As of July 9, 2019, about 57,875 Sockeye have entered the Columbia River. It is estimated that
75-85% will return to the Okanagan. In total, we are anticipating there will be 60,000 sockeye
returning to the Columbia, with 45,000 to 51,000 sockeye heading to the Okanagan. These low returns are a result of poor migration conditions that affected the 2015 run. Since these
estimates are below 80,000, neither an economic nor recreational fishery will be considered.
Currently Syilx Okanagan Nation members are actively food fishing at sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ (swuhwuneet-kw) and nʕaylintn (ny-lin-tn) since the beginning of July and river temperatures have not increased where the sockeye have not fallen back into Osoyoos Lake. To support the food fishery the ONA does have two 16ft Lund boats with fishing gear available for community members to sign out. Individuals will require a truck to tow boat and boaters license and will need to return in working condition with same gear/equipment as it left with. We also have ice available at the hatchery in Penticton.
If food fishing, please have status card available as DFO enforcement will be out periodically making sure it is only the ONA Members fishing right now. Due to the low returns, for the time being, the ONA does not anticipate any communal distribution.
The ONA is dedicated to food sovereignty throughout the Nation. We sustain efforts at
diversifying our food fishery, incorporating a wide range of traditional species including bull
trout, sturgeon, and rainbow trout. In addition, we are committed to fostering education and
awareness about the need for protection and rejuvenation of all aquatic life and their habitats.
This includes Nation events, public signage initiatives, education programs like Fish in Schools (FinS), and outreach initiatives like the 2019 Okanagan Nation Fisheries Forum, which focused on the current and expanding operations of our fishery and stewardship responsibilities.
*ONA’s data sets are collected with the support of ONA’s CEC, CCT, PUDs, BPA and DFO, since 1995 using juvenile and adult biological traits such as abundance, age structure and survival estimates. It is one of the top ten richest data sets in the Columbia & BC for sockeye management.
Howie Wright, ONA Fisheries Manager
Tara Montgomery, ONA Communications Lead
T: 1-250-707-0095 ext.120