Year of the Salmon

Celebrating 2019's International Year of the Salmon

Sharing Stories about Salmon

Written by Matt Foy

The “International Year of the Salmon” (IYS) aims to create awareness and foster understanding of the issues facing salmon and their impact on the communities that benefit from the resource. The focal year of the International Year of the Salmon will take place in 2019, with activities starting in 2018 and continuing into 2020.The International Year of the Salmon is a project launched by North Pacific Anadromous Fisheries Commission (NPAFC) and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) and other partners. The IYS is an international framework for collaborative outreach and research. Through outreach efforts the IYS will raise awareness of what humans can do to better ensure salmon and their varied habitats are conserved and restored against the backdrop of increasing environmental variability, and thus the overall theme is “Salmon and People in a Changing World.” Matt Foy -author of Salmon on the Rough Edge of Canada and Beyond.

To help raise awareness of the IYS project, the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition presents the “Salmon on the Rough Edge of Canada and Beyond” series of 10-short stories which will bring the readers into the lives of some of the individuals and groups that strive to preserve and restore the iconic salmon species of the North Pacific Ocean.

This series of 10-short stories has been written to honour the salmon, the beautiful rivers that they exist in and some of these memorable people who have worked tirelessly over the past decades on the task of conserving and restoring these iconic species.  The author, Matt Foy, as a biologist with the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Salmonid Enhancement Program(SEP) for 35 years (now retired), has tried to capture small glimpses into their world and the world of salmon.  The Canada “Salmon Enhancement Program” (SEP) was launched back in 1977.

What made the SEP different from many government programs of the day was its goal to engage, communities and members of the public directly. The power that comes from these collaborations between government, individuals and groups that passionately care about our salmon resources cannot be under-estimated. If we collectively forget what these partnerships have accomplished over these past decades, then we risk losing our way when facing the challenges of the future, we all know will come. Each story, is hosted on websites scattered across BC that tell their own stories of what these community partnerships are doing for salmon, as their gift to us all. Each story is dedicated to all those, that simply love the salmon of the West Coast of Canada and beyond.

Salmon on the Rough Edge of Canada and Beyond- 10 Stories

Year of the Dog Salmon

Reflections on the chum salmon. How geological wonders have shaped the places that they exist, and how chum salmon have shaped human cultures across the Pacific Rim. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.

Big Mike

A story of a unique individual from the North Coast of BC who loved salmon. Mike walked a life path that celebrated the essence of the West Coast. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.


Coho salmon: Why children and stream stewards love this Salmon in the backyard

Volunteer stream stewards working with all levels of government and industry work each day on hundreds of small streams in BC to ensure the health of those “Salmon in the Backyard” we all know as the coho salmon.  Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.

Power - Man - Power

Hydro-electricity and salmon on the Stave River, a tributary of the lower Fraser River, BC. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.

A Sockeye Salmon Bedtime Story

A truly inspirational salmon restoration story set on the Alouette River, dedicated to all those who are still young at heart.Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.

Guardians of the Night

Celebrates the lives and experiences of people of the Wuikinuxv (Oweekeno) village, on the remote Central Coast of BC. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.


A Squamish Thanksgiving

A story of loss and recovery of the Squamish River pink salmon run. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.

Welcome Home

Dedicated effort over decades has led to an inspiring salmon restoration success. Set in an intensively urban watershed, the Brunette River, in the Lower Mainland of South-Coastal BC., the story of this river has captured the hearts of salmon lovers around the world. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.


故事译 Black Dragon Salmon

A light -hearted story, written for primary school students, about chum salmon in the Heilongjiang (Black Dragon) River in northern China. This story is meant to inspire children and us all, to think about the needs of salmon and how important it will be to take action before they are gone from this beautiful part of the world. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.

The House of the Salmon People

Reflects on Canadians rich collective experiences with the Pacific salmon. How the sharing of stories, can enrich our lives, while helping us to better understand some of the mysteries surrounding these iconic species. Learn more about the Salmon People in this story.


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