Christopher Smith is passionate about our local fish! In more ways than one.
Christopher Smith, is the creator of amazing life-like and life-size glass salmon and trout, but his love of fish goes deeper, so much deeper. It reaches out into his community in order to help the fish that are swimming in our waters.
Along with his glass work, Christopher is a director of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES), where he helps in the important work of conserving and restoring watersheds and estuaries, making them healthy and vibrant places for salmon and trout to spawn.
Most recently, MVIHES, along with the Department of Fisheries, BC Conservation and the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Research Institute MABRI, have been working in the Parksville area on Shelley Creek, and very vital cutthroat trout and coho salmon habitat, in need of restoration. The biological importance of this creek cannot be overlooked.
Here’s what MVIHES says about the work they are doing:
“Resident cutthroat trout are found in Shelly Creek throughout the length of the creek below the E&N rail crossing. Currently, cutthroat migration is limited because of several man-made obstructions. Coho smolt and fry also inhabit the creek. It is believed they enter Shelly Creek to escape the high flows of the Englishman River during the winter months and migrate back into the Englishman River during the spring to avoid the high water temperatures and low oxygen levels that come with summer weather.”
With his partner Jane and various dog companions, Christopher has been walking the Englishman for many years. Witnessing the river change and the different salmon runs inspired me to create glass work about the river and the fish, Christopher says.
His Kiln cast glass salmon are represented by 10 galleries, museums and resorts between Tofino and Whistler. In light of all the river has given, Christopher wants to give back. MVIHES Mission statement says it all.
We are dedicated to the recovery of wild Pacific salmon through the conservation and restoration of their habitat - watersheds, estuaries, and shorelines and to connect people to their landscape through partnerships that focus on field study, education and restoration.
Raising awareness of the work that is being done in the creeks around the Salish Sea helps everyone to understand the vital role they play in an abundant and vibrant fish population. This is definitely a win-win situation and we honour the dedication that Christopher and all those working to repair and restore estuaries and watersheds offer!
You can read more about the work of MVIHES and MABRI are undertaking, and maybe you might decide to get involved!
About Christopher Smith's work
Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society https://www.mvihes.bc.ca/
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Research Institute. https://research.viu.ca/mount-arrowsmith-biosphere-region-research-institute