Sockeye salmon in the Adams River in British Columbia, Canada. Photo: Yva Momatiuk & John Eastcott/Minden Pictures
David Wiwchar


The effects of climate change are going to have a devastating effect on coastal British Columbia First Nations within the next few decades, according to a new scientific report.

“First Nations fisheries could decline by nearly 50 percent by 2050, and coastal First Nations communities could suffer economic losses between $6.7 and copy2 million,” lead researcher Laura Weatherdon told Indian Country Today Media Network.

Council of the Haida Nation

The 2015 House of Assembly directed the Council of the Haida Nation to maintain a closure of the commercial herring fishery in Haida territorial waters in 2016 to allow time to address the long-­‐term management and conservation of herring stocks.

Following the directive from citizens of the Haida Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in consultation with technical staff and other groups, gave notice this December that the fishery would be closed in 2016. This closure does not affect the traditional roe-­‐on-­‐kelp fishery.

Union of BC Indian Chiefs

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. - January 07, 2016) A recently released study, published in Virology Journal, reports evidence that the virus most feared by the international salmon farming industry is now present in our wild fish in British Columbia, Canada. 

Mark Hume

The collapse of major salmon runs in B.C. this fall and the controversial expansion of fish farming on the West Coast have prompted First Nations to request “an urgent meeting” with newly appointed federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo.

Chief Bob Chamberlin, chair of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance, said the disappearance of millions of pink salmon headed for the Fraser and the collapse of the Adams River sockeye run underscore the need for immediate government action.

Phuong Le

Red tide: Massive, ‘incredibly thick’ toxic algae bloom in Pacific now stretches from California to Alaska. 

Bethany Lindsay

Fraser River temperatures hit record high as salmon get ready to spawn

Record low river levels and warm water temperatures could have a devastating effect on millions of sockeye salmon headed for the Fraser River to spawn, according to a UBC biologist.

If this summer’s unusual weather conditions continue, few salmon will brave the stifling temperatures of the river, and many of those that do will die trying, Tony

Darryl Fears

As a drought tightens its grip on the Pacific Northwest, burning away mountain snow and warming rivers, state officials and Native American tribes are becoming increasingly worried that one of the region’s most precious resources — wild salmon — might disappear.

Native Americans, who for centuries have relied on salmon for food and ceremonial rituals, say the area’s five species of salmon have been declining for years, but the current threat is worse than anything they have seen.

Kat Sieniuc
A female sockeye salmon lays her eggs in a stream north of Chase, B.C. Because of drought conditions this year, there’s a higher than normal mortality rate among the salmon. (JOHN LEHMANN/The Globe and Mail)

One more effect of the drought.

The tribal council representing eight First Nation communities in British Columbia’s Okanagan has suspended the area’s recreational and commercial sockeye salmon fishery – and says a full closing of food fishing is likely coming – as the salmon run comes in far lower than expected.

The Okanagan Nation Alliance was set to open the fishery on Osoyoos Lake this weekend with a historic salmon run forecast for the Columbia River system. But only about 18,000 to 45,000 of the projected 375,000 fish are expected to survive the journey.

Stephen Hume

Sockeye of the Adams River spawning run, one of several each summer in the Fraser River watershed. Above-average temperatures threaten to be lethal to the returning fish this summer.

The Early Stuarts, first of this season’s sockeye, are now ghosting in from the North Pacific, homing on the freshwater plume of the Fraser River.

It spills in a vast, silty lens across the Salish Sea, one of the last mysterious signals guiding them toward the final dangerous stretch of a 16,000-kilometre journey.


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