Adams Lake Indian Band Spring Field Tour

Adams Lake Indian Band Field Tour 2022

TNCC and Adams Lake Indian Band co-hosted a Field Tour on June 9, 2022, to educate participants about the historic and cultural practices on and around the Adams River and the innovative Salmon Enhancement program underway to bring salmon back to home waters. 

Elder Lawrence Mitchel

Elder Lawrence Mitchel

We were privileged to have Elder Lawrence Mitchel welcome us to Secwepemc territory and share cultural teachings and practices on the land.

Our first presenter was Dave Norquist, Title and Rights and Natural Resource Director with Adams Lake Indian Band, who shared the history of salmonids (fish including salmon, trout and char) in the Adams Lake and river and talked about their use in the past and present day.

We were joined by Don Holmes of Lakeshore Environmental who shared the science behind the work underway by the Adams Lake Indian Band to conserve Sockeye salmon in Adams Lake. The Adams Lake Indian Band is working to restore the Upper Adams early summer run sockeye to a sustainable level and improve opportunities for sustainable use of the salmon.  In a three-year program, nutrients are being added to the lake, under scientific direction, to increase food production for sockeye fry (baby sockeye) and smolts (young fish).

Background Science

The program aims to increase the size of sockeye smolts to help improve their survival rates during ocean migration.

The main food source of young sockeye is zooplankton which feed on phytoplankton. The principal behind the project is to increase the phytoplankton in the lake by adding nutrients which should improve the growth of the smolts and ultimately improve ocean migration survival rates.

Program Milestones

  • 2020: Background information collected on the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of Adams Lake.
  • 2021-2023: Nutrients added to the lake.
  • March 31, 2024: Project completion.

The results from the first year of nutrient addition (2021) indicated that the addition of the nutrients did result in the increased production of phytoplankton which should help the sockeye with their impressive migration.

In addition to being a valuable educational opportunity, the field tour was a great opportunity to connect with the land and with each other.

This project is supported by funding from the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.