Submitted by Heritage Interpreter, Andrea P.
It takes a sockeye salmon about 18 days to swim from the mouth of the Fraser River to the Adams River, just northeast of Kamloops. Following the Fraser, it takes about 6 hours to drive there, and that’s without having to leap up any waterfalls or avoid any bears along the way. Every four years, sockeye salmon return to their Adams River spawning grounds in numbers greater than the other years, and we decided to witness this wonder of nature with our own eyes.
As we walked along the bank of a shallower part of the river, we watched brilliant red and green sockeye making their way upstream to spawn. Once these adults spawn, they will die, and become food for other animals, and remaining nutrients will feed the forests that protect the streams where the young salmon with hatch later this winter. Those young salmon the end up surviving their journey out to sea and back again will return to the Adams River in another four years. The Fraser River sockeye salmon were essential to the Steveston canneries back in the day, and they continue to be an important part of the West Coast fishing industry today.
For more information about the 2018 Adams River Salute to the Sockeye festival, visit this Department of Fisheries and Oceans website.