Fraser Salmon and Watersheds
Nothing epitomizes the spirit of British Columbia quite like wild Pacific Salmon. Yet managing wild salmon and watersheds sustainably is a daunting challenge. Many salmon stocks are at risk, or in decline from such threats as habitat loss, overfishing and climate change impacts. To ensure wild salmon in our future, things need to change.
The Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program (FSWP) was a breakthrough initiative. Co-managed by the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) and Fraser Basin Council between 2006 and 2012, FSWP brought together British Columbians from different regions, sectors and areas of interest to improve the health and sustainability of wild Pacific salmon populations and the watersheds of the Fraser Basin.
Thanks to the BC Living Rivers Trust Fund, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other funders, FSWP provided $13.6 million in funding for 300 projects across the Basin, in four focus areas:
FSWP supported networking, education and collaboration on tough issues. Successes involved many leaders, including those in First Nations communities, and other people involved in fisheries management, research, stewardship and community work.
Perhaps the greatest success of the six years was in connecting people and bridging information gaps. FSWP helped people pool information and resources, learn from each other, and cooperate more effectively. FBC and its partners want the work to continue into 2013 and beyond ― and are encouraging a fresh commitment to the Living Rivers Trust Fund beginning in 2014.
“We are all impacted by, and should pay attention to, the health of the salmon. That is going to be a reflection on the relationships between people. So I hope that salmon can be a unifying area of focus. The health of the salmon suggests what our relationships are like with one another.”
To learn more about the projects funded or led by the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program, including those in your region, visit the Think Salmon website (projects page).
“Of course one of the most important things in this objective is to ensure that we have healthy rivers. Rivers that are alive and living, filled with natural beauty and high quality, to sustain people, ecosystems and a vibrant economy. That is why the Living Rivers Fund is so important: because it brings our best scientists and technical experts with communities to be able to forge new models for sustainability.”