An Office of the Wet'suwet'en fisheries employee catches fish today as part of their tagging program.

An Office of the Wet'suwet'en fisheries employee catches fish today as part of their tagging program.

Moricetown welcomes back salmon

Salmon run so far so good: fisheries manager Walter Joseph

The First Nations community of Moricetown today welcomed back the salmon that have helped sustain their people for thousands of years.

Walter Joseph, fisheries manager for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, said the gathering is about celebrating and recognizing the salmon as a vital part of their heritage and traditions.

“Salmon is so important to the community,” he said. “This village has been here for a long time and it’s here because of the salmon.”

The event was held after the actual return of the salmon, Joseph said, as band members started catching sockeye and chinook mid-June.

So far, the salmon run looks to be higher than they have seen in a number of years.

“The run is coming in good now,” Joseph said. “The sockeye is better than it’s been for awhile around here. If it turns out to be a good run, it will certainly be welcome because the numbers have been low for the last decade or so.”

The Office of the Wet’suwet’en began their salmon tagging program in 1996 and stocks have slowly been recuperating, Joseph said.