About Wild Salmon Count

Founded in 2017, Wild Salmon Count was created by a group of concerned citizens wanting to address a gap in the wild salmon count of British Columbia. After learning that the streams in Area 11 were no longer being counted, Wild Salmon Count was formed.

In 2018, Wild Salmon Count conducted its first annual salmon count in Area 11 (the traditional territory of the Gwa’sala and ‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations).

Special thanks to Shanelle Sarpalius and Kai White for the use of their photos on the Wild Salmon Count website and social media.


About Wild Salmon


Wild Salmon in BC

The following information is provided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Adult salmon (sockeye, chum, coho, pinks and chinook salmon; cutthroat and steelhead trout) provide economic benefits through the commercial and sport fisheries today, just as they have formed the basis for survival in British Columbia throughout history. First Nations caught these fish each year at the river mouths, or at rapids and shallows far upriver. Smoked and stored, they were a winter staple for coastal tribes and were traded for goods from the interior.

When Europeans first arrived, they were stunned by the abundance of fish. Salmon were thick in the waters every fall. Soon an industry began, catching salmon and smoking or salting it for export. Canning was perfected and the race for the fish was on. Boats grew, equipment was improved and fishermen increased their skill. Inevitably, the fish felt the impact and salmonid populations began to decline.

Today, in most rivers and streams, salmon return every fall as they have done for thousands of years. They continue to provide economic benefits. As they enter our rivers, they make another contribution, too, for salmon in the waters are part of the West Coast’s heritage – a living link with our history.

The Decline of Wild Salmon in BC

The following information is provided by Pacific Wild.

Wild salmon are in decline in B.C. Sockeye stocks have been in overall decline since at least the 1950s, while chinook and coho stocks in particular have been in severe decline since 1990. Wild salmon in this province face a number of threats throughout their lifecycle, including:

    • Widespread destruction of upstream habitat caused by logging, roadbuilding, pipelines and other land use changes;
    • Reduced food supply caused by over-exploitation of forage fish species;
    • Warming waters due to climate change;
    • Pathogens and parasites spread by fish farms;
    • Aquatic pollution from agriculture, cities and industry;
    • Competition with and loss of genetic diversity among hatchery-raised fish;
    • Destructive fishing practices and overfishing.
To learn more about Wild Salmon please visit:

To learn more about Wild Salmon please visit:




How do you count salmon?

Wild Salmon Count follows a salmon counting methodology provided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

How will the information be used?

Wild Salmon Count will share the data we collect with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, universities, First Nations, and any other interested researchers or organizations.

Who is on the Wild Salmon Count team?

Chad White
Chad White, son of Charlie White, has spent his entire life on the water. He has been running his boat, the Kumbaya, for over 20 years as crew accommodation and a chartered fishing boat. There are few people who know this area of the coast better than Chad.

Kai White
Kai first boarded Kumbaya when he was 22 hours old. He grew up on the water and has built his life around the ocean. Kai is also one of the top-ranked free riders in North America. His appreciation for what the ocean has given him now drives him to give back through the Wild Salmon Count.

Matt Howe
Matt has lived and worked on the West Coast for his entire adult life, spending the majority of his spare time on the water. His passion for coastal BC inspires him to give back to the place he loves.

Bill Sinclair
Bill has lived and worked on the West Coast for years. Passionate about nature, Bill has planted over 32 million trees and has worked with groups like Evergreen and The Nature Conservancy. His love for the water led him to join Wild Salmon Count in 2017.