Current habitat pressures to Vancouver Island salmon are shown on the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s explorer tool. Red areas are high risk, yellow are moderate and green are low risk. Photo courtesy Pacific Salmon Foundation, Pacific Salmon Explorer.

Current habitat pressures to Vancouver Island salmon are shown on the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s explorer tool. Red areas are high risk, yellow are moderate and green are low risk. Photo courtesy Pacific Salmon Foundation, Pacific Salmon Explorer.

Data-driven salmon tool helps conservation planning

Habitat pressures, population status and overview all part of interactive mapping tool

Accessing salmon conservation data has never been easier in B.C. thanks to a new interactive tool created by the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF).

The “Pacific Salmon Explorer,” combines publicly-available data from various agencies into one place, giving people in charge of planning and conservation decisions an easy-to-use look at the threats faced by salmon. It has recently been expanded to include Vancouver Island, and can provide a close look at watersheds around Campbell River.

“The intent of the tool is to kind of bring together disparate information on salmon and their habitats into one place,” said Katrina Connors, director of PSF’s Salmon Watersheds Program. “It’s intended to help inform planning, conservation decisions as they relate to recovery and protecting salmon. It can be used as a sort of decision support tool to external groups that are tasked with thinking about salmon conservation and management.”

The explorer looks at salmon population data, including survival rates, spawning return, harvest rates and hatchery releases. It also looks at habitat stresses like road construction, infrastructure planning, forestry activity and other activities that affect freshwater salmon streams. The data is then brought together as an overview for the specific areas, and can be used to compare different parts of the province.

“One surprise was how decentralized the information really is,” Connors said. “For us, it’s been a pretty significant barrier to do this in an efficient way. At the same time, we’re kind of trying to work towards systems that allow us, and others, to leverage this out-front effort to bring it all together so it’s easier to maintain.”

Once the data was compiled, PSF worked with local people to help vet the data and ensure collaboration across the board.

Also emphasized was the disparities between regions in terms of focus and funding. Connors said that the main target for research and conservation dollars has been the Fraser River, but the Pacific Salmon Explorer will help spread some of that funding to other areas that may be effective and improve conservation as a whole.

“We’re looking at salmon and salmon conservation broadly, thinking about where are those places that salmon are doing relatively well where maybe fishery impacts are quite minimal and where we can make those investments in conservation to protect the resilience of salmon as a whole,” Connors said. “It’s useful information and especially with climate change having an impact on salmon.”

As the team is continuing to collect and analyze data, and they are collaborating with stakeholders and other groups along watersheds to expand the tool to the remaining salmon-bearing watersheds in B.C.

“I hope that this really can help inform conservation and recovery planning,” Connors said. “I hope the next phase will be using that information to see what we can actually do on the ground to support the recovery or protect the risk in salmon populations.”

To take a deep dive into the data around salmon in B.C., take a look at the Pacific Salmon Explorer tool at

RELATED: Study uncovers B.C. female salmon dying 2x the rate of males

Judge grants injunction to restock two B.C. salmon farms

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Campbell RiverConservationNewsSalmon

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

Just Posted

Some bystanders with fire extinguishers helped keep the fire under control. Photo courtesy Suzie Thomas
Bystanders keep fire from spreading near McIvor Lake turnoff

‘Just be vigilant and careful,’ says Campbell River fire chief

The Pier Street Farmers Market will once again take up residence on Sundays from May to Septmber at the parking lot across from the Community Centre in downtown Campbell River for 2021. Mirror File Photo
Pier Street Farmers Market returns to Cedar Street parking lot for 2021

…and it’s hoped that the addition of artisans this year will make it even better

Some recommendations from the Downtown Safety Select Committee have been approved by Campbell River City Council, including removing the glass stage covering at Spirit Square. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Council going ahead with removing Spirit Square stage covering

But mayor acknowledges need for ‘welcoming, warm place with support services’

A small fire on North Rendezvous Island is the first wildfire of the season in the Campbell River area. Officials are asking people to take caution when burning during these dry conditions. BC Wildfire Dashboard
‘Conditions are tricky at the moment’ warns Coastal Fire Centre

Small fire on North Rendezvous Island first of the season for Campbell River area

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read