The Mighty Fraser

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Stretching over 1,375 km from Fraser Pass in the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast, the Fraser is the longest river in British Columbia. Designated a Canadian Heritage River for its natural and human heritage values, much of our provincial history has been bound to the Fraser. The Fraser corridor is home to the first recorded settlements of Aboriginal people, including the Musqueam, Sto:lo, St’at’imc, Secwepemc and Nlaka’pamux. It was an essential historic route between the Interior and southern Coast, was the primary route of prospectors during the Gold Rush, a main vehicle in early commerce and industry and remains the primary provincial corridor. The Fraser Basin makes up 25% of the province and is home to nearly 60% of the population.

The Fraser’s banks offer rich farmland, its water is used by pulp mills, and a few dams on some tributaries provide hydroelectric power. Yet, the delta and estuaries remain a key habitat for migrating shorebirds and the waters are home to the largest salmon spawning runs in the world. The Fraser River is known for world-class fishing as it hosts all six species of Pacific salmon (Chinook, Coho, Chum, Pink, steelhead and sockeye) and is one of only three rivers in B.C. where the prehistoric white sturgeon thrive and spawn. Finally, and perhaps most well-known, the Fraser River is home to several world-class rafting operators who deliver remarkable and memorable experiences.

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