PSF invests $1.1 million to boost community-led salmon conservation efforts


In spring of 2022, the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s (PSF’s) Community Salmon Program distributed more than $1.1 million in funding to 116 community-led salmon conservation, enhancement, and habitat restoration projects across British Columbia. Combined, this consortium of projects represents $5.9 million in total value of salmon stewardship work.

The Community Salmon Program (CSP), launched in 1989, empowers volunteers, local streamkeepers, Indigenous communities, and schools to take action to conserve and rehabilitate Pacific salmon and their habitats. Successful projects have included salmon habitat restoration, aquatic monitoring and research, emergency flood rescue initiatives, conservation hatchery operations, educational programming and outreach, and citizen science initiatives.

One successful project funded by the Community Salmon Program is the restoration of Still Creek, which flows across Central Burnaby.

Still Creek, part of the Brunette River watershed, is one of the last remaining salmon-bearing creeks in Vancouver.

Salmon disappeared from the creek for 80 years, largely attributed to industrialization and urbanization throughout the 20th century. As a result, 90 per cent of the stream went underground.

However, in 2012, chum salmon returned to the creek for the first time since 1932 thanks to collaborative efforts by streamkeepers, biologists, and community volunteers to restore the stream and its inhabitants. Hundreds of salmon successfully spawned in Still Creek between 2012 and 2016!

Since 2016, salmon returns to Still Creek have been poor, yet volunteers, streamkeepers, and biologists continue their vital restoration efforts.

Thanks in part to funding from the Community Salmon Program, the Still Moon Arts Society led 13 hands-on restoration events at Still Creek in 2021, including invasive species removals, native vegetation plantings, and garbage removal clean-up events. The Society, which has catalyzed a network of more than 400 volunteers to support salmon habitat at Still Creek, also installed eight informational signs near the stream to advance community awareness about local salmon habitat.

Earlier this year, Still Creek streamkeepers released 5,000 juvenile chum salmon into the stream in hopes of building up the natural population.

“Slowly but surely, this stream has been coming back to life,” said Mark Angelo, Chair Emeritus, Rivers Institute at BCIT.


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“The Community Salmon Program has been at the core of the Pacific Salmon Foundation since the beginning,” says Michael Meneer, CEO and President, Pacific Salmon Foundation.

“We depend upon the grassroots work of passionate people for salmon. Community members are essential in leading the way and protecting endangered salmon stocks. Historically low salmon runs in recent years — coupled with climate change — means that salmon populations, many of which are in decline, need our help now more than ever. We are incredibly thankful to the people for salmon who leverage Community Salmon Program funds to uplift their grassroots conservation efforts.”

The Community Salmon Program accepts new applications each spring and fall. It is primarily supported by the federal Salmon Conservation Stamp, a decal which anglers purchase with their fishing licence. All generated proceeds support PSF’s salmon restoration, stewardship, education, and enhancement efforts.

Purchase a Salmon Conservation Stamp online to support the Community Salmon Program. Alternatively, make a donation directly to PSF.

The next funding application cycle for the Community Salmon Program opens on September 1 and will close October 15. Click here for the latest updates.

See below to learn about two community-led projects currently receiving CSP funding.

Caitlin Pierzchalski, executive director of Project Watershed, stands at Kus-kus-sum in the Comox Valley. Kus-kus-sum, a CSP-supported collaborative project between Project Watershed, K’ómoks First Nation and the City of Courtenay, is restoring a former sawmill to its natural state, and will ultimately create 8.3 acres of fish and wildlife habitat. (Photo: Alanna D Photography)

CSP dollars in action

Visualizing a resilient Fraser Watershed

The Fraser River, the longest river in B.C., is an integral part of a complex and vibrant ecosystem that supports more than 60 fish species— including Pacific salmon. In recent years, salmon returns to the Fraser Watershed have reached remarkable lows. Historically, 50 million sockeye salmon returned to the Fraser River annually, but in 2020, only 288,000 returned.

Canada has pledged to protect 30 per cent of land and seas by 2030 to prevent “catastrophic biodiversity loss.” Currently, 17 per cent of the Fraser Watershed is protected. The Rivershed Society of BC is developing a visualization tool that will identify another 13 per cent that can be protected to achieve the goal of protecting 30 per cent of the Fraser Watershed by 2030.

Rivershed will collaborate with others across the watershed to develop a tool that demonstrates a coordinated vision of protection and restoration projects across the Fraser Watershed. This tool will be used to elevate and support regional campaigns and encourage public support and capital investments.

Building a fishway in Jacobsen Creek

Jacobsen Creek, a tributary to the Little Campbell/Tatalu River in South Surrey, could provide excellent streamside habitat and cover for spawning and rearing salmonids, but is currently inaccessible to fish due to a perched culvert with an impassable one-metre drop. Streamkeepers have observed Chinook and coho attempting to jump into the culvert to reach the stream but not being able to reach the full distance.

With CSP funding, non-profit A Rocha Canada will build a fishway to enable coho, Chinook, and chum salmon, and cutthroat and steelhead trout to access nearly four kilometres of intact spawning and rearing habitat that is currently disconnected. Additionally, the project will enhance 40 metres of suitable spawning and rearing habitat by planting native plants and removing invasive vegetation.

With new industrial developments recently approved near the salmon-bearing Little Campbell River, this project is crucial to support local salmon populations.


Donations can be made online. The Community Salmon Program also benefits from corporations with sustainability goals. Trans Mountain, Mosaic Forest Management, BC Hydro, Methanex, Seaspan, Paper Excellence, Secure Energy, Neptune Terminals, ENCORP PACIFIC, Sutherland Foundation Inc., and Pembina Pipeline are all corporate supporters of the Program. Interested businesses can contact PSF’s Senior Business Development Manager Cory Matheson at

A full list of recipients for the spring 2022 Community Salmon Program funding cohort includes:

Applicant Project Title Funding confirmed $ Project Value $
A Rocha Jacobsen Creek Salmon Passage Enhancement 57,989 230,000
A Rocha Upper Bulkley River Salmon Rearing Habitat Assessment 3,745 30,005
Agassiz Christian School Salmonids in the Classroom 232 1,932
AJ McLellan Elementary School Salmonids in the Classroom 600 2,100
Alexander Elementary School Salmonids in the Classroom 475 2,375
Alouette River Management Society ALLCO Fish Hatchery Egg and Alevin Care 2,500 5,441
Alouette River Management Society Morse Creek Restoration 5,508 60,201
Baker Creek Enhancement Society Ocean Tank Refreshment – Scout Island Nature Centre 3,960 24,880
BC Conservation Foundation Bonaparte River Habitat Restoration Project 55,096 256,708
BC Conservation Foundation Englishman River Claybank Assessment and Mitigation 8,172 67,859
BC Conservation Foundation Guichon Creek Habitat Restoration Project 29,474 424,915
BC Conservation Foundation Louis Creek Habitat Restoration Project 19,898 288,543
BC Conservation Foundation Louis Creek TRU Study Habitat Restoration Project 35,585 278,482
Beach Grove Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,720
Boundary Elementary Stream of Dreams at Boundary Elementary 4,242 13,820
Bridge River Indian Band Development of a salmonid outmigrant program to inform population rebuilding in the Middle Fraser River 9,300 29,300
Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society Birkdale Farm Enhancement Project 2022 20,853 47,020
Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society Brooklyn Creek Fish Ladder Repairs and Riparian Enhancements 2022 20,827 49,931
Canada Wild Arts Society Uninterrupted-VR at the Adams 6,000 14,725
Carnarvon Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
Cat Stream Stewards Pine Street Riparian Restoration project 2,497 6,887
Central Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
Central Westcoast Forest Society Atleo River Restoration Project 28,350 155,900
Cheakamus Foundation for Environmental Learning Cheakamus Teaching Hatchery Upgrades 18,000 40,000
Chicago Creek Community Environmental Enhancement Society Mission Creek Fish Fence Construction and Installation Project 62,950 130,480
Chilliwack River Valley Resident’s Association Wingfield Creek Habitat Restoration 2022 1,900 5,000
Cougar Creek Streamkeepers Water Quality Long Term Monitoring 2,100 6,200
Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre Society Engaging Youth in Riparian Restoration to Support Salmon in the Cowichan 2,500 34,200
Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society Nixon Creek Log Jam Removal 5,000 39,048
Dasmesh Punjabi School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,420
Discovery Passage Aquarium Society Campbell River Shoreline Cleanup Project 2,459 9,593
Dr. Thomas A Swift Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,570
Dufferin Elementary Stream of Dreams at Dufferin Elementary 3,850 11,057
Ecole Anne-Hebert Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
Ecole Gabrielle-Roy Stream of Dreams at Ecole Gabrielle-Roy Elementary 4,287 13,853
Ecole Lloyd George Elementary Stream of Dreams at Ecole Llyod George Elementary 5,745 20,658
Ecole Norval-Morrisseau Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,550
Elsie Roy School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,450
ESR Elementary School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,720
Fraser Basin Council Society Horsefly Watershed Salmon Habitat Restoration 84,748 259,096
Galiano Conservancy Association Salmonids in the Classroom 1,800 10,200
General Gordon Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
General Wolfe Elementary School Salmonids in the Classroom 500 2,400
Gitanyow Fisheries Authority Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration Facility Trap Box Improvements 11,250 45,900
Greendale Elementary Community School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,550
Hastings Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,570
Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department Quantifying survival and harvest rates for wild Central Coast coho 31,804 417,838
Homalco First Nation Homalco-Taggares Hatchery Groundwater Supply 26,795 103,772
Horsefly River Roundtable Horsefly Salmon Viewing 1,400 4,800
Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society Gravel Restoration 2,500 5,375
Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society Conservation Through Education 6,725 106,875
Lakelse Watershed Stewards Society Watershed Water Quality Sampling 2,500 17,514
Little River Enhancement Society Counting Fence Relocation & Improvements 7,928 19,579
Lord Nelson Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,550
Lord Roberts Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,550
Lord Selkirk Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance Kw’atset te sthe’qi – Corbold Creek South Floodplain Restoration – Phase 2 54,000 191,400
Mainland Enhancement of Salmonoid Species Society Stream Survey and Enumeration 2,500 15,600
Margaret Stenerson Elementary School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,550
Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society Restoration, Conservation & Protection of Englishman River Riparian Habitat 20,714 70,455
Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society Shelly Creek Coho Smolt Rearing Habitat Restoration – Phase 3 15,368 34,570
Millard Piercy Watershed Stewards Piercy Creek Trib 1 Habitat Restoration Project 48,983 109,935
Millard Piercy Watershed Stewards Tributary 1 of Piercy Creek Streamside Vegetation Improvement 1,302 3,842
Moberley Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
Mount Slesse Middle School MSMS Testing Equipment 2,371 7,721
Mountain Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,510
Mt Lehman Elementary SD 34 Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,650
NatureKids BC NatureKids BC Salmon Toolkit for Families & Educators 6,000 13,000
Nechako Valley Secondary School Aerial Stream Habitat Assessment & Education 2,349 10,498
Nelson Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
Nootka Elementary School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,570
Northridge Elementary Stream of Dreams at Northridge Elementary 3,103 10,068
Oona River Resources Association Associaion Improvement to Hatchery Water System 1,840 5,620
Pacific Parklands Foundation Kanaka Creek Fish Fence Bank Remediation 20,000 64,478
Pear Tree Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 600 280
Peninsula Streams Society Beach Education and Conservation of Habitat (BEACH) 4,000 113,000
Peninsula Streams Society Colquitz Mainstem Restoration Project (Phase 3) 24,300 114,100
Peninsula Streams Society Millstream Creek Restoration and Stewardship 24,750 78,300
Peninsula Streams Society Portage Inlet Shoreline Restoration 11,700 66,200
Peninsula Streams Society Water Quality Monitoring and Stewardship Program 9,900 60,000
Powell River Salmon Society Improving Accessibity to the Alex Dobler Salmon Centre 10,830 72,470
Quadra Island Salmon Enhancement Society Stream Drought Proofing Quadra Island 6,818 19,475
Rivershed Society of BC A Visualization Tool for a Resilient Fraser Watershed 25,000 440,000
Salmon Coast Field Station Society Sea Lice Monitoring Training Workshop 2,500 39,760
Sandy Hill Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,650
Sargeant Bay Society Fish Ladder Replacement 18,000 84,000
Serpentine Enhancement Society Tynehead Hatchery Winter 2022 Project Funding 9,945 19,080
Seymour Salmonid Society Hatchery Infrastructure & Equipment Project 12,015 26,990
Silvern Trail Society Toboggan Creek Trail Rehabilitation 4,505 29,020
Simon Cunningham Elementary Stream of Dreams at Simon Cunningham Elementary 6,553 21,308
Sir Alexander Mackenzie School Boardwalk Restoration and Habitat protection 10,000 45,800
SkeenaWild Conservation Trust SkeenaWild Adopt-a-Stream Program 2,500 13,392
Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society Somenos Creek Water Quality Monitoring 2,500 6,450
Squamish River Watershed Society Salmon Heroes Outreach Program 2,500 27,500
St’át’imc Government Services Hatchery Rearing Tanks 13,905 31,950
St’at’imc Government Services Horseshoe Bend Coho Off-channel Habitat 37,350 199,000
Stoney Creek Community School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,150
Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society Hatchery Upgrade 2022 18,500 40,000
Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society Net Project 1,200 2,450
Sunshine Coast Streamkeepers Society Restoration of Creek’s Riparian Zones with Native Plants 1,200 2,400
Sunshine Hills Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,550
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Stream Assessment & Stewardship 2,500 6,230
Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society Emergency Fuel Supply Tank 1,870 12,450
Thornton Creek Enhancement Society Streamkeepers Program Support 2,400 4,900
Toboggan Creek Salmon & Steelhead Enhancement Society Toboggan Creek – Johnson Farm Creek Restoration 16,200 37,030
Toboggan Creek Salmon & Steelhead Enhancement Society Toboggan Creek Field Trip Funding 2,200 4,840
Tsolum River Restoration Society Portuguese Creek Instream Rearing Pond Enhancement 7,690 18,845
Tyee Elementary Salmonids in the Classroom 280 580
UNBC Using environmental DNA (eDNA) to assess the distribution of  juvenile salmonids in the Nechako Basin, Phase 3 29,880 139,020
Vancouver Christian School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,470
Vancouver Christian School Salmonids in the Classroom 1,650 3,470
Walley Creek Streamkeepers Walley Creek In-Stream Restoration Reach 2 26,100 75,970
WaterWealth Project Society Chilliwack Vedder Watershed Water Monitoring Program 1,021 12,941
West Vancouver Streamkeeeper Society Nelson Creek Fish Ladder Repair 6,454 33,300
Williams Lake Field Naturalists Stream of Dreams at Scout Island Nature Centre 2,500 33,550
World Fisheries Trust Craigflower Creek riparian restoration and water monitoring 7,700 77,724
1,136,476 5,913,233