Salmon in the Quesnel Watershed: A Think Tank on the need for an Inland Fisheries Research Program.

On February 23-25, 2011 an Inland Fisheries Research Think Tank has held at the Dr. Max Blouw Quesnel Research Center to discuss options or possibilities for a research watershed, such as the Quesnel. It was recommended that yes a Quesnel River Fisheries Research and Knowledge program be established for all healthy breeding populations of salmon and that the mission is to design and implement a program addressing interior fisheries issues, with a focus on the Quesnel River Watershed.

It is key that this research and knowledge program will be collaborative, multi-disciplinary, community-based, community-centered, and local; and that the goals of the Quesnel River Fisheries Research and Knowledge Program are to:

• increase our knowledge and understanding of the biology, ecology, and behavior of the major fish species in the Quesnel River Watershed, especially salmon, bull trout and white sturgeon;

• identify and develop a protection strategy for productive fish spawning, rearing, and in- and outmigration habitat in the Quesnel River Watershed;

• increase resource managers’ and decision-makers access to and utilization of the knowledge generated through the research and extension projects; and

• establish and maintain a communicative, functioning network of researchers and extension specialists to address the defined issues.

It was also determined that someone be hired to ‘champion’ this initiative through to the ‘up and running’ stage and that the research program be guided by a Partnership Steering Committee, comprised of representatives of the following institutions, agencies, and organizations:

• University of Northern British Columbia,

• North Shuswap Tribal Council

• Fisheries and Oceans Canada