Portage Creek Chinook Conservation Enhancement
Fisheries and Oceans Canada will lead this strategic enhancement project to support rebuilding the vulnerable Portage Creek Chinook population for a minimum of one generation (five years) and preserving its genetics. This project will support the enhancement and coded-wire tagging of up to 50,000 yearling smolts. Enhancement will provide the population with a greater smolt survival rate, while the tags will provide much-needed assessment and stock distribution information. Further work will investigate the limiting factors contributing to the population’s decline.
Update: Over 27,000 Chinook eggs collected in Portage Creek, 47,000 smolts ready for release
In 2020, six females from the declining Portage Creek Chinook population and 11 males were spawned, resulting in an egg take of 27,020, and about 4,000 offspring were safely released as healthy fry. The release was coordinated with, and attended by, St’át’imc Eco-Resources Ltd. The remaining 47,066 Portage Creek Chinook at the hatchery were successfully marked, tagged, and released as yearling smolts in May 2021.
Final report: executive summary
Portage Creek Chinook are classified under the Government of Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy as a vulnerable single site Conservation Unit. This stock has had diminishing returns for approximately 20 years. The current adult Chinook returns are likely insufficient to maintain the population. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) anticipates that this population will become extinct over the next two generations (ten years) without intervention, resulting in the loss of a genetically unique Conservation Unit. With support from BC Hydro’s Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP), DFO proposed strategic enhancement of this stock for a minimum of one generation (five years) to support preservation and rebuilding of this population and its unique genetics, while further investigating the limiting factors contributing to the population decline. This project is aligned with FWCP’s Bridge-Seton Watershed Action Plan priority action BRG.ALL.SB.04.02: Implement high priority habitat and/or species-based actions for fish and/or wildlife.
Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.