Portage Inlet Cutthroat Initiative

The Portage Inlet Cutthroat Initiative (PICI) was created with Mick Collins, of the Golden Rods and Reels, responding to a Call for Proposals by the Freshwater Fisheries Society for trout restoration projects.

It also includes close collaboration with Peninsula Streams and the Salmon in the City group (now part of Esquimalt Anglers) that monitor the counting fence behind Tillicum Mall.

Portage Inlet was re-known for its sea-run coastal cutthroats in the 1950s, a subspecies that is now blue-listed (vulnerable) by the province.

The project will consolidate reports on work done in the watersheds and local knowledge to create a restoration strategy that also benefits other salmonids.

Portage Inlet Cutthroat Initiative

In 2018, we assisted in organizing and implementing an emergency stream clean-up of migration blockages in the lower Colquitz with Dorothy and the Saanich Parks and Stormwater crews. We look forward to making the stream clean-up an annual event, and would love to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved.

Urban Salmonids in Colquitz Creek

Engaging citizens in science, restoration, and monitoring

World Fisheries Trust is collaborating with Colquitz Salmonid Stewardship and Education Society, the University of Victoria, the University of Manitoba, Stantec, and others to expand on the successes of the fish-fence at Colquitz Creek. Connecting scientific research, restorating activities, education, and monitoring with a project that engages citizens creates an empowered community of local stewards.

Urban salmon stocks, while generally small, are increasingly being recognized as key components of future salmon survival.

They contribute valuable genetic diversity to help counter effects of climate change and are keystone species. Nevertheless, there are large gaps in knowledge on what keeps salmon coming back to sometimes quite hostile environments and lots of need for increased public engagement.

Colquitz Creek and the Gorge Waterway are uniquely situated in the core of BC’s Capital Regional District on the lower end of Vancouver Island.

Colquitz Creek has supported a surprisingly resilient stock of Coho and sea-run cutthroat trout, largely without hatchery enhancement, but with a dedicated community support group. Despite doomsday predictions of salmon extinctions, this run has seen record returns in the last couple of years.

Smolt traps will compliment current enumeration with information on young salmon. Characterizing the traits of juvenile Coho salmon in urban environments will allow management actions that allow for better conservation of these valuable stocks, examination of otoliths will provide information on habitats used by the urban salmon during their lives,  and signage and Gorge Waterway Nature House displays will encourage hands-on involvement by knowledgeable and engaged citizens.