IFR was founded by Don McCubbing. After completing his Masters Degree at the University of London, Don began his fisheries career in the United Kingdom working for the Environment Agency in Cumbria, England.
Don immigrated to Canada in 1997 with the goal of starting his own fisheries consulting firm. His vision was for a business that focused on research and development using creative methods and technologies to improve our understanding and management of salmonid populations. IFR’s first project was on the Keogh River; this project continues today and constitutes the world’s longest-running dataset on the population dynamics of steelhead trout. Over the next 18 years Don built his company into a leader in fish enumeration, particularly the application of resistivity fish counters. Don’s passion was fish and he worked tirelessly pursuing novel methods to effectively manage and conserve salmon. He had a magnetic personality and built relationships with like-minded people from all sectors including government, industry, and First Nations. His strong moral code and vision of environmental sustainability was an example to all who knew him.
Late in 2014 Don was diagnosed with cancer. Like everything in his life, he approached it with grace and his characteristic optimism that “it will all work out”. After a courageous fight, Don left us on September 11, 2015. His passion, knowledge, ethics, and creativity in fisheries research and sustainable management lives on in the countless projects he developed and the people he mentored during his 30-year career. He will be sorely missed.
Don’s commitment to fisheries research and education is honoured through scholarships awarded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Scholarships are awarded each year to students at BCIT pursuing studies in fisheries biology and aquatic ecosystem habitat restoration.