The B.C. Wildlife Federation is sponsoring a an eight-month research project to examine population dynamics and the potential risks and benefits of hatchery production to save endangered Interior Fraser Steelhead recovery. A UBC post-doctoral researcher will begin work this fall to provide unfettered data and science-based recommendations on how to support the recovery of these endangered fish. The BCWF has partnered with MITACS, a federal funding agency, to support this project. We also hope to raise $15,000 from our members and the public to make this project happen. We are reaching out for your support! The results of the research will be shared with the media, the public, relevant federal and provincial ministries and, most importantly, BCWF members. These findings will be used to advocate on behalf of these fish.
The BCWF filed federal and provincial freedom of information requests in 2019 seeking the disclosure of an emergency assessment conducted in 2018 under the Species at Risk Act titled “Recovery Potential Assessment for Chilcotin River and Thompson River Steelhead Trout.” Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has edited or refused to disclose science related to Interior Fraser Steelhead several times. Additionally, it has failed to implement recommendations by scientists. It is obvious DFO is not interested in disclosing or pursuing science to restore these fish.
Our researcher will investigate the risks and benefits of developing hatchery programs, develop population dynamic modeling and other conservation measures with the goal of halting and reversing the decline of the Interior Fraser steelhead. Immediate action is needed. With some runs dwindling to just a few dozen spawners, we will focus attention on the Thompson River Steelhead population as a case study to evaluate a variety of measures to promote the recovery of B.C.’s iconic steelhead.
It is urgent that conservation actions are carefully formulated, coordinated, and implemented to prevent the extinction of the steelhead and support their recovery. Your gift will support BCWF efforts to save our endangered steelhead. Please visit our donation page and list the gift’s designation as “Steelhead Research Project.”
Thank you for your help in protecting and conserving British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, and habitat. We hope you will join us to in our mission to protect B.C.’s natural heritage.
Executive Director, BCWF