Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run

Crimson waters - Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run

During October, the banks of the Adams River, 405 km inland from the Pacific Ocean, become the scene of a natural miracle.

Each fall, the quiet waters of the 12 km river welcome Sockeye Salmon returning to their home waters to spawn. The fish are completing a journey that takes them far out into the Pacific, then upstream against swift currents and rapids all the way up to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands and back again – traveling over 4,000 km in their lifetime.

The Adams River is one of the most important Sockeye Salmon breeding areas in North America – important not only to local ecology, but to the history and culture of the Shuswap. Salmon have helped to sustain the Secwepemc people for thousands of years. Sockeye Salmon return to the Adams River each year, and in 2022 – the next dominant year in the four-year migration cycle – hundreds of thousands of fish are expected to return home to spawn.

Various other species also return throughout the summer and fall. Watch for Pink, Chinook and Coho Salmon, as well as Rainbow Trout and Steelhead Trout.

View the salmon run from the banks of the Adams River at Tsútswecw Provincial Park (formerly known as Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park). Explore 26 km of trails offering exceptional salmon viewing and bird-watching opportunities. The Adams River Salmon Society maintains an interpretive centre and hosts guided walks. The Adams River puts on an incredible show, but it’s not the only place to view spawning salmon. Thousands of fish return to lakes and rivers throughout the region. Watch for flashes of red as they head upstream!

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