PENTICTON — Drums were beating and voices were singing in unison as the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) released 10,000 sockeye salmon fry into the Okanagan River Channel on Wednesday.
ONA has been releasing fry into the river for the past 12 years, and this year, it is planning on reintroducing salmon into Okanagan Lake.
“This year is going to be a huge year,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger. “As soon as we release the fry in Okanagan Lake, they’ll know that’s where they want to go.”
That release is anticipated to happen next month.
“We are looking at Summerland area for the Penticton community, Mission Creek for the Westbank community and the three creeks up in Vernon for the Okanagan Indian Band community,” said ONA Fisheries Program Manager Howie Wright.
Over the course of the week, 330,000 salmon fry will be released into the river. It’s unknown at this time how many fry will be released into the lake.