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Adams River Salmon Run
British Columbia Travel News ( Press Release )
Salute to Spawning Sockeye - A Story of Sun, Stars, Salinity and Salmon
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada: July, 2006: This September millions of sockeye salmon
will be making their way back to the gravel beds of the Adams River, one hour north of
Kamloops. They will journey almost 500 kilometers against a raging current, encountering
thousands of obstacles, not eating a bite, so they can reproduce and die. This year is a dominant
run which occurs every four years. In 2002, the last dominant run, 3.6 million sockeye returned to
the 12-kilometre-long Adams River, rating it amongst the richest natural spawning streams in
The Salute at Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park kicks off in the first week in October with
the official opening ceremonies on the first Saturday. For three weeks displays include tents filled
with information on the sockeye life cycle to the best way to cook them. There will be park
naturalists and fisheries personnel on site to answer questions.
Four years earlier, the parents of the returning sockeye followed the same waterways, mated, and
died. The eggs developed over the winter, the tiny alevin left the gravel in April, and the spring
freshet carried them down to Shuswap Lake. For a year the young salmon roam Shuswap Lake,
then in May and June of their second year they take a 480-kilometre-ride tumbling through the
rapids of the Thompson and Fraser rivers to the Pacific Ocean.
How do the sockeye know where to return? There is evidence they navigate by the sun and stars,
and also use the Earth's magnetic field. Studies show that migrating sockeye respond to large
fluctuations in ocean temperature and salinity. Close to the Fraser River they use their sense of
smell. Salmon fry imprint a clear memory of the unique smell or taste of their home stream,
following landmarks linked with particular familiar smells until they find their stream of origin.
The sockeye travel an average of 30 kilometers a day for about 17-days to the spawning grounds.
Their deep-sea blue-gray bodies gradually change to a brilliant crimson in their battle against
such obstacles as the Fraser River's Hell's Gate Rapids and the many whitewater rapids on the
The crimson salmon are easily seen in the Adams River. The male of the species now has
become grotesquely distorted with a humped back and a sharply hooked nose on his gray-green
head. Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park is located eight kilometers northeast of the
Trans-Canada Highway junction at Squilax, approximately 65 km east of Kamloops.
Fall in the Kamloops area means great golf. Play continues through early November, a time of
special values and reliable weather. For variety visit museums and explore Kamloops' history,
culture and heritage. There is terrific fishing, exciting mountain biking and hiking for a
memorable fall vacation.
For information on other activities and accommodations in the area, call Tourism Kamloops at
800-662-1994 or go to the website at www.tourismkamloops.com.
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