The Fraser River – Many of you may be familiar with this river especially those who live in British Columbia. In fact, 2.4 million people or 63% of British Columbians live within its basin. It is the largest river in British Columbia – 1375 km in length! To give this some perspective, if this river was stretched out straight it would cover a distance from Vancouver to Regina, Saskatchewan!
The Fraser River has high ecological significance. It is one of the largest salmon spawning rivers in the world. In fact, this river system produces the most salmon out of any other river system. All six salmon species native to the Pacific drainage can be found here with millions of salmon returning each year. Many other fish species can also be found in this river and its estuary. White sturgeon, the largest freshwater fish in North America, is no exception.
The Fraser River delta is an important staging area on the Pacific Flyway. This flyway has the highest numbers of wintering waterfowl and migrating shorebirds in all of British Columbia!
Of course, the Fraser River and its surrounding areas are also important for insects, amphibians and mammals. And people too! This River and its basin offers opportunities for many recreational activities including canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, skiing and camping.
It’s should come as no surprise that the Fraser River was named a Canadian Heritage River in 1998.