Poll — B.C. picks salmon

Vancouver – British Columbians named Pacific salmon as the province’s most iconic fish, according to a recent poll.

  • Jan. 27, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Vancouver – British Columbians named Pacific salmon as the province’s most iconic fish, according to a recent poll.

“Ninety-five per cent of British Columbians named Pacific salmon as B.C.’s most iconic fish, according to a recent poll,” said the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) and Fraser Basin Council (FBC) who commissioned the poll.

“Moreover, 85 per cent of those surveyed said they support a proposal to designate wild Pacific salmon as an official symbol of the province,” said the organizers.

The telephone survey of 502 people across the province was conducted by the Mustel Group between Oct. 5 and Oct. 15, 2010 and the results are considered accurate within a ±4.4 per cent margin of error.

In July PSF and FBC invited public comment on a proposal to designate wild Pacific salmon a provincial symbol.

In a press release they say the proposal was championed by former B.C. Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo and former Vancouver Sun columnist Miro Cernetig.

“The survey also revealed that the public has an enduring concern about the future of Pacific salmon even during a year of strong returns,” organizers said.

The survey interviews were conducted in October, at a time when record sockeye returns were being widely reported.

When asked about the state of salmon’s well-being, 43 per cent of survey respondents said they perceived it as poor or only fair, 34 per cent as good and only 14 per cent as excellent or very good.

B.C. has not designated an official fish.

Six other B.C. emblems have been designated over the past 60 years:

• dogwood as official flower, 1956

• jade as official mineral, 1968

• BC tartan as official tartan, 1974

• Steller’s jay as official bird, 1987

• western red cedar as official tree, 1988

• spirit bear as official mammal, 2006

PSF and FBC encourage readers to comment on the proposal at www.ThinkSalmon.com.