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Steelhead Management


The Thompson Steelhead Working Group at Spences Bridge for a public meeting on Steelhead (November 12) and a working group meeting (November 13).

Here is a look at some of the work underway in the region for the recovery and management of Thompson Steelhead.

Nkala’pamux and Secwepemc First Nations

The Nkala’pamux and Secwepemc First Nations have initiated an inter-governmental dialogue and other work for the sustainability of Thompson Steelhead.

The Secwepemc Fisheries Commission and Cook’s Ferry Indian Band coordinated assemblies with a focus on Thompson Steelhead in both 2012 and 2014. They also championed the efforts that led to An Independent Review of the Science and Management of Thompson River Steelhead.

Southern Pacific Salmon Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP)

The Southern Pacific Salmon IFMP identifies identifies the main objectives for the Southern BC salmon fishery and the management measures that will be used to achieve these objectives. Within the IFMP, the objective for Interior Fraser Steelhead is to minimize the impact of Canadian fisheries on stocks and to increase spawner abundance.

The Thompson Steelhead Working Group will help ensure that the objectives for Steelhead from First Nations, the Province of BC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are reflected in the IFMP. To learn more, read the IFMP Summary.

Provincial Framework for Steelhead Management

The Province has initiated a Framework for Steelhead Management in BC to help ensure abundance of wild Steelhead populations at levels that will produce ecological, social and economic benefits now and for future generations.

The two management objectives of the framework are to maintain a diversity of sustainable recreational angling opportunities and to maintain, protect and restore the productive capacity of the freshwater environment to produce steelhead. There are nine broad strategies to support these objectives.

The framework guides the implementation of regional management actions, such as those that the Thompson Steelhead Working Group may recommend.

Provincial Designations to Protect Steelhead

The Province of BC has initiated three initiatives to support steelhead management in the Thompson:

  1. Temperature-sensitive stream designation
  2. Steelhead stream classification
  3. Fisheries sensitive watershed designation.

In the past, there have been various forms of fisheries management initiatives that typically targeted specific stocks or locations. Science now recognizes the integral linkage between upland conditions and the aquatic conditions necessary to sustain healthy fish populations. The tools required to manage for connectivity at the entire watershed level are set out in the Fisheries Sensitive Watershed (FSW) portions of the Forest Practices and Range Act (FRPA) regulations.

Candidate FSWs are identified based on a combination of high fisheries values and watershed sensitivity. The Coldwater, Spius and Deadman watersheds — all within the larger Thompson watershed — are under consideration for FSW status.

Water Management

The Province has led the development of dams on the Bonaparte and Deadman systems to manage water flows for fish and other uses. Similar work is now underway in the Nicola watershed to look at how to better manage water for multiple interests.

Marine Survival

Dr. Brian Riddell of the Pacific Salmon Foundation is participating in a study on the marine survival of salmonids, including Steelhead, in the Salish Sea. The project has the support and involvement of over 40 organizations from BC and Washington. The research is looking at how bottom-up and top-down processes, and the cumulative effects of the two, are impacting the marine survival and condition of fish.


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Looking to learn more about Thompson Steelhead management? Check our Resources page.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351

We are grateful at the Fraser Basin Council Society to live and work on the unceded ancestral
territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.