in Cranbrook

$17.7 million project featuring six cottege-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read