Up to 85 per cent of historical salmon habitat lost in Lower Fraser region

by Lou Corpuz-Bosshart, University of British Columbia
August 5, 2021

In order to reverse salmon declines, researchers say, more than 1,200 blocked-off streams and habitats need to be restored

For perhaps the first time ever, researchers have mapped out the true extent of habitat loss for salmon in the Lower Fraser River, one of the most important spawning and rearing grounds for Pacific salmon in B.C.

Salmon have lost access to as much as 85 per cent of their historical floodplain habitat—the biologically rich wetlands next to a river or stream that typically harbour wildlife—due to dikes and similar infrastructure, say researchers at UBC and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

“Only around 101 square kilometers out of an estimated 659 square kilometers of historical floodplains remain accessible to salmon,” says lead author Riley Finn, a research associate with the Conservation Decisions Lab in the faculty of forestry at UBC.

Keep reading: https://news.ubc.ca/2021/08/05/up-to-85-per-cent-of-historical-salmon-habitat-lost-in-lower-fraser-region/

Read the Ecosphere paper: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ecs2.3646