Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Temple, N (ed.). 2005. Salmon in the Great Bear Rainforest. Raincoast Conservation Society, Victoria, BC.
Organization Raincoast Conservation Society
URL http://www.raincoast.org/files/publications/reports/Salmon-in-the-GBR.pdf
Abstract/Description or Keywords Salmon transcend diverse habitats throughout their lifecycle. They
move between sea and stream. They pass from water to air in
extraordinary leaps to overcome raging waterfalls. When they die,
they are carried from water to land where their bodies return nutrients
to the forests. Salmon are the link that brings distant ecosystems
together. They are the connection between ocean and rainforest, herring
and spruce, cultures past and present. They also tie communities and
countries together, for they know no international boundaries.
The return of the salmon has been observed and revered by cultures
around the northern hemisphere for many thousands of years. Salmon
are a symbol of knowledge and of perseverance, and when they return to
the rivers of their birth it is a time to celebrate the rejuvenation of life.
It is also a time to eat. Over 190 species of plant and animal benefit
from salmon,1
including killer whales, sharks, sea lions, seals, otters,
bears, loons, mergansers, heron, kingfishers, aquatic and terrestrial
insects, algae, mosses, terrestrial herbs, shrubs and ancient trees to name
a few. Some coastal animals synchronize their high-energy demands with
the arrival of the spawning salmon. For example, time of reproduction
is delayed among minks so that the burden of nursing their young falls
during the salmon spawning season.2
Coastal bears obtain up to 90% of
their total annual dietary requirements4
during the salmon run, laying
down essential fat stores prior to hibernation. Bears, gulls, eagles, seals
and sea lions congregate by the thousands to take advantage of this food
source; just a few of many coastal species that depend on this annual
nutritional surge to meet their dietary protein requirements.1,3
The central and north coast of British Columbia (BC), an area
known as the Great Bear Rainforest (see Fig. 1) is home to over 2,500
salmon runs.5
Many of these rivers remain fully intact, offering a unique
opportunity to study the complex interactions between salmon and these
ecosystems. However, salmon in the Great Bear Rainforest are faced with
the same threats that have depressed and extirpated salmon populations
throughout the Pacific Northwest: loss of habitat, high human predation,
misguided management, and enhancement activities. If we are to reverse
this trend in the Great Bear Rainforest, a fundamental shift must occur in
how we manage salmon and impact their habitats.
Information Type report
Regional Watershed Central Coast
Sub-watershed if known
Aquifer #
Project status complete
Contact Name
Contact Email