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Diversity of spawning behaviour in Kokanee of Okanagan Lake, BC

Project Synopsis
Diversity of spawning behaviour in Kokanee of Lake Okanagan, BC

Kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) of Okanagan Lake spawn either in tributary streams or in the lake littoral zone. Since 1988 studies have been conducted on the diversity of these spawning habitats, and the adaptations of the kokanee to spawning under these diverse conditions.

Spawning behaviour of stream-spawners was conducted in Mission Creek, the tributary in which most of the stream spawning occurs in the Okanagan, at the location of the Mission Creek Spawning Channel. Much of this data is available in reports to the Ministry of the Environment on the adult migration into the channel during the fall of 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994. Years 1988-1990 and behavioral data are in manuscript form and will be published in due course. Much of this work was supported by the Habitat Conservation Fund of BC.

Spawning behaviour of shore-spawners was conducted at Bertram Creek Regional Park, ten km south of the Mission Creek entrance into Okanagan Lake. To date spawning has been observed for three years, but progress is slow. Shore-spawning habitat and behaviour are very different from that in creeks. Reproductive strategies appear adapted to this uniquely different habitat. Manuscripts and a video are under development. This work is beginning supported by the Royal British Columbia Museum and Okanagan University College.

See Also [l] links to the Kokanee Salmon Heritage Project.
See Also [2] links to the abstract of Dr. Dill’s presentation Kokanee in Okanagan Lake.

Credit: Desmond Murray

Credit: Peter Dill

Credit: Peter Dill