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2006 ADAMS LAKE INDIAN BAND CATCH SURVEYING & ON-BOARD OBSERVER NARRATIVE REPORT
R E P O R T
In July of 2006 a communal fisheries notice was delivered to each Adams Lake Band household, posted in obvious places, and e-mailed to the neighbouring Bands. An updated notice was sent out again in August delaying communal fisheries due to a conservation concern over Upper Adams River Sockeye.
The Adams Lake Band major communal fisheries commenced in late August, 2006. Initial harvests from Scotch Creek in early August were minimal, and intended primarily for the First Fish Ceremony. Some sockeye from Scotch Creek were also harvested as meals for a week long Esketmc youth camp visit to the Adams Lake Band fish camp. CHBC News from Kelowna produced a television segment on August 30th profiling the ALB communal fisheries and Esketmc youth visit.
The Adams Lake Band hosted the Lakes Secwepemc First Fish Ceremony on Sunday August 13th. Representatives from the Adams Lake, Neskonlith, and Little Shuswap Bands were present to accept the ceremonial bundle from the Kamloops Band. John Jules from KIB prayed over the bundle, explained the significance of it, and then presented the blanket wrapped bundle to the ALB Fisheries Manager. Another item will be put in the bundle and then passed on too a different Lakes Secwepmec Band in August of 2007. After a prayer from Elder Ann Michel, in Secwepemcstin, a salmon was cooked over the open fire and each person at the ceremony ate a piece, then the bones were given back to the water from which they came.
The ALB communal fishery supports many other Secwepemc Bands when their access to salmon is limited. The Bands which visited the communal fishery in 2006 included the following:
The Adams Lake Band communal fishery again utilized a commercial style aluminum gill net boat equipped with 600 foot long by 40 feet deep nets. Both 5 1/4 and 8 inch mesh gill nets were used. The gill nets were left in overnight and picked the next morning. The catch would then be counted and brought to the fish camp for cleaning and distribution. As in past years, harvested salmon are first put into the ALB communal food cache before volunteers receive their share. The food cache then provides salmon, elk, moose, and deer to community functions throughout the year. Dip netting and hand fishing were used at the Scotch Creek fish weir on a couple of evenings.
In the past few years the ALB communal fisheries has strived to become a conservation minded near-terminal fishery. Our plans to move from a communal fishery to a commercial fishery in 2006 were cancelled when we received word that the Lower Adams River Sockeye run was returning well below the estimated escapement. We choose not to harvest our 3,000 piece commercial allocation due to this conservation concern. This only goes to prove how effective inland fisheries can be at timely saving more salmon for the spawning grounds. Also, due to a continual conservation issue over the Interior Fraser Coho all communal fishing terminated when the first Coho was caught on October 5th, 2006.
Prepared by: Greg Witzky
Prepared For: Secwepemc Fisheries Commission
SFC File #: SFC 06-332
Date:From August 1 - October 5, 2006