Go Deep

Skeena Watershed

Water Facts

  • Second most significant salmon-producing watershed next to the Fraser
  • One of the last remaining intact watersheds in North America
  • Drains a total landmass of over 54,000 km² covering seven geographically-diverse biogeoclimatic zones
  • Glaciers in the region function as freshwater sources and contribute largely to water avaliablity

Water Challenges


Loss of salmon habitats and salmon biodiversity limiting adaptability to warming climates


Land and water ecosystems are threatened by resource extraction and development by industries seeking its abundant natural resources


Environmental pollution from resource extraction such as waste rock and tailings from mining operations


Coastal commercial fisheries


A must-read report on climate change in Skeena Watershed:

(1) Defusing British Columbia’s Ticking Timebombs (2021) Salmon Beyond Borders.

  • Provides examples of the environmental risk and impacts associated with BC’s mega mines, and how they can lead to transboundary watersheds that strain cross-border relationships.

(2) Skeena River Estuary Synthesis Report. (2021). Sharpe, et al. SFU.

  • The goal of this report is to address the challenge to establish a common scientific
    understanding of the ecology of the Skeena River estuary by distributing research within the broader community and providing reference
    material to support future scientific studies.

Skeena Watershed Situation Report

The Situation Report provides a state-of-the-moment overview and analysis of Skeena Watershed’s water conditions, challenges, and emerging issues.

Researcher Profile

  • Matthew Beedle

    University of Northern British Columbia

    Matthew Beedle is a professor of geography at Coast Mountain College and adjunct professor of geography at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Research Facilities

Coast Mountain College


The content of this Go Deep page was written by:

Charmaine White

Food and Agriculture Institute, University of the Fraser Valley

Robert Newell

Royal Roads University & Food and Agriculture Institute, University of the Fraser Valley