Migrating Chinook salmon
The salmon are coming home! Did you know that Okanagan River Chinook salmon spend a good part of their lives in the ocean and then return to the Okanagan to spawn. This life cycle is called an 'anadromous' life cycle. The salmon hatch in freshwater rivers and then migrate thousands of kilometers to the ocean where they reach maturity and spend several years growing. Then, they migrate all the way back to the exact same area in the exact same river they were born! Summer migrants will be making their way back from the ocean right now and spawn in the fall.
Sadly, the Okanagan population of Chinook salmon are listed as Endangered because of their low number of returning spawners each year. Currently the Okanagan Nation Alliance is running a project to help restore the population by providing better habitat and increasing numbers through hatcheries.
Learn more about the Okanagan Nation Alliance's program at https://www.syilx.org/projects/okanagan-chinook-restoration-program/
Photo by: Ryan Hagerty USFWS