The kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Laboratory provides critical information and data on the effectiveness and impact of fisheries management decisions, and the health of the returning sockeye. In the autumn, returning spawners are surveyed for diseases to determine the health of the population. The hatchery sockeye fry are tested in our own laboratory to ensure they are free of viruses before they are released. Additionally, we monitored the size, diet, age, and origin of the juvenile fish and returning spawners in Skaha and Osoyoos lakes. This data has provided critical information on the effectiveness and impact of fisheries management decisions and the health of the sockeye return.

By sampling and testing sockeye populations the fish can tells us a lot. For example:

  • DNA work shows that reintroduction is succeeding with larger numbers of sockeye returning to spawn in Skaha Lake every year.
  • Sockeye hatchery fry are free from IHN virus prior to release.
  • Disease prevalence in returning spawners varies year on year.
  • Okanagan sockeye exhibit a four year population cycle.
  • There are more non-hatchery fish in Skaha Lake than hatchery fish.
  • Average length of smolts leaving Skaha Lake is larger than those from Osoyoos Lake.

The laboratory has expertise in sampling fish, aging from scales and otoliths for a wide range of species, thermal mark checking, macroinvertebrate sorting, stomach contents analysis, water chemistry, and virology including cell culture.