Eyes on the salmon

Salmon spawning in the Adams River should begin in earnest around Oct. 2nd and carry on until Thanksgiving.

“It’s not a dominant year for sockeye but there will be some sockeye, some chinook, some coho and some of the pinks that return every two years,” said Douglas Smith, vice president of the Adams River Salmon Society. “Those populations will put more fish into the system to look at but I caution there will not be as many as in a dominant year. We will get a few of each.”

Smith said test runs along the Fraser River by the Department of Fisheries indicate a low return this autumn.

“There has been an outpouring of concern from groups, including First Nations, sports fisheries and fishermen about the low year.”

While some blaming the warming oceans, Smith said a number of factors have contributed to a decline in salmon stocks, such as disease, “the battle between wild and farmed salmon,” and the amount of fish that is caught.

While about 3,800 eggs are fertilized in the Adams River, he said only about 900 salmon make their way back to the Pacific Ocean.

“That’s why we’re in such a decline. It’s not just an oceans issue….These little creatures that grow up in amongst our rocks and river beds, they travel thousand of kilometres and anything we can do to help them should be done.”

He said that included maintaining healthy riparian areas and even some shade for them to swim in.

The society runs an interpretive centre in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, northwest of Salmon Arm and has a number of events planned until mid-October. The society also has a Facebook page.

  • Interpretive program will continue to hold walkabouts every Wednesday – Sept. 27 to Oct. 11 at the ARSS Cabin in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park
  • Interpretive tours at the centre will take place Oct.6-9 as part of the Return of the Salmon events during the Thanksgiving long weekend. Tours will be offered between 11 a.m.  until 3:00 p.m.
  • Thurs. Oct. 12th,  7 a.m. ceremony – Wild Salmon Caravan at Roderick Haig-Brown Prov. Park and then a parade and community salmon celebration follows in Chase.
  • Sun. Oct. 15th,  Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band (Lahal) Stick Games at the ARSS Cabin site in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park.

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