Perley Elementary students are getting a head start on fundraising for the coming year and are also learning a little bit about fish.
Michael Zimmer, a biologist for the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) fisheries dept, received permission from the allliance to sell fresh caught Pacific Sockeye Salmon in Grand Forks. Zimmer has a son at Perley and thought it would be a great fundraiser for the kids as well.
Zimmer said the salmon come from Osoyoos Lake and are part of a harvest fishery.
“It’s the biggest return since 1938,” he said. “They’ve been active in managing the population through water flows, temperature monitoring, lake monitoring, population monitoring, migration movements. You name it, they’ve been monitoring just to get a real good return.”
Zimmer said the fish have to travel through nine dams to get to the ocean. He said the ONA uses acoustic, coded tags to see which fish are going out to the ocean, and which are coming back.
“They have a really good idea of the population, the return and the survival,” he said.
Zimmer said in addition to supporting Perley students, the money raised from salmon sales will go back to First Nations salmon management and restoration and supports First Nations business development.
Zimmer said he’s also sold the salmon at the Rock Creek Market and plans to set up at this weekend’s fall fair. Zimmer said he will be at the Grand Forks Farmer’s Market next week if sales go well and so far all indications are that sales have been quite brisk.