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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

City of Kelowna receives $100K provincial grant to support forestry workers

When the Kelowna Tolko mill shut down in November, 233 full-time employees were put out of work

$173K to support Okanagan seniors amid pandemic

United Way announces more funding for frontline programs

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

Defence claims Surrey man was mentally unwell at time of West Kelowna murder

Tejwant Danjou’s jealousy ‘tormented him’, according to his defence lawyer

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Princeton RCMP sergeant kills cougar threatening residential neighborhood

An RCMP officer shot and killed a cougar, close to a residential… Continue reading

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Most Read