Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

October 03, 2014 13:57 ET

Minister Shea and MPs Saxton and Weston Announce Funding for Major Upgrades of Salmon Hatcheries and Spawning Channels

Harper Government Provides $34.2 Million to Renew Infrastructure in the Salmonid Enhancement Program

NORTH VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 3, 2014) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, joined by Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, and John Weston, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, today announced that the Government of Canada is providing $34.2 million over five years to upgrade and renew salmon hatcheries and spawning channels operated by the federal government under the Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP).

This funding includes $13.8 million to refurbish crucial water supply and delivery systems at all 16 major salmon hatcheries and many spawning channels and $20.4 million to modernize and refurbish aging infrastructure at Bella Coola's Snootli Creek Hatchery, which serves the B.C. Central Coast.

The investments will renew infrastructure that is, in many cases, 30 years old. It will also improve efficiency of the facilities, their operational reliability and flexibility, and reduce maintenance costs. A reliable supply of high-quality water is a critical element to the successful production of salmon at hatcheries and spawning channels.

This investment is part of ongoing efforts by the Government of Canada to reinvest in the 36-year-old Salmonid Enhancement Program. A $14 million renovation of the Quinsam River Hatchery in Campbell River was completed in 2014 and other hatcheries will be upgraded according to priority.

Quick Facts

  • The federal government's Salmonid Enhancement Program operates 23 salmon hatcheries and spawning channels, which release hundreds of millions of juvenile salmon every year to supplement wild stocks and sustain British Columbia fisheries.

  • Salmon hatcheries play a key role in the Salmonid Enhancement Program's efforts to conserve weak salmon stocks; provide recreational, commercial and Aboriginal fishing opportunities; and support stock assessment.

  • Hatcheries and spawning channels provide increased fishing opportunities and comprise an estimated 10-20 per cent of all salmon harvested in B.C.

  • The Salmonid Enhancement Program contributes approximately $90 million of direct and indirect economic benefits and 1,592 person-years of employment annually to Canada's economy, according to BCStats, Ministry of Citizen Services.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to enhancing, conserving and rebuilding wild salmon in British Columbia. That is why we are investing $34.2 million to upgrade and modernize hatcheries and spawning channels. Salmon hatcheries play a key role in our shared efforts to conserve and rebuild salmon stocks. As that rebuilding occurs, it will lead to an increase in recreational, commercial and Aboriginal fishing opportunities, which in turn is good for the province's economy."

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

"The Pacific wild salmon has always been an important part of British Columbia's economy and culture. Our Government is proud to support sustainable fisheries by making significant investments that include salmon production for harvest, stock assessment, habitat improvement, bolstered science, strong enforcement actions, education and best management practices."

Andrew Saxton, MP for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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BACKGROUNDER

INVESTMENT OF $34.2 MILLION TO RENEW SALMONID ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM INFRASTRUCTURE

The $34.2 million over five years in capital funding includes $13.8 million to refurbish water supply and delivery systems at all 16 salmon hatcheries and many spawning channels operated by the Salmonid Enhancement Program. A reliable supply of good-quality water is crucial to the successful production of incubation and rearing of salmon. The work includes redeveloping wells and installing new wells; repairing and replacing water pumps; improving water and energy efficiency; repairing and replacing water valves, pipes and water intake structures; and upgrading monitoring systems. This work is taking place at the following facilities:

  • Big Qualicum River Hatchery, Qualicum Beach
  • Capilano River Hatchery, North Vancouver
  • Chehalis River Hatchery, Agassiz/Harrison Mills
  • Chilliwack River Hatchery, Chilliwack
  • Conuma River Hatchery, Tahsis/Gold River
  • Inch Creek Hatchery, Mission/Dewdney
  • Kitimat River Hatchery, Kitimat
  • Little Qualicum River Hatchery, Qualicum Beach
  • Nitinat River Hatchery, Port Alberni/Lake Cowichan
  • Puntledge River Hatchery, Courtenay
  • Robertson Creek Hatchery, Port Alberni
  • Rosewall Creek Hatchery, Deep Bay/Fanny Bay
  • Shuswap River Hatchery, Lumby
  • Snootli Creek Hatchery, Bella Coola
  • Spius Creek Hatchery, Merritt
  • Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery, Squamish
  • Fulton Creek Spawning Channel, Granisle
  • Pinkut Creek Spawning Channel, Burns Lake
  • Weaver Creek Spawning Channel, Harrison Mills

The remainder of the $34.2 million is a $20.4 million investment over five years to modernize and refurbish aging infrastructure at the Snootli Creek Hatchery, which serves the B.C. Central Coast, and the associated Atnarko Spawning Channel. The facility has been in operation for more than 35 years and is in need of significant renewal to extend its operational life and enable it to operate more effectively and efficiently.

In addition to improving Snootli's water supply system, as explained above, the investment will consolidate multiple buildings and infrastructure into a single complex; refurbish and replace salmon incubation and juvenile rearing structures; upgrade and modernize electrical and mechanical systems; improve energy efficiency; address health and safety issues and improve overall site security and flood protection.

The federal government, through Fisheries and Oceans Canada, also invests in salmon through:

Pacific Salmon Foundation

  • The Government of Canada dedicates all revenue collected from the Salmon Conservation Stamp to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, which means approximately $1 million annually from this source supports the foundation's work.

Salmonid Enhancement Program

  • The Program has an operating budget of $26 million for 2014/15, which is spent running salmon hatcheries and spawning channels, restoring fish habitat, working with community groups, Streamkeepers, volunteer groups, and schools.

Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program

  • The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program was announced in Economic Action Plan 2013 to support fisheries habitat restoration projects led by recreational fish and angling groups, as well as conservation organizations.

  • Given its early success and high demand, an additional investment in Economic Action Plan 2014 increased the funding available through the program to a total investment of $25 million over four years.

  • Under Round I, the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program has invested nearly $6 million in 94 fisheries habitat restoration projects across Canada. Up to $5.5 million in funding to support an additional 127 projects under Round II is currently underway. Applications for Round III are now being reviewed.

  • In British Columbia, Round I of the RFCPP made available $1.813 million for 28 projects. Under Round II, up to $1.506 will be made available to 31 projects in B.C.

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