Resource: Groundwater and Healthy Salmon Streams: it’s all connected

Authors / Publisher: Tanis Douglas for Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Date: November 2009

PDF: Groundwater and Healthy Salmon Streams: it’s all connected


Cover of Groundwater & Healthy Salmon Stream - It's all connectedBritish Columbians are blessed with a diversity of wild salmon remarkably well adapted to conditions in their home streams. Resource managers know that logging, fishing, water extraction and development must be thoughtfully managed to care for salmon. But these same managers have only recently acknowledged the importance of groundwater to streams and wild salmon. Streams are connected to groundwater, and water is always moving above and below ground at different scales of time and space. When too much groundwater is taken by humans, water temperature and flow in connected salmon streams are seriously degraded. Given the plight of wild salmon and the various threats to their survival, it is past time to better manage groundwater for salmon.

In recognition of groundwater’s importance to fish, Watershed Watch produced this report to clearly show the connection between healthy salmon and properly managed groundwater resources. Watershed Watch also has produced a scientific literature review on the topic, and has produced a legal review of First Nation’s rights with respect to groundwater and fish habitat.


This work was funded by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation. Additional support for Watershed Watch came from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Kingfishers Rod and Gun Club.


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