If you had been down to q̓awsitkw (Okanagan River) you may have noticed many of the waters red with sockeye salmon. These salmon are part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) Sockeye restoration efforts — reintroducing sc’win (Okanagan sockeye) back to their historic range — including to t’iwcən (Skaha) Lake and kłusənitkw (Okanagan) Lake. These efforts are part of the ONA CEC’s ongoing commitment to care for Syilx lands and resources, including responsibility to our sacred waters and the food sovereignty that they provide.
As part of this initiative we will be conducting broodstock — which involves beach seining and collecting eggs and milt from adult sc’win for rearing at the kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery and release in the coming year. In 2004, ONA began stocking t’iwcən (Skaha Lake) (and kłusənitkw (Okanagan Lake) in 2017) with hatchery-reared fry and monitored their growth, survival, and interactions on kokanee populations. From 2014 forward ONA has been rearing the fry for release at the kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery.
The ONA Fisheries Team will begin pre-season collection at q̓awsitkw (Okanagan River) on October 7, with full-season collection taking place from October 13 to the end of the month. The current run forecast estimates that we could see one of the highest returns of sockeye since the reintroduction program began in 2004.
We will provide further updates as the broodstock season proceeds, including the numbers on how many eggs are harvested this year for salmon conservation.
Broodstock During the Covid-19 Pandemic
The ONA is committed to reducing exposure of both the staff and public to COVID-19.
Due to the pandemic broodstock and hatchery school tours have been canceled during the 2020 season. The ONA has reduced the size of crews and beach seine nets to prevent the spread of the virus amongst staff.
For more information contact:
Howie Wright, ONA Fisheries Program Manager
Phone: 1-250-707-0095 ext. 104