Fisheries & Habitat​

Seabird Island’s leadership works tirelessly to protect Indigenous access to fisheries and natural habitats in our territory. Learn about our advocacy efforts and stewardship initiatives.

Protecting Indigenous Fishing Rights and Habitat at Seabird Island

At Seabird Island, fisheries and environmental stewardship is a top priority. Our elected Chief and Council members actively advocate for Indigenous fishing rights and habitat protection through:

  • Participating in high-level provincial and federal negotiations
  • Staying informed on fish populations and habitat status
  • Providing input on proposed development projects
  • Advocating for the rights of Indigenous people
  • Taking political action to defend lands and resources

Seabird’s Fisheries & Wildlife team collaborate with local experts, consultants, and Indigenous knowledge holders to study and conserve critical habitat in our territory. Examples include conducting salmon spawner surveys and restoring sections of Maria Slough to improve flow and access for fish.

The Fisheries & Wildlife team conducts technical reviews of proposed land and waterway developments to assess environmental impacts and propose appropriate offsetting measures. While liaising with government agencies and industry stakeholders, our Fisheries & Wildlife team ensure that Indigenous rights under Section 35 and UNDRIP are being upheld as they relate to the use and conservation of our land, territories, and natural resources.

Together, Seabird’s technical staff and leadership works to uphold Indigenous access to fisheries and maintain the health of our lands and waters for future generations.

Learn more about Seabird Island’s efforts to advocate for sustainable fisheries and stewardship of natural habitats in our annual reports. We take great pride in protecting our territorial lands and waters.

Fishing Openings

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has shared this information and poster

Big Bar Monitoring will be applying radio tags, focusing on Sockeye and Chinook for the month of July. These tags will be applied exclusively in Matsqui. Fishers may encounter these tags prior to any fishery taking place. The information collected will be used to help understand the impacts of the Big Bar landslide and improve the understanding of salmon migration biology. Even tags recovered below the slide will provide valuable information.

Please see the attached notice with photos of the radio tags that may be in use.

Any fishers that come across these tags are asked to record the tag frequency, serial number, and code along with date, location of capture, and species. Photos showing the tag on the fish would be greatly appreciated.

Recoveries of tags /encounters with tagged fish should be reported using the e-mail address BigBarTag@gmail.com . The tags can be turned off by affixing a magnet to them. Please return the tags to your local catch monitoring program so they can be returned to the Big Bar Team.

𝐵𝑖𝑔 𝐵𝑎𝑟 𝐿𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑠𝑙𝑖𝑑𝑒 𝑀𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑝

𝐹𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑂𝑐𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝐶𝑎𝑛𝑎𝑑𝑎

Earn a Certificate in Ecological Restoration at Seabird College

Seabird College offers a hands-on Certificate in Ecological Restoration program focusing on repairing damaged ecosystems. This practical training takes place weekdays from 9AM-4PM both online and in the field.

Key program details:

  • 18 total undergraduate credits
  • Transportation, gear, and lunch provided
  • Local restoration field work
  • Internship opportunities after completion

Courses cover:

  • Field methods and water/soil science
  • Fish habitat assessment and restoration
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Ecological restoration field study
  • Data management and analysis

This program equips students with skills to initiate restoration projects in their own communities. Sponsorship is available for First Nations participants.

Prepare for a career in ecological restoration and sustainable environmental management.

Maria Slough Restoration Project

The Maria Slough near Seabird Island provides important spawning grounds for a unique, endangered population of Chinook salmon. However, habitat degradation threatens this sensitive species.

Key habitat concerns:
  • Low water levels and flow
  • Declining water quality
  • Development impacts
  • Vegetation/grass growth
  • Lack of connectivity between water channels
To aid recovery, restoration efforts will focus on:
  • Selectively cutting channels between ponded areas
  • Excavating deep gravel pits for spawning and cold water refuge
  • Improving year-round hydraulic flow and connectivity
  • Adding woody debris for improved salmonid rearing habitat

The goal is revitalizing accessible, clean, cold water flows to support all salmon life stages. Work will begin April 2023 through winter 2023. Outcomes will include increased salmon productivity in this vital spawning area.

Protecting fragile species like Maria Slough Chinook is crucial. Seabird Island is proud to lead stewardship initiatives that sustain ecosystems and Indigenous culture.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Ghost Gear Progam

Seeking More Information?

For more information on Seabird Island’s fisheries management and environmental stewardship, please contact:

Mia Stratton
Biologist – Fisheries Advocate & Habitat Lead

Phone: (604)796-8051

Email: mia.stratton@seabirdisland.ca

Seabird Island actively advocates for sustainable fisheries and habitats in our territory. We welcome your questions and input on these important efforts. Reach out to discuss fisheries, restoration projects, volunteering, and more.

Our Band Office