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Project Summary

Where exactly is Rivers Inlet?

What has been done so far?

Who is working on the project?

What are our long-term goals & research hypotheses?

Why is this project important?

Rivers Inlet Project

Rivers Inlet, on the B.C. Central Coast, once vied with the Skeena River as the location of Canada’s second-most prolific sockeye salmon run – a run that has declined to an average over the last five years to less than 1% of its historic abundance. The once-vibrant commercial fishery has collapsed, the Owikeno First Nation has lost a vital component of its sustenance and culture, and grizzly bears and other predators have declined sharply. A somewhat smaller run to neighbouring Smith Inlet has also declined precipitously. It is the goal of this study to figure out why the salmon have all-but-disappeared from this region. Please click on the links to the left to learn more about this project.

Note for potential grad students & post-doctoral fellows: I hope and anticipate that parts of this project will form the basis of theses and dissertations for a total of eight M.Sc. students and one PhD student. We (the research team) also hope to hire a post-doctoral fellow. Not only is this project of great conservation significance, but it also provides a rare opportunity for students to work on a multidisciplinary team from three universities, The Pacific Biological Station, The Institute for Ocean Sciences, the Gwa'sala and Owikeno First Nations communities, and Parks Canada. Students will develop new methodology for interpreting otolith measurements and sediment cores, work with hydrodynamic models using partial differential equations whose solutions can only be found with emerging numerical analysis techniques using modern, high-capacity computing facilities. If you think you might be interested in working on this project as a student or post-doctoral fellow, please email me at routledg@sfu.ca.