Okanagan Nation Alliance bringing sockeye salmon coming back to Okanagan Lake - InfoNews

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Okanagan Nation Alliance bringing sockeye salmon coming back to Okanagan Lake

100,000 sockeye salmon were released into Mission Creek in Kelowna, April 30, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Roxanne Lindley
May 01, 2019 - 7:00 PM

KELOWNA - School children were part of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation Alliance release of 100,000 sockeye salmon fry into Mission Creek in Kelowna yesterday, April 30.

It’s part of a three-day release program that’s intended to put 4.2 million fry into the Okanagan watershed.

“Good day to be Syilx,” Westbank First Nation Chief Roxanne Lindley said in her Facebook post. “Grateful for the witnesses, our students from Sensisyusten and grade 2 class from Ellison School.”

Sc’win (Okanagan sockeye) were native to Okanagan Lake until the 1960s when dams on the Columbia River prevented them from returning to spawn.

The Okanagan Nation Alliance has been working for the past few years on re-introducing the fish to the Okanagan and, specifically, Okanagan Lake since 2016.

“The reintroduction of sockeye fry back to Okanagan Lake ensures the successful revitalization of these stocks and diversifies the stock with additional lake systems,” Chief Chad Eneas of the Penticton Indian Band, said in a news release. “Our ancestors knew these waterways and everything that depended upon them for survival. These were our food systems, our food security and our responsibilities to care for as our ancient captikwl (stories) confirm this understanding. We remain committed to these responsibilities for our lands, waters and peoples”.

The fry will be released at various points within the watershed including 6 Mile Creek, Mission Creek, Trout Creek, and Shingle Creek.

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