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Saltery Bay resident devoted life to helping salmon

VIDEO: National Film Board of Canada re-releases documentary from 1979
SALTERY BAY LEGEND: The National Film Board of Canada has an initiative to re-release films made about and in Western Canada. The Man Who Digs For Fish, is a documentary made in 1979, in Saltery Bay, qathet, Northern Sunshine Coast.

Frank Jenkinson lived most of his life on the Northern Sunshine Coast, near Saltery Bay, and devoted his life to increasing the number of salmon in the creek near his home. He lived to be nearly 107 years old.

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) recently re-released the 1979 film, The Man Who Digs for Fish, directed by Jack Long. The 13-minute film was shot in 1979 near Saltery Bay, in qathet Regional District, and follows 82-year-old Jenkinson on his labour of love.

A synopsis of the film describes Jenkinson and his work with salmon and its habitat:

"Frank Jenkinson has been digging for fish for 25 years. His unorthodox conservationist practices have increased the numbers of the salmon population in the Jervis Inlet from a modest 500 to 25,000. Using a spade and accompanied by his dog, Frank wades up and down the stream, digging for the newly hatched salmon that lie buried in the gravel. Without his intervention they risk dying before reaching maturity."

Long was an NFB veteran who directed nine films including Bill Reid (1979) and Canada Vignettes: Unity Pole (1979). The film has been restored and digitized from NFB’s vault near Montreal as part of an initiative putting out more NFB collection films from the West of Canada.  

To watch The Man Who Digs for Fish, go to

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