On February 12, 2010, the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council announced that the Harrison River aas officially identified as the first Salmon Stronghold in Canada by the North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership.
The Harrison Stronghold area is located less than 100 km from the city ofVancouver, yet is the only area in BC to host all five species of salmon and steelhead trout. It is the combination of both abundance and diversity of these fish that makes the Harrison River a true Pacific salmon strong-hold. Salmon are found in all life stages throughout the river, its lake, tributaries, sloughs and wetlands. They in turn support a variety of other life in the valley.
A variety of unique physical and environmental traits in Harrison River area safeguards these fish from some of the destructive effects of habitat and climate change. The Harrison River is within BC’s Coastal Western-Hemlock zone and the Fraser River Salmon Eco-region. The Stronghold encompasses a 2,500 km2 watershed, including 60 km long Harrison Lake and four primary salmon-producing tributaries.
Chehalis River and Weaver Creek are tributaries to the Harrison River; Cogburn and Big Silver Creeks are tributaries to the Lake; The Lake’s largest inlet is the Lillooet River inflowing at Port Douglas; its outlet flows south near the resort community of Harrison Hotsprings for 16 km past the community of Sts’ailes to its confluence with the Fraser River at Harrison Mills, located approximately 95 km’s east of Vancouver, and 116 km from Georgia Strait.
Salmon abundance and diversity is necessary to support other animals in the Harrison River stronghold. Black bears, eagles, river otters and seals are among the resident wildlife of the river valley that depend upon migrating salmon that are present year-round.