Port Authority gives big to historic-salmon research project

Skeena Sockeye Century Project using salmon DNA to map future recovery strategies

Fishermen in the port of Prince Rupert at an unknown date. The Prince Rupert Port Authority is investing $50,000 into a research project using historic salmon DNA samples to help map out future salmon recovery strategies in a time of global climate change. Prince Rupert Archives photo

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is investing $50,000 into a research project to help map out salmon recovery strategies in a time of global climate change.

Skeena Sockeye Century Project, led by Simon Fraser University PhD candidate Michael Price, in partnership with the SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, is using records from as far back as 1913 to establish a baseline for sockeye populations in the region. Then, using the DNA from thousands of scales collected from the mouth of the Skeena River in the 1930s and 1940s, researchers will reconstruct the historical abundance and diversity of individual populations to examine whether climate change has impacted freshwater nursery lakes for sockeye in the Skeena Watershed.

“The Prince Rupert Port Authority recognizes that a healthy salmon population is vital to the entire Northwest region,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We take our commitment to our communities and the environment seriously, and we are pleased to partner with organizations like SkeenaWild and the Pacific Salmon Foundation who share our sustainability values, and will pursue informed approaches and innovative solutions related to the health of Skeena River salmon.”

READ MORE: How history is teaching scientists about wild Skeena salmon today

SkeenaWild executive director, Greg Knox, believes the research will provide the right scientific insights to better inform management decisions on naturally fluctuating populations.

“It’s important for us to understand how different populations contributied to the overall abundance before significant impacts to their habitats like climate vaiability and large-scale fishing pressures arrived,” Knox said.

“This historical information gives us a better understanding of what the potential is for individual populations in the future, and what our potential is to rebuild them.”

The findings of the $160,000 project will also allow researchers to more accurately identify the lakes most vulnerable to climate change that require priority in sockeye conservation planning, and be a significant contributor to scientific databases aligned with the recovery of B.C. sockeye populations.

PRPA’s $50,000 contribution is being channeled through its Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, a $1 million endowment from its Community Investment Fund. The goal of the program is to team up with regional partners such as First Nations, non-governmental organizations, and community groups on projects that enhance the salmon population and protect their habitat in the Skeena River and its watershed.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shea Long roosts in the Shoot Out in the Telkwa Range. (SnoRiders, Houston/Shea Long photo)
Telkwa Range snowmobiling permit lottery opens

Application period is Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 for snowmobiliers and skiers to gain access to Starr Basin

The Dupras family has been regulars at the Babine River and have seen plentiful grizzlies over the years. (Jay Dupras photo/Lakes District News)
A family’s close encounter with a grizzly on Babine River bridge

Photo-enthusiasts let the bear access the bridge for photos putting others at risk

Nathan Cullen, right, looks on as Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader Chief Woos, also known as Frank Alec, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relation, Carolyn Bennett and B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser address the media in Smithers, B.C., Sunday, March 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
10 Gitxsan hereditary chiefs call for BC NDP to remove Cullen as Stikine candidate

Ten Gitxsan hereditary chiefs have called for the firing of NDP candidate… Continue reading

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, Cullen apologize for Stikine candidate’s comments about Haida candidate

Nathan Cullen had made insensitive comments about Roy Jones Jr. Cheexial

Joe Bramsleven and partner Tammy Wilson (centre) await election results with campaign manager Scott Groves, right, and his wife Lori Ann Groves at Boston Pizza Oct. 15. (Deb Meissner photo)
Atrill defeats Bramsleven for mayor in landslide

Mika Meyer replaces Atrill as the sixth councillor

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read