Here's what you can expect for this year's Adams River salmon run - InfoNews

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Here's what you can expect for this year's Adams River salmon run

The sockeye salmon run will peak from Sept. 28 to Oct. 21, 2018.
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September 14, 2018 - 11:10 AM

SHUSWAP - It's almost time for the Salute to the Sockeye Festival, which celebrates the millions of salmon that make a 500-kilometre journey from the Pacific Ocean to the Adams River in the Shuswap.

Salmon function on a four-year cycle and 2018 is a dominant year for the spawning salmon. The event’s organizer Natalya Melnychuk, with the Adams River Salmon Society, predicts seven to 14 million salmon will return to B.C. river systems from the ocean this year.

The Adams River run is known as one of the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. The fish are born in the river and also spend their first year in the Shuswap Lake, once they are old enough they travel down and spend the rest of their life in the oceans before making their journey back up to where they were born, to spawn and end their life cycle.

This year’s three-week window of opportunity to see the Adams River fill with salmon is from Sept. 28 to Oct.21.

“That’s during the peak time of the Adams River run, so that’s when most of the salmon have returned home to their home spawning ground,” Melnychuk says.

Melnychuk says this year’s festival will be different compared to previous years.

“The provincial park that was formerly known as Roderick Haig-Brown has been renamed to Tsútswecw Provincial Park, which is recognizing under the truth of reconciliation commission's call for building better relationships with our Indigenous neighbours,” she says.

There will also be salmon symposiums on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, which will focus on the salmon conservation and the protection of the species.

“Water temperature is a big variable, the salmon have to have a certain threshold requirement so when you think of this travel they have to make from the Lower Mainland all the way up here, the factors that are going to fight against them… is ideal water temperature,” she says. “So that’s a big factor when we start talking about sustainability in the context of different climate variations that come to play."

The ideal water temperature for the salmon is 21 Celsius.

The salmon run is expected to attract thousands of people from all over the world.

“When our summer tourism boom has died down and all of a sudden we have this period of time where we literally have hundreds and thousands of people coming from all over Europe and Asia to see the salmon,” she says. “It’s really something to value.”

For those who have never seen the salmon run, Melnychuk describes it as a “river of red”.

“As soon as salmon enter the fresh water system from the ocean, they start to die and that’s why they turn red and green, so their bodies are actually rotting and as a result of that, they are this vibrant red colour,” she says. “The entire river is just so red and that’s what makes it even more of a beautiful spectacle.”

For more information on salmon watching in the Southern Interior, go here.


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