The 8th annual Columbia Salmon Festival presents an opportunity for local residents and visitors to come together with the Ktunaxa people to learn about and celebrate both the remarkable history and the promising future of the salmon in the Columbia River.
History of Salmon in the Columbia Valley
Prior to the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State in 1942, Chinook salmon spawned in the Upper Columbia River, many right below the present-day Fairmont Hot Springs and Copper Point Resorts. They weighed up to 40 pounds and were harvested during their spawning migrations by the Ktunaxa, the Shuswap and Kinbasket tribes, for whom they were a major food source, as well as commercial fishermen from the Pacific Ocean to the headwaters.
Today, the Kokanee salmon have replaced the Chinook salmon and over ¼ million of these small, land-locked creatures spawn annually in the very same spots that were favored by their predecessors. The Columbia Salmon Festival is being held at the height of the run, when the river will become bright red with thousands of their bodies, a perfect celebration of both the big salmon we have lost, the little salmon that we still have in the river, and their importance to all of us today.
The Festival – Schedule of Activities and Events
Saturday, September 14th, 2019
10 am – 12 pm James Chabot Beach
12 pm – 8 pm Shuswap Band Community Building
The festival is hosted by the Shuswap Indian Band and Akisqnuk First Nation. Its proud supporters are the Canadian Columbia Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission, Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partnership and Fairmont Trails Society.
For more information, view the festival website. You can also ‘like’ the festival’s page on Facebook at facebook.com/columbiasalmonfest to receive ongoing updates about this year’s event.
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