Tag Archives: Chinook Salmon

The past holds the key to the future for Skeena sockeye: SFU researcher

Editor’s note: This solution would not work for Chum, the principal salmon species found on Cortes Island. Unlike Coho, Chinook, and Sockeye, Chum do not reside in fresh water for an extended period. The 2022 and 2023 runs in Basil Creek were virtually wiped out because there was not enough water for them to return and spawn.

By Seth Forward, Prince Rupert Northern View, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Comparing past sockeye populations in the Skeena watershed to their present-day counterparts may hold the key to preserving the species, according to an SFU postdoctoral fellow. 

Michael Price, who resides in Smithers, found in his Ph.D. research that a warming climate is making juvenile Skeena sockeye grow larger and is changing the habitats in which the young fish can thrive. 

Price found that small, warmer and more shallow lakes that juvenile sockeye used to thrive in are now becoming less suitable for the fish, with larger, deeper and colder lakes taking their place as the optimal habitat for sockeye to grow before they make the daunting trip to the ocean. 

Continue reading The past holds the key to the future for Skeena sockeye: SFU researcher

West Coast toxic hot spots threaten endangered salmon and killer whales

Editor’s note: Though Cortes Island is not mentioned in the following report, it is on the embedded map of metal hotspots. We appear to be either bordering on, or close to, the areas for cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni) copper (Cu) and lead (Pb).

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Newly identified toxic metal hot spots on the West Coast further threaten endangered killer whales and their key food source, a recent study shows.

Continue reading West Coast toxic hot spots threaten endangered salmon and killer whales

Kakawin breaching at Harbour Quay in the Alberni Inlet

Editor’s note: Are we going to be hearing more stories of orcas coming closer to human communities as they search for food?

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Port Alberni, BC – As the sun was setting on Saturday, Aug. 26 three kakawin, the Nuu-chah-nulth word for orca, traveled into Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay for what some would say is the farthest up the Alberni Inlet they’ve been seen.

Only meters from Fisherman’s Wharf, orcas breached multiple times, putting on a show for the lucky crowd who cheered them on. Soon, videos and photos would be circulated on social media to share the incredible sight.

Continue reading Kakawin breaching at Harbour Quay in the Alberni Inlet

Saving the Cowichan Estuary from drowning in a climate-fed ‘coastal squeeze’

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

High atop a dike hemming the Koksilah River as its fresh waters meet salt, red-winged blackbirds call out as they patrol their territory.

Noisy heralds of spring, the blackbirds return to the Cowichan Estuary each year to nest and protest human intrusion with sharp signature trills from the brush along the riverbank.

Today the interloper is Tom Reid, conservation land management program manager with the Nature Trust of British Columbia (NTBC), who stands atop the 15-foot-high rock embankment he is working to destroy.

The dike, built to fortify farmland stolen from the estuary, is stifling the tidal marsh vital to the survival of a host of endangered salmon and bird species that rely on it for breeding, feeding and migration, he said.

Continue reading Saving the Cowichan Estuary from drowning in a climate-fed ‘coastal squeeze’

Yukon River’s salmon runs likely to stay small while Indigenous Peoples’ sacrifice grows

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The collapse of wild salmon is causing a current of pain that spans the length of the Yukon River, from its mouth at Alaska’s Bering Sea to the headwaters in Canada’s Yukon territory 3,000 kilometres away.

Indigenous people on both sides of the border spoke about the devastation the loss of chinook salmon and the more recent collapse of chum stocks are having on communities while testifying at the Yukon River Panel, a bilateral commission that manages salmon stocks, during its meeting in Whitehorse this week. 

Continue reading Yukon River’s salmon runs likely to stay small while Indigenous Peoples’ sacrifice grows