The kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery is a testament to the perseverance of the Syilx people to realize their dream of restoring the n’titxw (Salmon) – one of our Four Food Chiefs – to their original habitat and rightful place in our territory. This hatchery represents a critical stage of our Nation’s restoration initiative and is part of a long‐term program to restore the historical range of Sockeye in the upper Okanagan watershed, Okanagan Lake, and Skaha Lake systems, and a region of the Columbia River Basin. The facility is funded primarily by the Grant and Chelan Public Utility Districts, Washington, USA .
Opened in 2014, our 25,000 square foot hatchery has the capacity to rear 8 million eggs. It is currently equipped to handle all fish culture aspects required for 5 million eggs from brood stock management until fry release. Sizing the facility for 8 million eggs allows for flexibility in the future, or to allow for changes in the fish culture activities. This facility is significant for the program, as it poses the least risk for the fish population, allows for maximum egg-to-fry survival, and permits monitoring of the interaction between Sockeye and Kokanee.
The hatchery utilizes three groundwater wells to supply 9.5 C for our stocks. A commercial water chiller provides us with the ability to closely mimic the natural conditions for the fish that we are raising. The hatchery monitors water use and water quality on a daily basis to ensure our facility operates to the highest standard.
The eggs are reared in two separate incubation rooms using a combination of Kitoi Box (bulk incubators) and Heath trays to incubate the salmon eggs from fertilized egg until the fry are ready to feed. Transfer of fry from the incubation room to the outdoor rearing tanks is done volitionally – wherein the fry swim out when they are ready, the staff do not handle them.
Rearing and feeding of the fry is done in 18 fibreglass raceways, each with a capacity for 275,000 fry. Staff will hand feed the fry to ensure that no feed is wasted and the water quality is of the highest quality.
Release of the fry is by one of two methods. Fry can be released directly to Shingle Creek from their raceway through a fish transfer piping. Other releases are done with transport tanks on a flatdeck trailer. At this time all releases are done when the fry reach one gram in May/June.
The hatchery is currently in the process of amending our aquaculture license. This amendment will allow us to culture different food fish species at the hatchery, including: Sockeye, Kokanee, Chinook, White Sturgeon and Rainbow Trout.