Tag Archives: Coho 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

Salmon skyline takes wild coho conservation to new heights

Editor’s note: When the Chum runs were large enough, Cortes Island Streamkeepers harvested the eggs from Chum Salmon returning to Basil Creek and raised them in the Klahoose hatchery in 2020 and 2021. Very few salmon returned in 2022, so 50,000 Chum eggs were brought from the Tla’amin Fish Hatchery in Powell River. The following article illustrates the fact that DFO has been attempting to preserve salmon stocks in many areas.

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Winter sun backlighting their frosted breath, a dozen people trudge gingerly in the icy waters of the Trent River in search of salmon.   

Loaded with gear and armed with wooden poles, eyes down and intent, they test each step on slick rocks while navigating the currents swelled by November rains. 

Each fall, upwards of 25 volunteers join an expedition to a remote section of the Vancouver Island river to help the Courtenay Fish and Game Protective Association trap spawning coho to take back to its new hatchery at Comox Lake. 

Continue reading Salmon skyline takes wild coho conservation to new heights

Will the second consecutive year of extreme drought impact salmon runs?

Editor’s note: A disturbing question, which is also pertinent on Cortes and neighbouring areas.

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

Vancouver Island, BC – Since July 13, Vancouver Island has been in a drought level five, making for an earlier dry season than last year. Some experts say that smaller salmon bearing streams could face impacts from the early drought if no substantial and sustained rainfall begins.

With last year’s drought causing weeks of delay, entailing salmon holding up and awaiting rainfall, this year is the first time that Jim Lane, manager of biologists with Uu-a-thluk, has seen extreme drought two years consecutively.

Continue reading Will the second consecutive year of extreme drought impact salmon runs?

A walk through memory lane to Carrington Lagoon and Grandmother Grove with George Sirk

George Sirk explained some of the history and wildlife that he and Kim and their friend Janet Gemmel recently explored during a walk to Carrington Lagoon and Grandmother Grove.

“Janet Gemmel came to visit us for a week. Her husband, Jim Palmer, died last December. He had a very rare lung cancer.”

“Jim and Jan lived out in Carrington, at the Reversing Rapids, in the 80’s.  So Jan wanted to take the ashes back and release them there, but she forgot to bring them from Courtenay.”

Continue reading A walk through memory lane to Carrington Lagoon and Grandmother Grove with George Sirk

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’