Spruce City Wildlife Association held its annual community salmon fry release this past weekend, where the community helped release 1,000 chinook into the Nechako River.
“Everybody got to line up, kids and parents alike, and got their own little salmon in a cup to release down a waterslide that we had built into the Nechako River,” said SCWA program coordinator Jesi Lauzon.
Over 400 people attended the community event on Sunday, which also included free hot dogs and drinks as well as a welcome from Lheidli T’enneh Councillor Joshua Seymour.
SWCA released 1,000 out of the 10,000 that were reared from the Nechako river.
“We released 1,000 here for the purpose of involving the community and giving them a chance to be a part of what we do,” said Lauzon.
“Spruce City is run solely on volunteers so we rely heavily on the community getting involved. We are also a non-profit so we rely on the donations that we get and these kinds of events help bring in the community get the kids involved and is an opportunity to showcase our projects.”
Lauzon said the Nechako River Chinook Salmon are a threatened stock so the organizations work to rebuild that stock is extremely important, in order for that stock to continue.
“A huge part of the ecosystem relies on the salmon’s lifecycle. When the salmon leaves the oceans, they feed and they become adults, and when they come back, they bring all of those nutrients into the river systems before they spawn and die.”
Lauszon said the salmon released at the event will stay in the area for about a year before they head downstream towards Vancouver.
“Sometime next summer, they'll be heading towards Vancouver, and then out into the ocean where they will grow into adults, and then come back, so we should see them in about five years. Those fish should return.”