The dwindling numbers of salmon in the Thompson River is a crisis, according to Canada’s largest conservation group.
World Wildlife Fund Canada made the comment after a recent count of Chinook salmon in the Thompson and Fraser rivers, as well as on Vancouver Island.
That count identified 13 out of 16 Chinook salmon populations as being at risk.
WWF species specialist Emily Giles says fishing and habitat degradation are the biggest threats to those salmon.
“Salmon live in both fresh and salt water of course, and we find that their habitat is degrading in both of those regions,” Giles says.
“That signals that there is obviously huge issues going on with salmon, and in particular on the west coast. And some action needs to be taken to help those salmon.”
While 13 Chinook populations have been labeled at-risk, only one is considered not at risk and there isn’t sufficient data for two others.
Giles points out a lack of salmon hurts the food supply for southern resident killer whales as well as grizzly bears and bald eagles, among other wildlife.