Keith Louis shows students from the Okanagan Indian Band Cultural Immersion School the sockeye salmon fry being released into Six Mile Creek by the Okanagan Nation Alliance Thursday on Westside Road. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

School of Fish

Release of 230,000 fry in recognition and celebration of Syilx peoples’ continued successful efforts to bring sockeye salmon back to the Okanagan

The Okanagan Nation Alliance’s kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery has provided sockeye salmon fry for release at 6 Mile Creek, Trout Creek, and Mission Creek. The releases of 230,000 fry are in recognition and celebration of the Syilx peoples’ continued successful efforts to bring sockeye salmon back to the Okanagan, and since 2016 to Okanagan Lake.

“The return of our sc ‘win (sockeye salmon) to Okanagan Lake is our fundamental and inherent right and responsibility as Syilx people,” states Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

Howie Wright, ONA’s Fisheries Manager points out that: “We now have another cold water lake [after Osoyoos and Skaha Lake] to help us build resilience in sockeye salmon stocks. Based on its size and depth we could see Okanagan Lake with a minimum of 30,000 -100,000 adult spawners per year. On top of that optimistically anywhere from 300,000- 500,000 for fisheries harvest would be coming to the Okanagan Basin to support the historical fishery at Okanagan Falls. It has the significant potential to meet food, social, and ceremonial needs, providing food security for communities, while seeing a surplus extend to a broad range of biological and economic benefits”.

The recent ceremonies are critical given that sockeye salmon were nearly extinct in the Okanagan Basin. In the 1960’s the Columbia River Treaty and habitat impacts in the Okanagan basin led to the creation of industrial reservoirs, and the building hydro-electric developments on the Columbia River, making it impossible for fish passage, while deeply impacting Syilx cultural and food systems. Years of hard work and political advocacy, particularly in the last decade, have seen the ONA working with provincial, federal and US Tribes and agencies to rebuild this sockeye run from 3000 up to 500,000 salmon returning annually.

 

Students from the Okanagan Indian Band Cultural Immersion School watch as sockeye salmon fry are released into Six Mile Creek by Zeke Terbasket and Alfred Snow of the Okanagan Nation Alliance Fisheries Department Thursday on Westside Road. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Just Posted

Vipers snap Vees’ unbeaten run at 13

Vernon hands Penticton first shutout loss of the season, 4-0 at home Saturday

Holiday bears off to new homes

Annual Morning Star December giveaway draws crowd on cold Saturday morning

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

T-Birds high on Hansma

Armstrong high jump star commits to UBC Thunderbirds track team

Vipers down Silverbacks

Vernon goes into Salmon Arm and wins 3-1 in B.C. Hockey League action Friday

VIDEO: B.C. women’s curling teams converge on Hope club

Weekend-long tournament hosts groups from around the province

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday morning

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at B.C. farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

Most Read