Salmon as BC Symbol, comments featured earlier
The Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fraser Basin Council and Living Rivers - Georgia Basin / Vancouver Island collected comments from across British Columbia on a proposal to designate wild Pacific salmon as an official provincial symbol.
Click here to access the report on our consultation, which includes all comments collected.
Pacific salmon are a precious natural inheritance and valuable economic resource. If we are careful, they will be an important legacy to pass to future generations of British Columbians.
What others have said
- Salmon in the ecosystem
"Salmon embodies the spirit of land and sea in the Pacific Northwest. It is a critical link in the health of an entire ecosystem. It provides crucial nutrients to plants and animals, including humans."
—Sophie Verrier, Kamloops
"The Pacific salmon embody the essence of the coastal ecosystem from the sea to the forest. They are a powerful cultural and biotic symbol."
—Jefferson Blair, Victoria
"The salmon life cycle is remarkable and fascinating. Healthy salmon populations mean healthy marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems."
—Jan Verspoor, Vancouver
"Salmon are vital to the ecosystems of our wild forests and rugged shoreline."
—Christina Burns, Victoria
"I love eating salmon and they feed the forests also. They are a key in the ecosystem."
—Kevin Adam, Chase
"Pacific salmon is THE dominant species in coastal British Columbia...It is life-sustaining, not just for humans, but for many other species on the coast. It is emblematic, and an indicator species of the environmental health of the coast. Salmon are our call to action on climate change, ocean protection, and coastal, indeed global, ecology."
—Arthur Caldicott, Victoria
"Sensitive to ecosystem change so it is a key indicator species for resource extraction practices like forestry and mining and sensitive to global temperature increases."
—Chloe Faught, Victoria
"Pacific salmon are the lifeblood of BC. They feed everything - the bears, the trees, the soil, the people. ...they migrate far inland upriver - an unbelievable distance from the sea. This is unique to BC - Atlantic salmon do not die when they spawn, so they do not feed the soil as Pacific salmon do."
—Cynthia Callahan-Maureen, Victoria
"It is central to the life cycles of much of B.C.'s wildlife species."
—Pamela Fitzpatrick, Vancouver
- Salmon in the economy
"Salmon have supported Indigenous Native Peoples as well as settlers for many, many years. They are a part of our heritage, and continue to contribute to our economy to this day. We need to find ways to support the fisheries so that the populations increase and remain sustainable.
—Erin Taggart, Chilliwack
"Salmon are an historic and important symbol of the wealth of our Pacific Coast environment. They sustain humans and other species directly and indirectly.
—Diana C. Mumford, Gabriola Island
" [Represents BC because of] its sport fishing appeal to tourists, its support of other wildlife such as bears, its contribution to our commercial fishing economies."
—Debbra Mikaelsen, Vancouver
- Salmon as inspiration
" The way they over come the struggles in their lives, the constant fight with nature in their travel thousands of miles. They then return home to have their family and die, as did many of the residents of B.C. Their struggle is a good example for everyone in what can be done if you really try!"
—Terrance Wagstaff, Nanaimo
" Their life-history, fortitude, resilience and keystone role (not to mention the inspiration they provide to so many of us humans) in so many of this province's watersheds encapsulates everything that is worthy of being a provincial fish!
—Pamela Zevit, Coquitlam
" Their journey through the Fraser River system exemplifies some of the greatest natural wonders here in BC. From the Gulf Islands, to the fertile Fraser Valley, to the arid Okanagan, to the vast and spiritual landscape of the Cariboo, all the way to the Rocky Mountains. So many different ecosystems, so many different communities, so many different rivers, just one fish."
—Jillian Merrick, Prince George
- Salmon as nourishment
"It's very humbling to know that, as its life comes to an end, its body goes on to nourish the next generation when they return to their spawning grounds. As one of the natural food sources for my family of origin, salmon was always treated and greeted with appreciation and respect by my parents. "
—Donna Bond, Surrey
"Pacific wild salmon have nourished and created the BC Coast. This fish has fed our forest, wild animals, First Nation Peoples, and communities for millenia. "
—Robert Tritschler, Parksville
"Wild Pacific Salmon is and continues to be an integral part of living in BC. It [...] should always play a significant role in the health and wellness of a person living in BC. [...] People who eat more fish (especially pacific Salmon which is inherent in our region ) than red meat have healthier bodies and temperament. With the inclusion of the Pacific Salmon as an emblem of BC, programs need to encourage the Salmon cuisine...Let us promote the Pacific Salmon, promote Samon industry in BC, and promote health and wellness."
—Liza Bawagan, Vancouver
"Their migration is critical to the survival of many of our land predators, and when these predators leave salmon in the woods their bodies nourish the trees themselves which in turn shelter the streams where a new generation will be born. "
—Barbara Bell, Victoria
"Pacific salmon are the lifeblood of BC. They feed everything - the bears, the trees, the soil, the people. "
—Cynthia Callahan-Maureen, Victoria
- Salmon as connectors
"There is nothing that connects us as British Columbians more than our wild salmon. From remote spawning beds in the upper reaches of mountain valleys to the rivers that flow through our communities all the way to the ocean...and back again. Whether we are fighting for the right to harvest them, catch and release them or conserve them - they remain an important part of our culture, history, ecosystem and food chain."
—Shannon McPhail, Kispiox Valley, BC
" [...] Important connection between aquatic & terrestrial habitats, Important connection between rivers and ocean."
—Glen Carlson, Surrey
"The life cycle of the salmon runs through all aspects of those who live in this province. This includes other species as well as plant life. "
—Shirley North, Langley
"The salmon drive to grow and thrive at three levels: at the community level in the lakes and streams that make up our province; at the provincial level as they transit through BC; and the International level when they leave the province and head to the high seas of the Pacific Ocean and then return as mature adults to spawn and give life to future generations. A compelling life history."
—Douglas Swanston, North Vancouver
" [...] Successive generations of British Columbians have viewed all species of Pacific Salmon as a unifying symbol of the connection between people and the natural environment. "
—Gerry Kristianson, Sidney
"From deep in the B.C. interior watersheds of the Fraser, Skeena, Stikine and countless other coastal watersheds where adult Pacific Salmon spawn, salmon fry rear and grow to prepare themselves for the ocean. [...] How they fit into the freshwater and ocean ecosystems is significant and symbolic to the wildlife and peoples that benefit from them like bear, eagles, orca and of course First Nations and Coastal communities who fish to live."
—Bob Stanton, Chilliwack
" [... Salmon's] ability to connect diverse peoples throughout the province in a common goal of conservation. Salmon enhance the message of what makes BC special to people interested in and visiting BC."
—Kim MacLean, Prince George
"Salmon are an historic and important symbol of the wealth of our Pacific Coast environment. They sustain humans and other species directly and indirectly."
—Diana C. Mumford, Gabriola Island
"[...] The salmon connect the land and the sea and whenever I think of where the spirit of this land may dwell, I always imagine those areas where water meets the sea."
—Barbara Bell, Victoria,BC
- Salmon are already emblematic of BC
"It seems faintly ridiculous that we would need to make this an official fish in order to acknowledge its importance to BC's culture and economy, to protect its habitat and ensure its viability, but since that seems to be the case, let's get on with it. Let's declare it the official fish of BC, clean up our part of the Pacific Ocean, and put a stop to the destructive fish farms that are polluting its waters."
-- Debbra Mikaelsen, Vancouver
"Salmon are an integral part of B.C.'s ecology and of B.C society's food supply; when visualizing 'British Columbia' wild salmon are a common icon."
-- Pamela Fitzpatrick, Vancouver
"It is time for government to catch up with public opinion. Pacific salmon were an iconic symbol for First Nations long before others arrived. New Canadians quickly understood that salmon were a quintessential element of West Coast life and successive generations of British Columbians have viewed all species of Pacific Salmon as a unifying symbol of the connection between people and the natural environment. The time is overdue to acknowledge the obvious and name Pacific salmon the official fish of British Columbia."
-- Gerry Kristianson, Sidney
- Which species?
"This is a dangerous precedent to lump all species of pacific salmon into a single label. If we market them as a single species, we risk loosing public support for conservation of a single species. Each of 7 species of salmon, have specific life histories and conservation status."
--David Hope, Victoria
- Why adopting salmon matters
"Salmon are our call to action on climate change, ocean protection, and coastal, indeed global, ecology. Let's give them the status they deserve - before our children ask why BC never protected the salmon."
-- Arthur Caldicott, Victoria
"Because wild salmon are under pressure from various human activities that do not necessarily connect in people's day to day conversation. Making wild salmon the official fish of BC is one way of bringing attention to issues surrounding pressures on wild salmon."
-- Kim MacLean, Prince George