Chum salmon. (Black Press Media file)

23 projects get cash to help restore B.C.’s fragile salmon stocks

One such project aims to find dikes on Lower Fraser River that block passage of juvenile salmon

A project to transform aging dikes in B.C.’s Lower Mainland to make them more salmon-friendly is among 23 proposals selected by the federal and provincial governments to restore wild fish stocks.

Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham announced the recipients on Friday of the first round of funding under the B.C. Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.

READ MORE: Ottawa, B.C. announce five-year salmon restoration fund to rebuild wild stocks

The fund was launched in May and aims to restore the province’s imperiled wild salmon populations through innovation, infrastructure and science projects, and the recipients announced on Friday will receive about $13 million in total.

One of the funded projects is called Connected Waters and led by Tides Canada and Watershed Watch Salmon Society, which will spend the next year identifying priority dikes across the Lower Fraser River that are blocking the passage of juvenile salmon.

Lina Azeez, a campaign manager with Watershed Watch, says the groups aim to come up with green-infrastructure solutions such as “living dikes” that are made of natural materials and are more welcoming to salmon than concrete walls.

Other groups that received funding today include UBC, which will conduct research on the sustainability of capture-and-release recreational fisheries, and the Sport Fishing Institute for a mobile app that helps monitor catches.

The Canadian Press

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