British Columbia is the most biologically diverse of Canadas provinces and territories. In turn, this has created rich diversity and geographic distribution in our aquatic ecosystems and resulting fish species. The ability for fish and other aquatic organisms inhabiting streams to move freely (upstream and downstream) throughout their natural environment is an essential component of sustaining fish populations, along with healthy and resilient aquatic ecosystems. In additional to their ecological importance, British Columbias fish play an important role culturally, socially, and economically. Indigenous communities located in the northwest are among the oldest known fishing cultures in the world. With freshwater and salmon species ranging across the province, fish are foundational to the cultural, traditional, and ceremonial foundations, both historically and in current practice. Wild fish are an important food source for many British Columbians. Fishing is a commonly enjoyed practice among the young and old, including catchand- release fishing for recreation. British Columbia also supports a world renowned, and economically important, guided-fishery. British Columbias fish are also part of our iconic global image, a key ingredient to our Super Natural British Columbia tourism brand. A fish passage barrier is anything that hinders any life-stage of fish from moving through its natural range. The primary barriers are some of the culverts installed before 1995, before the legislation was enacted to protect fish passage. These culverts may allow water to flow but may not provide conditions that fish can actually swim through. The water that flows through culverts may also block fish migration because the flow is too swift, too shallow, or has a waterfall into or out of the culvert. A single removed barrier can deliver impressive benefits, improving fish access for kilometres both upstream and downstream. When rivers and streams are connected, fish can better access the habitat they need. This is an important component of protecting and restoring fish populations. The Fish Passage Remediation Program was established in 2007, and is delivered in collaboration between the partners listed on the outside back cover. Funding is primarily provided by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development through the Land Based Investment Strategy. The program has identified approximately 140,000 stream crossings on approximately 800,000 km of road in British Columbia. To date, the program has remediated over 150 road stream crossings resulting in fully restored access to over 750 kilometres of fish habitat (See 2008 2017 Accomplishments table, page 4). The following information provides a summary update of the remediation projects undertaken in the 2-year period from 2015/16 to 2016/17.
Goup, Fish Passage Working, (Chair), David Maloney. 2019. British Columbia Fish Passage Program. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Misc. Report (FLNRORD). MR122