Sockeye salmon in the Okanagan Valley watershed (File photo).

Sockeye salmon in the Okanagan Valley watershed (File photo).

Helping study salmon spawning through social media

Watershed Watch Salmon Society launching ‘#SalmonSpawnWatch’ to learn about spawning patterns

  • Sep. 7, 2021 4:30 p.m.

The power of social media is being harnessed to help study patterns of salmon spawning throughout British Columbia.

The Watershed Watch Salmon Society, a non-profit dedicated to defending and rebuilding B.C.’s wild salmon, is launching the social media campaign #SalmonSpawnWatch to help draw a picture of how salmon are fairing around the province.

“With the changing climate, and the many pressures wild salmon face, the numbers of salmon returning to each stream is changing,” said Anna Kemp, Watershed Watch communication director, in an email. “While we can make predictions, we don’t yet know exactly what will happen on the ground.”

The campaign uses a citizen science approach using social media to help derive this data.

Those wanting to participate are being encouraged to first visit rivers and streams where salmon are known to or might spawn. Then using a phone, they can record a short video by filming water and the surrounding environment. Including information about the location, date, and what is being observed in the video also helps.

Even a video without evidence of spawning salmon is important information to record, said Kemp.

Then the video can be posted to social media with the hashtag ‘#salmonspawnwatch’ and while tagging Watershed Watch. When posting, the date and location should be included in the text of the post.

The campaign goal is to bring the seasonal movement of shared interest in wild salmon online, to get people discussing and thinking about salmon conservation, said Kemp.

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