Assessing the limiting factors for re-introduction of sockeye salmon to the Coquitlam Water Supply Area
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Subjectmigrating salmon; sockeye salmon; watershed management; population restoration; Coquitlam watershed
Prior to the construction of the dams, migrating salmonid species accessed the upper reaches of the Capilano, Seymour, and Coquitlam watersheds as an integral part of their natural lifecycle. There are multiple initiatives being undertaken by BC Hydro and the stakeholders to re-introduce sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) to one of their natural habitat in the upper Coquitlam watershed. Concerns have been raised that the restoration may be in conflict with the drinking water mandate of Metro Vancouver’s watershed management policies. The research objective of this project was to investigate and assess the social, economic, and environmental aspects of restoring an extirpated sockeye salmon population. Through an exploratory case-study approach, the research concluded that the existing fish passage constraints and reliance upon re-anadromy to restore the population are limiting factors in sustaining the Coquitlam Reservoir sockeye.
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