It should come as no surprise to readers how intertwined salmon is in the lives of the people of Campbell River.
Local filmmaker, Eiko Jones, set out to explore just how deep the relationship goes with his just-released doc, Salmon Capital – Campbell River.
“Everybody in Campbell River has some kind of a story with salmon,” he noted. “But the extent of how many people, businesses and cultures are connected with salmon was really interesting.”
The documentary – which was made with funding from Telus Storyhive, – looks at the local First Nations people’s usage of salmon throughout the ages, the rise of sport fishing, commercial fishing, and aquaculture.
While it is easy to fall into doom-and-gloom talk when discussing the state of the important fish, Jones said there are some bright spots to the story.
“The chinook and the coho who come to the Campbell River have been doing pretty well,” Jones said. “Even when other rivers on the east coast of the Island and the Lower Mainland have not been doing so well.”
Education is providing hope for the next generation of fish stewards too.
Jones said he was impressed with the passion he and his film crew saw for salmon with kids participating in programs where they were raising and releasing young salmon into the wild. He also had praise for the many outreach groups, who are doing their best for salmon now.
“People aren’t giving up,” he said.
“On the one hand, we’re doing a lot to destroy the environment they live in, but on the other hand, a lot of people are doing a lot to at least give them a fighting chance.”
Reception has been mostly positive for the documentary so far, Jones noted.
“People are appreciating seeing the different sides to time and story.
“We tried to keep it apolitical, and not get involved too much in any one issue – it’s just a snapshot of all the different lives affected by salmon in Campbell River.”