B.C. salmon restoration projects get $4-million boost

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Four B.C. salmon projects will share $4 million in funding to reach their goals of habitat restoration.

The funding will be rolled out over the next four years under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF), cost-shared by the federal and provincial governments.

“Wild salmon are on the decline and it’s going to take all of us working together to conserve, protect and rebuild this culturally and ecologically important species,” B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture Fin Donnelly said. “We need to listen to the voices on the front lines including, First Nations, fishers, streamkeepers, researchers and others if we are to restore salmon populations. By funding projects through the B.C. Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund that focus on innovation, infrastructure and scientific partnerships, we’re giving wild salmon every chance to survive in B.C. waters for generations to come.”

The five-year BCSRIF program is funded by $100 million in federal money, and and $42.85 million provincially.

READ MORE: Eight Northwest salmon conservation projects receive funding for grassroots work

Recipients in the latest round include the Osoyoos Indian Band for a post-mudslide restoration and monitoring project for steelhead, rainbow trout, and chinook habitat in Inkaneep Creek and its floodplain.

The Adams Lake Indian Band’s project focuses on restoring Upper Adams early-summer sockeye to sustainable levels.

The Seymour Salmonid Society will undertake a multi-year, watershed-wide initiative to improve rockslide-mitigation work to enable upstream fish passage, and improve the general habitat.

The Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society is working on upgrades to the Sooke River Jack Brooks hatchery facility and interpretive center. Facility upgrades will meet green building codes, include upgraded effluent treatments and the potential for stock assessment capability.

BCSRIF funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises, and academic institutions. Investments through this program are intended to help recover salmon habitat, benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as support science and research initiatives.

To date, 42 projects have received BCSRIF funding valued at $71 million.

READ MORE: Interior hatchery resurrected to incubate chinook fry caught at Big Bar Slide

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Quinn Bender, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View