Letter RE: Seymour River Hatchery application to Western Economic Diversification Canada (WEDC)

To Whom It May Concern,

The Steelhead Society of BC is a British Columbia-based grassroots organization who advocate for the conservation, protection, and health of all wild salmonids and wild rivers in British Columbia. Considered one of the most important conservation organizations in North America, the Steelhead Society consists of 400 members from across Canada, including current and former Ministry of Environment staff, fisheries biologists, scientists, analysts and anglers in our membership.

We are writing this letter in support of the Seymour Salmonid Society, which operates an important salmonid enhancement facility and educational programs in North Vancouver. Although the Steelhead Society of BC are advocates for wild salmon and steelhead and their associated habitats, we recognize that without the continued efforts of the Seymour Salmonid Society, there would be far fewer – if any – returning steelhead in the Seymour River, due to upstream habitat loss from the Seymour Falls dam, serious urban encroachment form urban development, near total loss of historic intertidal rearing areas due to heavy industrial and Port development, and pollution and predation in the area.

In addition to the important salmonid enhancement activities carried out by hatchery staff, we support the Society’s educational programs:
 -  Several schools take part in the Gently Down the Seymour field trip each fall, which is a great opportunity for children to learn about forest ecology, aquatic invertebrates, and fish habitat right in the remarkable Seymour watershed. This hands-on experience teaches them how important forest and habitat are to the health and survival of BC’s wild salmon.
 - The Salmonids in the Classroom program is another valuable educational initiative, as it provides schools with fertilized salmon eggs for their classrooms, giving students the opportunity to witness salmon eggs hatching.


The Seymour Salmonid Society is important not only to steelhead in the Seymour River, but to the well being of wild fish in BC overall, for it teaches children to respect the fishery resource through their education and awareness programs. However, in order to continue the enhancement activities and educational programs at the Seymour Hatchery, the aging facility and leaking roof must first be addressed. Thus, we are happy to advance our support in the Seymour Salmonid Society’s application to Western Economic Diversification Canada (WEDC) for funds under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF). It is our understanding that the monies received will be used to replace the existing hatchery and educational center roof, which is in dire need of repair.

The Steelhead Society supports the Seymour Salmonid Society in their activities, and would recommend that you support them also, through providing funding for their much-needed hatchery improvements so that they can continue to serve the community.

Brian Braidwood, President of Steelhead Society of British Columbia

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