The Salmon River is the fourth largest watershed on Vancouver Island and contains significant anadromous and resident fish resources. The wild steelhead, resident trout and salmon production has traditionally supported substantial recreational fisheries in addition to valuable First Nation and commercial interests.
The Salmon River watershed has a long history of human activity and resource development including extensive forest harvesting and water diversions for power generation. As a result, the quality and quantity of suitable and stable fish habitat in the Salmon River has declined significantly over the last half century. Reduced upslope water retention and hydro diversions have resulted in lower summer flows in stream channels, reduced habitat suitability (for aquatic insects and juvenile salmonids) and competition for high quality habitat. These factors, coupled with limited opportunity and high costs of undertaking mainstem restoration works, emphasize the importance of side-channel development as well as ensuring the functionality of existing side-channels. Side-channel development and maintenance will likely continue to be one of the most valuable restoration tools available for recovering trout and salmon stocks in this watershed.
Damborg, Jeramy. 2009. Salmon River Side Channel. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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