Fish are essential to a thriving environment and the biodiversity of a river. Rivers also provide spiritual value to many communities in addition to supporting recreational and commercial fishing. Fish also support kids peering over docks right across the country. Ensuring native fish are healthy within our waters will require that we ensure our waters are in good health, and as a result, fish health is one of our key indicators.
In June 2017, WWF-Canada released their country-wide assessment of all Canada’s waters. The Watershed Reports included four key factors, including fish. The other three factors measured are water flow, water quality and benthic invertebrates. Each of these factors were individually evaluated, and an overall health score was assessed by averaging the score of these four factors.
Watersheds across Canada are given a rating for fish based on the declines of the number of native fish over time; invasive species are not included in the evaluation. Importantly, the WWF-Canada ratings indicate the presence/absence of native fish, not whether they are healthy to eat.
Part of our goal of all Canada’s waters in good health by 2030 includes ensuring healthy fish populations, a key factor in thriving aquatic ecosystems.
Last updated June 2017