PRINCE RUPERT – The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced its investment of $161,372 into the first five salmon enhancement and sustainability projects under its new Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, launched earlier this year.

“The Prince Rupert Port Authority recognizes that a healthy salmon population is vital to not only the community of Prince Rupert, but to the entire Northwest region,” said Shaun Stevenson, President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We take our commitment to our communities and our environment seriously, and it is our privilege to partner with organizations and to contribute dedicated resources to the betterment of the Skeena River and its salmon populations. Our organization wants to be part of a local solution to address some of the critical challenges that are facing Skeena salmon.”

The five projects are outlined as follows:

Project Name: Skeena River Estuary Dissolved Organic Carbon Study
Proponent: Skeena Fisheries Commission
PRPA Financial Contribution: $33,425
Project Summary: The Skeena Fisheries Commission is an aboriginal organization that focuses on fisheries management, science, and conservation in the Skeena Watershed. This 3-year project consists of establishing a detailed monitoring and sampling program for dissolved organic carbon and organic matter in the Skeena River estuary, which play an important role in food web function and are directly relevant to salmon health, productivity, sustainability and habitat condition.

Project Name: Gitanyow Lake Sockeye Salmon Assessment
Proponent: Skeena Fisheries Commission
PRPA Contribution: $25,500
Project Summary: The Skeena Fisheries Commission is an aboriginal organization that focuses on fisheries management, science, and conservation in the Skeena Watershed.  This project will conduct a year-round limnological survey (study of the biological, chemical, physical, and geological characteristics of inland waters) of Gitanyow Lake to identify factors that may be limiting Kitwanga sockeye salmon.

Project Name: Kitwanga River Chum Salmon Enhancement Study
Proponent: Gitanyow Fisheries Authority
PRPA Contribution: $12,000
Project Summary: The Gitanyow Fisheries Authority provides fisheries, wildlife and overall environmental expertise and services for the Gitanyow people. This project will conduct a feasibility study to address declining Kitwanga chum stocks in the Gitanyow River and evaluate possible outcomes to enhance salmon stock, including the feasibility of a hatchery.

Project Name: Kispiox River Watersheds Temperature Monitoring Initiative
Proponent: Gitxsan Watershed Authorities
PRPA Contribution: $22,960
Project Summary: The Gitxsan Watershed Authorities’ mandate is to oversee and steward fisheries and other natural resource issues on the Gitxsan territories. This project aims to understand areas of thermal stress and refugia in key Skeena Salmon streams in the Kispiox River, enhancing current water quality and quantity research to inform fisheries management planning aimed at protecting fish during times of environmental stress.

Project Name: Lower Skeena River Pound Net Feasibility Study and Construction Project
Proponent: Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries
PRPA Contribution: $67,487
Project Summary: The Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries Stewardship Program was initiated to conduct scientific research and monitors the condition and use of marine resources within the traditional territory of the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation. This feasibility study is part of a longer term proposal aimed at the installation and operation of a selective fishing tool that will provide further research opportunities related to stock identification and salmon run information in the Lower Skeena River.

Prince Rupert Port Authority