B.C. announces funding for new Salmon Conservation Facility in Sooke

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VICTORIA -- A new salmon conservation facility will be coming to the District of Sooke. 

Premier John Horgan and B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham announced the funding on Saturday, which comes in the way of $920,000. 

The new facility will go towards supporting Vancouver Island's dwindling salmon population by combining with the existing Sooke River Jack Brooks Hatchery.  According to the province, this will lead to the potential for better salmon-stock assessment capabilities, while balancing the need for sustainability.

Lana Popham -- B.C.'s Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Saanich South -- tells CFAX 1070 that a variety of issues currently plagues local salmon, including situations relating to climate change.

"We're seeing acidification of the ocean, as well as other species that are thriving in the area."

Popham says that mammals such as seals continue to see their populations boom as they continue to feed off the salmon on Vancouver Island. However, she says that the province is dedicated and committed to restoring local salmon populations. 

"We need to be able to do everything we possibly can," said Minister Popham. "We must ensure that more fish are returning to the ocean, and then coming back so their eggs can be collected."

The new Salmon conservation facility will be owned and operated by the Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society, in partnership with the Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society.  According to the B.C. Government -- the facility can expect to see it's grand opening in March of 2022 -- as Minister Popham notes some of the positive impacts of a thriving Salmon population.

"When people see salmon fry in the hatchery and fish swimming in the river, it helps them connect to the importance and value these remarkable fish bring to our province and oceans."

The new facility will also feature upgraded effluent treatment equipment, reduced power consumption and community engagement in protecting wild salmon. 

 

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