Since May 2004, the Okanagan National Alliance (ONA) has been releasing salmon back into Okanagan rivers and lakes to replenish the salmon population. The ONA’s first release was about 350,000 sockeye salmon and more recently, it’s been as high as 4.2 million sockeye salmon. 2020 was forecast to be the best return yet.
TWG member Howie Wright is the ONA Fisheries Program Manager.
In an interview with Indigenews in late October 2020, Wright estimated that about 125,000 to 150,000 would be returning in the Oliver area and between 5,000 and 15,000 or more in the Penticton channel area. The ONA collects no more than 10 per cent of returning sockeye salmon as broodstock for the following year.
Herb Alex, co-chair of the Technical Working Group of The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative, is the Syilx Okanagan Nation’s kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ hatchery building operator.