High-tech and traditional knowledge come together in the Suma’s First Nation Salmon Plan

Members of the Sumas First Nation in Abbotsford, BC gathered on the Vedder River on Friday to begin the third year of their five-year salmon conservation, protection and harvest plan.

The initiative involves a combination of on-water surveillance and modern technology to track the health of multiple salmon populations that travel through the waterway, said Amanda Gawor, the Sumas First Nation’s natural resources officer.

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“That means really getting a picture of the abundance of salmon migrating to their final spawning grounds. We are able to take the information provided by the fishermen, which is traditional knowledge, and combine that with cutting-edge science like our ARIS sonar,” she said.

“It’s very exciting, we’re able to track the migration in real-time and then compare them to gather data as well.”

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Gawor said the information allows the community to make timely and informed decisions about when it is safe to fish.

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It also allows the nation to share this information with other nations and user groups, promoting transparency and trust while helping to protect the salmon population.

“Rather than waiting for a lot of post-season analysis and forecasts, we can use current knowledge to get a better picture of migration, and we can use that information on an annual basis to measure the variation in the runs and the running times of different species “, she said.

Suma’s Frist Nation County. Troy Gerneveld, who has been fishing since 1985, said the importance of salmon – both culturally and as a food source – to First Nations cannot be underestimated.

He said the guardianship program helped clarify that importance while showing how First Nations want and can be part of solutions that are moving forward.

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“(The river) is a part of me. That’s where I feel most comfortable. It’s hard to explain,” he said.

“The technology that provides the actual numbers during the season of how many salmon are migrating through this system will definitely help in the management and better management of the resource to ensure the resource is conserved for generations to come.”

While the work is underway, the nation is asking people who use the river to make an effort to take advantage of the sonar equipment deployed in the area.

Monitoring is expected to last through the end of the month before resuming in the fall.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/9009453/sumas-first-nation-salmon-guardianship/ High-tech and traditional knowledge come together in the Suma’s First Nation Salmon Plan


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