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Two Northwest BC Salmon Enhancement Projects Receive PRPA Funding

Press Release

December 12, 2022

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today that it has contributed over $94,000 to two unique projects that support research and monitoring of salmon populations in the Skeena River estuary and its tributaries. The funds were allocated through PRPA’s Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, an initiative established in 2019 to provide $1 million in financial support to projects that increase salmon productivity and the maintenance and rehabilitation of habitat in the Skeena River watershed.

Through a partnership with Lax Kw’alaams Fishing Enterprises Ltd., PRPA contributed $70,142 toward the Multi-Year Juvenile Salmon Habitat and Eulachon Inventory Study as part of the Program. This project is aimed at building the knowledge base for healthy wild runs and successful enhancement on the Skeena, through surveying and analyzing fish habitat and the enumeration of eulachon, a preferred prey for salmon.

“Developing these benchmarks is critical to implementing future measures for eelgrass planting and salmon habitat restoration. With the support of the Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, we have made meaningful strides towards gathering the necessary data to further conservation efforts in the Skeena River estuary,” said Jay Alexcee with Lax Kw’alaams Fishing Enterprises Ltd.

Further upstream, PRPA partnered with the Chicago Creek Community Environmental Enhancement Society through the Program to support the monitoring of Pink and Coho populations at Mission Creek, a tributary of the Bulkley River which flows into the Skeena. PRPA contributed $24,000 to replace an aging fish fence, which is used for the enumeration of wild salmon stocks as part of a 25-year escapement data set.

“Without escapement data, protection measures would not be possible. The Mission Creek Fish Fence Rebuild Project is critical in order to move coho above an impassable barrier at Highway 16 and this infrastructure ensures coho have access to important habitat for years to come,” said Brenda Donas with the Chicago Creek Community Environmental Enhancement Society.

“We are privileged to partner with local organizations from across northwest BC who share our commitment to improving the health and abundance of wild salmon stocks throughout the Skeena River watershed. Through the collection of key data, these projects will help influence longterm planning and offer opportunities for additional research into salmon populations here on the West Coast of Canada,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

Since the inception of the Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, PRPA has contributed over $365,000 to projects across the Northwest region, including the two announced today.

2021 – Toboggan Creek Hatchery Modernization Project

  • Partner: Toboggan Creek Salmon & Steelhead Enhancement Society
  • $60,000 contribution

2020 – Skeena Sockeye Century Project

  • Partner: SkeenaWild Conservation Trust
  • $50,000 contribution

2019 – Skeena River Estuary Dissolved Organic Carbon Study

  • Partner: Skeena Fisheries Commission
  • $33,425 contribution

2019 – Gitanyow Lake Sockeye Salmon Assessment

  • Partner: Skeena Fisheries Commission
  • $25,500 contribution

2019 – Kitwanga River Chum Salmon Enhancement Study

  • Partner: Gitanyow Fisheries Authority
  • $12,000 contribution

2019 – Kispiox River Watersheds Temperature Monitoring Initiative

  • Partner: Gitxsan Watershed Authorities
  • $22,960 contribution

2019 – Lower Skeena River Pound Net Feasibility Study and Construction Project

  • Partner: Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries
  • $67,487 contribution

ABOUT THE SKEENA RIVER SALMON ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM:

The Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program was established by the Prince Rupert Port Authority in 2019 with a $1 million endowment from its Community Investment Fund. The goal of the program is to team up with regional partners such as First Nations, non-governmental organizations, and community groups on projects that enhance the salmon population and protect their habitat in the Skeena River and its watershed. The program also provides the opportunity to partner with other agencies and organizations leading similar initiatives to leverage additional financial resources toward this important priority. In addition to monetary support, PRPA is also seeking ways to share capacity and data from its existing environmental stewardship programs to enhance new and existing salmon-related initiatives.

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