North

Ta'an Kwach'an First Nation thrilled by return of spawning salmon

Elders of the Ta'an Kwach'an First Nation have always known Fox Creek was once a salmon spawning stream. Over the past nine years they've released hundreds of thousands of salmon fry into the creek, hoping some might return to spawn. The project appears to be paying off.

Monitors spot at least 20 spawning salmon this year, fuelling hope of a comeback

Monitors from the Ta'an Kwäch'än First Nation look for spawning salmon in Fox Creek near Whitehorse. (Submitted by Ta'an Kwäch'än Council)

Elders of the Ta'an Kwach'an First Nation have always known Fox Creek was once a salmon spawning stream. Over the past nine years they've released hundreds of thousands of salmon fry into the creek, hoping some might return to spawn.

Two of the spawning salmon spotted by Ta'an Kwäch'än First Nation monitors in Fox Creek this summer. (Submitted by Ta'an Kwäch'än Council)
The project appears to be paying off. Stream monitors have counted at least 20 spawning salmon in the creek this month.  In 2013 they found just three.

"Everyone has been really excited about the fact we've had these fish come back and I know we've had people working for years on this and it's just exciting to know this project has had success and is having success," said Ta'an spokesperson Samantha Dawson.

Dawson says the First Nation's heritage team is especially excited because one of the females spotted appears to be wild. She said that fish had an adipose fin, which could indicate it's wild.

"That salmon could have been hatched in the creek or wild from another creek. It can be contentious and hard to discern some time so yeah it's going to take some more investigating."

The Fox Creek salmon are among the more than 83,000 Chinook that have returned to Yukon waters to spawn this year. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now