Recently restored off-channel habitat k’əmcnitkw Floodplain along Penticton Channel. (Okanagan Nation Alliance photo)

Recently restored off-channel habitat k’əmcnitkw Floodplain along Penticton Channel. (Okanagan Nation Alliance photo)

Okanagan river salmonid sampling happening near Penticton

There is no need to report the yearly activity if you see it taking place

Okanagan Nation Alliance Fisheries biologists will be out sampling juvenile salmonids in the Okanagan River off-channel habitats between now and the end of June.

You’ll likely spot biologists in oxbows, side channels, floodplains, and other off-channel habitats along the main river between Okanagan and Osoyoos Lakes over the next month.

Biologists will be setting live capture-release fish traps, deployed during dawn to dusk, left overnight, and retrieved the following day.

Off-channel habitats are aquatic areas connected to mainstem rivers for all or part of the year. These habitats are critical to the long-term survival of salmon populations.

Okanagan River channelization and floodplain development have destroyed, fragmented, or significantly degraded these off-channel areas greatly contributing to the decline of resident and ocean-going fish species.

This work ultimately supports the Syilx Okanagan Nation’s efforts to restore the Okanagan River system.

This project is funded by the federal Indigenous Habitat Participation Program, with the support of Penticton Indian Band and Osoyoos Indian Band.

For more information on the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative you can visit sylix.org.

READ MORE: ‘Keep the rivers clean’: South Okanagan municipalities speak out against pollution



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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