Metro Vancouver has worked with federal and provincial governments, First Nations, partner agencies and NGOs to reintroduce adult coho salmon (spawners) to the Seymour and Coquitlam drinking water supply areas.
The program was launched in the Seymour Reservoir in 2019 and expanded to the Coquitlam Reservoir in 2020 to help increase the spawning and rearing of coho salmon in these watersheds. Access to these areas for salmon was impeded by the construction of BC Hydro’s Coquitlam Dam in 1905 and the Seymour Falls Dam in 1927.
Every year, the program brings up to 400 adult coho salmon, 40,000 juveniles, and 20 steelhead trout to the Seymour Water Supply Area and up to 100 adult coho salmon to the Coquitlam Water Supply Area.
This October’s salmon release marked the first time in over 100 years that returning adult coho have used the habitat above the Coquitlam Dam.
Reintroducing these adult coho to their ancestral habitat has significant cultural value for local First Nations. It also partially mitigates the historic impacts of dam construction by re-establishing wild salmonid stocks in the high-quality habitat found upstream of these dams.
The program is part of Metro Vancouver’s goal to support the restoration of fish populations in these watersheds while still delivering clean, safe drinking water to the region.
Watch this video to learn more about the program.