Program Feature: Hatchery Effectiveness Review

Wondering about BC’s hatcheries – how they impact wild salmon, or how effective they are?

PSF researchers have completed a review of Pacific salmon hatcheries in British Columbia. The first of its kind since the mid-1990s, the review led to 15 reports and several recommendations to improve hatchery effectiveness and operations.

Fisheries Journal Magazine recently published A Review of Pacific Salmon Hatcheries in British Columbia, Canada, and Interactions With Natural Populations, authored by Brian E. Riddell, Isobel Pearsall, and Andrew Rosenberger.

Read the journal article

Learn more about our Hatchery Effectiveness Review

Read the latest Marine Science Program newsletters to learn more about our projects and initiatives.

Marine Science & Salmon

Pacific salmon are famous for incredible migrations back to their home rivers, but they spend most of their adult lives in the ocean.

Beginning in the 1970s, Pacific salmon’s marine survival rates — the number of fish that survive the migration from river to ocean and return as adults – mysteriously and sharply declined. Efforts to reduce harvest, restore habitat, and improve hatchery practices in the decades since have not led to recovery.

Tasked with explaining this catastrophic drop-off in abundance, PSF completed a five-year transboundary project called the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project in 2020, which identified several urgent areas of research and action to advance Pacific salmon recovery. This led to PSF launching the Marine Science Program, which continues to advance knowledge of Pacific salmon by addressing the findings from the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project.

With climate change and human-made issues putting even more pressure on Pacific salmon, PSF’s Marine Science Program is uniquely positioned to carry out independent and science-based oceanic research to inform experts, government, and the public.

Together, we can all work towards creating a prosperous future for Pacific salmon.

The Marine Science Program is made up of several projects that support five underlying goals:

  • Understand bottlenecks to Pacific salmon survival
  • Guide habitat restoration
  • Buffer to build resilience in a changing climate
  • Inform, translate, and share knowledge
  • Influence applied action through partnerships and collaboration

Explore the projects below

  • Resilient Coasts for Salmon

    Re-naturalizing shore lines to recover salmon habitat and mitigate for climate change.


  • Nearshore and Estuary Projects

    Researching and restoring eelgrass and kelp for Pacific salmon, forage fish, and other nearshore species.


  • Bottlenecks to Survival Projects

    Working with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation (BCCF) to investigate survival bottlenecks for salmon and steelhead throughout the Salish Sea and southern B.C. regions.


  • Hatchery Effectiveness

    Optimizing hatcheries and enhancement techniques for wild Pacific salmon sustainability.


  • Citizen Science Projects

    Community science for long-term ecosystem monitoring.


  • Strait of Georgia Data Centre

    One-stop shop for freely accessible data, maps and information for the Strait of Georgia.


  • Seal-Salmon Interactions

    Investigating how to reduce seal predation on wild and hatchery salmon.


  • Transboundary Projects

    What is impacting marine survival? We’ve worked to solve the biggest mystery impacting salmon recovery and sustainable fisheries. Learn more about the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and High Seas Research.


  • Salmon-Herring Interactions

    Understanding Strait of Georgia herring, a critical connection in the salmon food web.


  • Contaminants

    Investigating contaminants in salmon marine habitats.


  • Invasive Species

    Studying non-native plants and animals that negatively impact salmon habitat and local ecosystems.


  • Education & Outreach

    Making science accessible to everyone!