Dinner to raise money for local salmon conservation projects

Pacific Salmon Foundation dinner set for Jan. 21 in Qualicum Beach

Conservationists and anglers will gather for a fund raising dinner, dance and auction on Saturday, Jan. 21 to support Pacific salmon conservation, enhancement, education and habitat restoration activities in Oceanside watersheds.

Tickets are still available, and money raised will be used by the Pacific Salmon Foundation to fund projects in the local area.

Since 1999, the Pacific Salmon Foundation has made grants totaling $363,000 to 56 Pacific salmon projects in Oceanside. Combined with local fundraising, volunteers in Oceanside have leveraged these funds to generate a total of $2.1 million in conservation, enhancement, education and habitat restoration activities.

“Our local streamkeeping volunteers do an extraordinary job of ensuring a sustainable future for the streams and rivers that Pacific salmon depend on for survival,” said Al Ehrenberg, who is the volunteer chairman of the Oceanside dinner and owner of the Gone Fishin’ tackle and hunting stores in Nanaimo and Port Alberni. “The volunteers are also tremendously resourceful, stretching every dollar raised through the dinner to ensure maximum impact.”

Last year, three local projects shared more than $20,000 in Pacific Salmon Foundation grants. The French Creek Conservation Society received $10,000 to work with a private landowner to restore seven kilometres of degraded fish habitat. The Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society received $8,000 to assess improvements to the Englishman River watershed and to set future conservation priorities. The group also received an additional grant to improve Pacific salmon habitat in Centre Creek.

This is the11th annual Pacific Salmon Foundation dinner in Oceanside.

The dinner will kick off with a seafood reception and silent auction at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and an exciting live auction. The auctions and raffles will include giftware, artwork and jewelry contributed by local supporters and donors.  The dinner will wrap up with dancing and music by Patrick Nicholson. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased at Gone Fishin’ in Nanaimo at 600-2980 North Island Highway, or by phoning (250) 752-1083 or emailing gonfial@telus.net.

The Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-governmental, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild wild Pacific salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. Since 1989, the foundation has invested more than $9 million to support volunteer-driven Pacific salmon conservation projects.

— Submitted