Salmon gala raises $15,000 for foundation

Pacific Salmon Foundation announces major investment in Oyster River

The Pacific Salmon Foundation raised more than $15,000 at the Annual Campbell River Gala Dinner and Auction on Saturday, Feb. 5.

Proceeds from the dinner support salmon restoration and regeneration projects in the Campbell River region.

The event was held at the Campbell River Marine Heritage Center and sold out. A committee of volunteers organized the event and included: Chair, Larry E. Stefanyk, Don McDermid, Cecil Henley, Brad Root, Jerry Fletcher and Sonora Morin.  Major supporters included: Rachel Blaney, Royal Bank of Canada, Marine Harvest, River Sportsman, Pacific Coastal Airlines, Campbell River Fly Fishers, Hester Creek Family Estate Winery, Ace Line Hauler and Islander Reels.

The foundation has long been a partner of the Campbell River salmon community.  Since its inception in 1987, the foundation has invested more than $680,000 in the Campbell River region.  Thanks to local volunteers and donors these funds were leveraged for a total impact of $5.2 million for salmon. In 2010, more than $54,000 was granted to eight stewardship groups.

Dinner chair Larry E. Stefanyk said “streamkeeper groups that provide the in-stream labor are the backbone of these successful initiatives.” Committee member Cecil Henley highlighted the Oyster River Enhancement Society at the dinner. Beginning in 1983, the group’s efforts have resulted in near historic returns of salmon to the Oyster River along with healthy numbers of steelhead and cutthroat trout.

This February, the Foundation granted $100,000 to Ducks Unlimited for a 161 acre protected wildlife land purchase on the Oyster River called Bear Creek Nature Park.  Land title was jointly registered under Ducks Unlimited and the Comox Valley Regional District. The Oyster River Enhancement Society will be working closely with the district to provide recreational and public education opportunities through operation of their volunteer-run hatchery located in the park. The society provides opportunities for involvement through events, volunteerism, sponsorship and educational programs.

Campbell River is a quintessential salmon community where salmon have become inherently woven into the economy, environment and culture., said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “Support of the Oyster River and the Oyster River Enhancement Society will have a tremendous impact for salmon in the region by protecting valuable habitat and providing long-term preservation through continuing education and awareness.”