Heart of the Fraser2020-10-20T13:59:40-07:00

Standing up for critical

wild salmon habitat

Defend the Heart of the Fraser

Defend the Heart of the Fraser is our collaborative campaign to permanently protect critical salmon habitat in the lower Fraser. 

Sign the petition

About Heart Of The Fraser

The Heart of the Fraser, the stretch of the Fraser River between Mission and Hope, is critical to the survival of Fraser River salmon. Its gravel reaches are prime spawning habitat for salmon and endangered white sturgeon, as well as a nursery for millions of baby salmon every year.

In 2018, we learned that plans had been submitted for agricultural development of Herrling and Carey Islands, two sensitive gravel islands that flood frequently during the spring snow-melt and provide vital nursery habitat to migrating juvenile salmon, as well as spawning habitat for endangered white sturgeon.

In response, Watershed Watch helped form a coalition of concerned organizations who immediately launched a campaign to stop this development from proceeding. We created an online petition and began telling people about the threats facing the Heart of the Fraser, asking them to contact their decision-makers.

Thanks to a huge response from the public and local First Nations, the development plans have been stopped! In addition, the public outcry has caught DFO’s attention and they have launched an investigation into the riparian damage already inflicted on the islands.

Heart of the Fraser

THE HEART OF THE FRASER IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO PROTECTION!

With your support this precious stretch of the river between Mission and Hope, less than two hours drive from Vancouver, has narrowly avoided the threat of development. We have been successful in ensuring the permits for bridges to Herrling and Carey Islands have been denied. This region provides prime spawning habitat for salmon and white sturgeon and serves as a nursery for millions of baby salmon every year. Herrling and Carey Islands not only provide a large amount of vital fish habitat but are an important area for fishing and outdoor recreation.

Developers cleared massive amounts of forest on both islands and applied to build bridges to these islands which, if approved, would have led to the destruction of critical fish habitat for agriculture. As of June 2019, the bridge permit for Herrling Island has been denied and the owners of Carey Island have withdrawn their application.

There is now a major effort by BC’s conservation community to secure, protect and restore these islands. Three actions are needed:

  1. Acquire key private properties with sensitive habitats
  2. Push DFO to consider these islands for protection as Canada’s first Ecologically Sensitive Area
  3. Work with the Province to create a comprehensive process of collaboration


The future of the Fraser as one of the world’s great salmon rivers depends on its success.

WILL YOU CONTINUE TO STAND WITH US?

SIGN THE PLEDGE TODAY!

Now, we are working with our partners to secure permanent protection for the area.

Our key goals are:

  1. To acquire for conservation key private properties with sensitive habitats;
  2. To push DFO to consider these islands for protection as Canada’s first Ecologically Sensitive Area under the new Fisheries Act;
  3. To work with the Province to create a collaborative process with all stakeholders in the region

We are working as part of the Heart of the Fraser Coalition with: Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, BCIT Rivers Institute, BC Wildlife Federation, BC Federation of Drift Fishers, Raincoast Conservation, Georgia Straight Alliance, Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance & Alouette River Management Society.

Find out more about our work to save this important salmon habitat area at

Heart Of The Fraser

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