salmon spawning

Vancouver River

Aerial view of Vancouver River Watershed
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you can click the link above to open a placemarker for this watershed.)

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

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

The Vancouver River is mid-reach in Jervis Inlet on the east side directly across the inlet from the Brittain River. The Strategic Land Use Plan for the shishalh Nation (2007 Draft) identifies this area as having very high cultural, fisheries and wildlife values.

Railroad logging began in the Vancouver River area in the early 1900s and a small town was established at the river’s mouth on Vancouver Bay. Diking and road building caused channelization and isolated backwater Coho rearing habitat. The town site has been abandoned for many years but the increased run-off from logging has had the typical long term impacts; radical fluctuations in flows, channel scouring, bank instability, loss of spawning gravels, etc.

The counting of salmonids did not begin until 1947, when the peak annual escapement of 15,000 Pinks was recorded. Steelhead peaked at 400, Chum at 8,000 and Coho at 5,000.. A report released in 1983 suggested that controlled flow structures to reconnect the old channels and the rehabilitation of the main stem channelized section would be appropriate to rebuilding the Pink run.

A hatchery funded by DFO began in 1981. From 1980-89, nearly 2 million Chum, ~290,000 Coho, ~141,000 Chinook and ~59,000 Steelhead were released. An extensive channel rehabilitation project was completed between 1998-2001. A 120,000 Reconnaissance Fish and Fish Habitat Inventory was conducted in 1999 to meet Forest Practice Code requirements. In 2002, a report noted that the Steelhead stock was not well documented but believed to be very low and therefore of special concern.

Escapement data for the last 10 years is currently unavailable.

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