The Fraser: from headwaters to sea

The mighty Fraser River begins as a tiny trickle of water, originating in the Rocky Mountains near Jasper National Park. It quickly grows in volume as it winds its way through the Robson Valley and past Mount Robson Provincial Park. The Robson Valley has many intact watersheds and ancient old growth forests – important habitat for grizzly bears.

Pictured: Mount Robson and the Fraser River headwaters / Photographer: Jeremy Williams,


The Nechako is one of the largest tributaries of the Fraser River and is home to a genetically distinct population of ancient and endangered white sturgeon. White sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, are the largest, longest-lived freshwater fish species in North America.

Pictured: A view of the Nechako River / Photographer: Riley Brennan


The Cariboo-Chilcotin is home to an abundance of diverse landscapes and impressive geology. This region contains important wildlife corridors between protected areas, which could contribute to the recovery of threatened species such as wild salmon, grizzly bears, moose and mountain caribou.

Pictured: A view of the Fraser River / Photographer: Petra Markova


A large portion of the Thompson River originates at the Thompson Glacier, where it picks up the fine glacial silt that gives the river its green colour. The Thomspon region includes the famous Adams River, home to one of the largest sockeye salmon runs in North America.

Pictured: The Thompson River just below Jaws Rapid with paddle rafts celebrating a successful run.Photograph courtesy of Fraser River Raft Expeditions

Fraser Canyon

The Fraser Canyon is home to the world-famous Hell’s Gate and the Stein Valley World Heritage Site. It includes some of the narrowest sections along the Fraser River where the tremendous force of the water flows deep and races through steep canyon walls. This area is dramatic in both weather and scenery and has seen multiple landslides over the years with devastating impacts on wild salmon.

Pictured: The Fraser River travelling through the Fraser Canyon / Photographer: Brandi Wattam

Lower Fraser

The Lower Fraser stretches from Hope to the Salish Sea, providing critical habitat for all species of wild Pacific salmon. Although urban, and some portions industrialized, this region of the Fraser Watershed still offers possibilities to protect significant natural habitat.

Pictured: Voyageur canoe on the Fraser River near Glen Valley Regional Park / Photographer: Brock Endean