salmon spawning

Toba River

Aerial View of Toba River

Aerial View of Toba River

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Maximum estimated returns from 1947 to 2018 (retrieved from Department of Fisheries and Oceans, British Columbia) of Chinook and Coho salmon species for Toba River.

Maximum estimated returns from 1947 to 2018 (retrieved from Department of Fisheries and Oceans, British Columbia) of Chum and Pink salmon species for Toba River.

Toba Inlet is the next major fiord south of Bute Inlet and like Bute Inlet once supported spectacular fish and wildlife resources. The Toba River had historical peak escapements of 35,000 Coho, 75,000 Pink, 75,000 Chum and 12,000 Chinook. The numbers do not include escapements from major tributaries such as the Klite, Filer and Little Toba Rivers. The most recent available data for the Toba River is 1,000 Coho (1983-92), zero Pink (1984-92), 32 Chinook and 600 Chum (1989-98).

Initial logging occurred in the 60s and 70s. In 1975, 1500 cubic yards of gravel were removed from the high river bars. The following year, a salmonid reconnaissance was undertaken. A 1994 Watershed Restoration Program proposal noted that the Klite and Little Toba Rivers needed work and that the Toba itself required wildlife estuarine remedial works as well as Grizzly Bear oriented riparian improvements.

The Klahoose First Nation, according to the Statement of Intent listed with the BC Treaty Commission (1994), are claiming the entire Toba River watershed as part of their traditional territory. In the mid 80s the Klahoose sought changes to destructive logging practices in the Toba watershed. The effort was not successful. Subsequently logging companies were denied access to the watershed. The Klahoose currently have a Community Forest Licence over most of the Toba watershed.

As a result of Klahoose First Nation and Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks interests, fish and fish habitat inventories were conducted in 1998. BC’s largest run-of-the river hydroelectric project (East Toba/Montrose Creek) was successfully commissioned in 2010. Further fish sampling was conducted in the upper reaches of the Toba River as part of the provincial environmental assessments for the Toba/Montrose and Upper Toba hydroelectric projects.

The watershed is also known to host Dolly Varden, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout. The winter run of Steelhead is listed as an extreme conservation concern in the Klite, Little Toba and Toba River (2005). Within the Toba Inlet Management Area, the Little Toba is considered a major system for Chum production.

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