In June 2005, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) released a strategy for managing the five species of Pacific salmon that is outlined in Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific salmon (i.e., the Wild Salmon Policy (WSP); DFO 2005). The overarching goal of the WSP is to “restore and maintain healthy and diverse salmon populations and their habitats”, where “conservation of their habitat is the highest priority for resource management decision making” as balanced against biological, social, and economic consequences. Strategy 2 of the WSP specifically addresses the assessment of habitat, wherein it states that “maintenance of sound productive salmon habitat…depends on good scientific information, timely measures to prevent habitat disruption, and compliance with regulatory directives”. Strategy 2 outlines four action steps that together will improve DFO’s capacity to proactively monitor and protect wild salmon habitat. The four action steps include:

  • Step 2.1.: Document habitat characteristics with CUs;
  • Step 2.2.: Select indicators and develop benchmarks for habitat assessment;
  • Step 2.3.: Monitor and assess habitat status; and
  • Step 2.4.: Establish linkages to develop an integrated data system for watershed management.

This purpose of this document is to outline a monitoring framework that speaks to Action Steps 2.1 and 2.3 of Strategy 2. With regards to Action Step 2.2, the progress made to date is summarized in Stalberg et al. (2009) which describes the indicators and benchmarks that will be used to inform the monitoring framework discussed herein.

–Excerpt from the report’s Introduction