P.E.I. salmon restoration projects get $107K boost
'It's a tough chore, we're dealing with so many environmental conditions including climate change'
By Sara Fraser, CBC News Posted: Apr 11, 2016 6:00 PM AT
Wild salmon conservation on P.E.I. is getting a boost with more than $107,000 in funding for seven projects from the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, the group announced in a written release.
The non-profit foundation supports conservation efforts for wild Atlantic salmon in Eastern Canada, including the Atlantic provinces and Quebec. It is funded with an initial endowment from the federal government as well as partnership arrangements, sponsorships and donations.
"It's just wonderful," said Fred Cheverie, the watershed coordinator with the Souris and Area Wildlife Federation, which received $26,500 for salmon habitat restoration.
The Souris group has received more than $150,000 from the salmon foundation over the past eight years, Cheverie said, allowing it to maintain or improve salmon stocks in area rivers and streams.
The fry-up will have to wait
Atlantic salmon is listed as a species of special concern because of low numbers on the Island. Salmon angling is limited to only a handful of rivers on P.E.I., and fishermen are not allowed to keep any salmon they catch.
The Souris group would like to soon have at least a viable catch-and-release salmon fishery.
"It's going to increase visitors to our area," said Cheverie, noting many people travel long distances to land a lively salmon. "It's a chance to help our economy."
"It'll be a spell yet before they'll allow us to do that," he continued. "It's a tough chore, we're dealing with so many environmental conditions including climate change."
If the wildlife federation didn't have this money, Cheverie said, the rivers in the area would still likely be choked with beavers dams and other debris and salmon wouldn't be able to reach good spawning grounds.
"The scope of the projects funded illustrates the far-reaching importance of wild Atlantic salmon conservation and reinforces the foundation's mandate to advance a full spectrum of conservation efforts, from hands-on habitat restoration initiatives to watershed management planning to scientific research," said Stephen Chase, executive director of the foundation.
The projects range from $27,500 for the Central Queens Branch of the PEI Wildlife Federation to restore of freshwater habitat on the West and Clyde Rivers, to $7,520 for the Richmond Bay Watershed Association for work on the watershed.
Of the seven grants awarded in P.E.I. this year, two are second-year commitments to multi-year projects to restore salmon habitat and stocks.
Other projects will enhance education, conserve habitat and help restore watersheds in key salmon areas on the Island.
This year, the foundation will hand out more than $1 million to 61 projects in the region.