Native Trout Stewardship Initiative: Call For Proposals

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is pleased to announce its new pilot stewardship initiative in support of groups seeking to protect, conserve, and recover native trout species in British Columbia.

Purpose

The Society recognizes the importance of conservation in sustaining quality angling, and protecting native freshwater ecosystems in British Columbia. The Society is a key partner with the Province to deliver coordinated assessment, recovery, disease monitoring, and conservation initiatives for priority freshwater fish stocks around the province.

The Society is seeking to broaden its conservation portfolio by engaging members of the public – including angling and stewardship organizations – in an initiative to invest resources into native trout. Recognizing the tremendous contributions that these organizations make, the Society’s Native Trout Stewardship Initiative (NTSI) is designed to provide grants to support stewardship groups in their efforts to protect and restore wild freshwater fish, the habitats they live in, and the fisheries they provide.

Our Vision

Our vision for this initiative is very much aligned with that of the Western Native Trout Initiative (see westernnativetrout.org). The Society believes that stewardship must extend beyond traditional government delivery. It is hoped that access to funds like the NTSI grants program will help groups become more active participants in this stewardship role.

Native trout across the Pacific Northwest are in decline in many areas for two key reasons: habitat loss/degradation, and introduction of non-native species. British Columbia is no exception. While many streams, rivers, and lakes still support robust wild populations of trout, char, and kokanee, some have suffered significant declines and losses – particularly in and around developed urban centres and areas of concentrated resource extraction. Already, two trout species native to B.C. (bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout) have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as being at some risk of extinction, and the coastal cutthroat trout has been identified as a high-priority fish for future risk assessment.

The Society is establishing the NTSI pilot funding initiative to provide resources to organizations and groups seeking to get involved in native trout conservation activities at the local level. These activities are expected to be collaborative, and involve partnerships with community, stewardship, and angling groups.

Our initial focus is on coastal cutthroat trout, particularly those associated with developed areas of the Lower Mainland and the east coast of Vancouver Island. Other native trout species and locations will also be considered depending on the availability of funding.

Eligible Activities

• Native trout population assessments and monitoring
• Riparian and instream habitat protection and restoration, including barrier removal and flow recovery (on-the-ground or planning activities are eligible)
• Community outreach and education
• Seed funding to support development of large conservation initiatives for native trout

Wild trout can and do provide fantastic angling, but it is critical that vulnerable populations of these species receive adequate attention in terms of resourcing for protection and restoration. 

Application Process

The Society will accept proposals until 4:00 pm on Monday, December 31, 2018.  Please review the Funding Application Requirements, and submit the proposal using the Application Form.  Applicants will be informed of funding by February 15, 2019.

For all information regarding this initiative and proposal applications, please contact:

Sue Pollard
Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
101 Regatta Landing
Victoria, B.C.
Phone: 1-250-414-4207
Email: sue.pollard@gofishbc.com

Author: Staff, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
Photo Credit: Steve Olson, Luca Comensoli