The P.E.I. Wildlife Federation says it needs morefundingto properly restockthe Island's rivers with salmon and trout.


Salmon would be raised for two years at the hatchery before being released. ((Paul Legere/CBC))

Federation officials estimate$140,000 is needed to operate a proper enhancement program. Ottawahas agreed to put up $100,000 in new funding to help produce fingerling salmon and brook trout for release into the province's rivers.

"We're hoping to be able to convince the provincial government to provide some of the money," Bruce Smith, president of the P.E.I. Wildlife Federation, told CBC News Wednesday.

"There's also various foundations and fish-related organizations that we're hoping will be able to provide the other funding."

P.E.I.'s environment minister,George Webster, has told CBC News the province is willing to contribute to the program, but it could be a few months before it settles on an amount.

Some money will also likely be available from the Wildlife Conservation Fund,created in 1998 through levies on hunting and fishing licences.

The money will be used to house small salmon at the Cardigan Fish Hatchery for two years, and help build a supply of trout from each river in the province.


Bruce Smith is keen to get restocking programs underway again. ((Paul Legere/CBC))

In the late 1980s, river stocking programs received close to $500,000 a year in government funding, said Smith, but for the last few years there has been none.

"The last couple of years we haven't been able to raise the salmon and this is why the money from the federal government is so important," Smith said, adding recentfish kills on the Island highlight the importance of being prepared to restock rivers with fish that carry the particular genetic traits native to each river.