Celebrating the sockeye return in the Okanagan

Two events are planned for Celebrate our Salmon, in Oliver and Penicton

The public is invited to celebrate the return of the sockeye salmon at open houses in Penticton and Oliver. (file photo)

Two Celebrate our Salmon open houses are planned for later this month.

Hosted by the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance (OSCA) and the Okanagan Nation Alliance, the first takes place Sunday at the Okanagan River Initiative site just north of Oliver and the second is Oct. 20 at the Okanagan Lake Dam in Penticton.

The public is invited to celebrate the return of the salmon from their 6,000-kilometre journey to the Pacific Ocean and back.

READ MORE: Celebrate our salmon open house in Oliver

Interpreters will be available to talk about the life cycle of the sockeye salmon, the challenges they face swimming through different habitats, and ongoing efforts to restore spawning beds in Oliver and Penticton.

“The Okanagan Nation Alliance fishery department is anticipating 60,000 sockeye will return to the Columbia River with 45,000 to 51,000 sockeye heading to the Okanagan,” said Lee McFadyen, who works with the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative, in a news release. “These low returns are a result of poor migration conditions and since they are below 80,000 fish, neither an economic nor recreational fishery will be considered. That said, there will still be ample opportunity to witness salmon spawning.”

READ MORE: Celebrating the return of sockeye salmon in the South Okanagan

The events, which both run from 1 to 3 p.m., will go rain or shine.

Parking for the Oliver event is at the Oliver Visitors Centre at 6431 Station St. From there it is an easy, one-kilometre walk along the bike and hike trail, which is wheelchair accessible, to reach the site.

In Penticton, the celebration will be on both sides of the Okanagan River Channel with parking at LocoLanding, 75 Riverside Dr.



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Kaelani Greyeyes of Outma Sqilx’W Cultural School releases her salmon fry at the start of its journey. Two celebrations are planned this month for the sockeye return. (file photo)

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