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Restoring cəm’tus (white sturgeon) for a multispecies fishery

May 2nd, 2019

On May 3, 2019, at 10 am, the Syilx Okanagan Nation will host a cəm’tus (White Sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus) juvenile release ceremony at Millenium Park in Castlegar, BC. Approximately 100 cəm’tus fry will be into the upper reaches of the Columbia River on May 3, 25 of which will be released during the ceremony.

Historically, Syilx Okanagan peoples harvested cəm’tus within their Territory as was central to their traditional customs and practices. In 2006, cəm’tus was listed as Endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) in the Upper Columbia River, as the population was failing to reproduce due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

As part of a continued effort to support the Chiefs Executive mandate is respectfully aligned with our Syilx Traditional knowledge, culture, food security, and customs. The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) is commitment to creating a multispecies fishery for all Syilx people, which includes the rejuvenation of cəm’tus. Initial planning has begun to hold a communal fishery for cəm’tus in the autumn of 2019. These efforts demonstrate our responsibilities to restore cəm’tus to the Upper Columbia River and eventually revive the historical fishery. The ONA’s fishery program, with the utilization of kł cp̓əlk̓ stim̓ Hatchery, aim to extend the license in the coming two years and raise cəm’tus juveniles for release from our own hatchery.

This is a partnership event, in collaboration with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and BC Hydro.

For more information on other work the Okanagan Nation is conducting with cəm’tus in the Upper Columbia:

For more information on this event please contact:

Dominique Alexis: Events Planner T: (250) 707-0095 ext. 233 E: