Salmon Steward

Fall/Winter 2020

Salmon Steward is the official publication of the Pacific Salmon Foundation in British Columbia, Canada

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salmon Steward magazine 5 (TOP RIGHT) CONOR MCCRACKEN T he Pacific Salmon Foundation's Salmon Watersheds Program ( has launched major updates to the Pacific Salmon Explorer (PSE), an online data visualization tool that summarizes information on salmon and their habitats throughout British Columbia. With data and assessments for over 80 per cent of salmon in B.C., the PSE is a comprehensive source of information for the entire salmon community. For more than 10 years, PSF has been collaborating with First Nations, federal and provincial governments, academics, other NGOs and independent salmon experts to identify, assemble, analyze and present the best available data for salmon in B.C. The recent updates to the Pacific Salmon Explorer represent a huge boost for this mission as it now reaches beyond the North and Central Coast to include salmon in Southern B.C. This expansion offers significant new insights into the status of 150 biologically, ecologically and genetically unique groups of salmon populations, known as Conservation Units (CUs), across more than 160,000 square kilometres of freshwater salmon habitats in Southern B.C. This brings the total number of CUs in the Pacific Salmon Explorer to 339, out of 411 total CUs in the province. New features in the enhanced Pacific Salmon Explorer include: n assessments of data quality; n interactive visuals of hatchery facilities and releases of juvenile salmon from these facilities; and n summaries of salmon status and trends by species for each region in B.C. The PSE has become an important tool for supporting salmon conservation and recovery. For example, it is being used to support Recovery Potential Assessments (RPAs) for salmon assessed as "threatened" or "endangered" by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. In the recent RPA for Southern B.C. Chinook, the PSE helped experts evaluate the scope and severity of threats and to identify recovery strategies and action plans for at-risk populations. Additionally, the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance, the Nuxalk, Kitasoo/Xai'xais, Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv First Nations, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), academic partners and other salmon experts recently used the PSE to help guide the development of a strategic plan ( prioritizing-strategies-central-coast) for B.C.'s Central Coast, identifying the most cost-effective conservation and management actions for supporting the persistence of salmon in the region. The expanded tool will continue to inform salmon recovery priorities, and catalyze local conservation planning efforts and management strategies for supporting at-risk populations. "The Pacific Salmon Explorer has the potential to be an essential tool in assisting Indigenous communities when assessing local watersheds for fisheries values, preparing for water and land use planning, proposing restoration activities, understanding the status of salmon and making decisions in support of healthier aquatic resources," says Gordon Sterritt, executive director of Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance. "The vast amounts of information are now at the touch of a button with outputs such as graphical, map-based data to help managers understand and describe watershed-based issues." In light of the many threats facing salmon (habitat loss, overfishing, climate change), it is more important than ever to gain a shared understanding of the current state of salmon and salmon habitats in B.C. The PSE goes a long way towards making information accessible and easy for broad audiences to understand. Supporting evidence-based conservation is central to the Salmon Watersheds Program's mission and we are committed to working with our partners in the years ahead to maintain, update and improve upon the Pacific Salmon Explorer. This work has been generously supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Coastal Restoration Program, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Pacific Salmon Endowment. n ENHANCED EXPLORATION To access this interactive online tool, visit For more information or to support this initiative, visit or contact today! The new & improved Pacific Salmon Explorer now provides data for more than 80% of B.C. salmon (Far left) PSF staff work with independent salmon experts in local communities. 1 2 3

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