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Posted: June 11, 2021

Improving fish passage in the Elk River watershed

The FWCP approves $5.7 million for 43 regional fish and wildlife projects

A new initiative led by the Canadian Wildlife Federation with funding from the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) will plan, prioritize, and implement barrier-remediation projects throughout the Elk River watershed to improve fish passage.

Barriers in the watershed are preventing bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, and other at-risk aquatic species from accessing spawning and rearing habitat. These barriers—stream crossings with hanging culverts, levees, and dams—are limiting fish productivity and impacting the sustainability of fisheries.

“By taking a watershed-wide approach to restoration, this project will help support a number of at-risk fish species,” said Crystal Klym, FWCP’s Columbia Region manager. “And populations limited by habitat availability could benefit from this work in the future.”

This project is one of 43 fish and wildlife projects and $5.7 million approved for 2021–2022 by the FWCP’s Columbia Region board. Other projects approved this year will benefit fish and wildlife in many ways, including restoring ecosystems for fish and wildlife, supporting endangered and at-risk species, conserving critical habitats, filling important data gaps, and addressing priority species, such as bull trout, kokanee, caribou, and bighorn sheep.

This year, the FWCP approved approximately $9.4 million for 100 projects across its Coastal, Columbia, and Peace regions. Learn more about FWCP projects, results, and how you can apply for a grant. Visit fwcp.caand subscribe to the FWCP’s e-letter and newsletter at

All FWCP-funded projects align with the region’s action plans, which identify local priorities and projects eligible for FWCP funding.

The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries & Oceans Canada, First Nations, and public stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams.

Lead image: A new project will remove barriers to fish passage in the Elk River Watershed to help bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, and other at-risk species access spawning and rearing habitat. The project will be delivered with funding from the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program. Photo credit: B. Meunier. Photo submitted by Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program

Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program

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