Simpcw First Nation - Fisheries Department

By: Simpcw  09-12-2011

Dunn Lake Fish Hatchery


The hatchery started out raising Coho in 1983 in the base of the chlorination shack of the band. This proved to be a problem of moving smolts outs. It was then decided to set up on Dunn Lake. The Dunn Lake Hatchery was set upon the south end of Dunn Lake in 1984. A crew was hired and lake pens were built. The site would prove to be unsatisfactory due to too warm water temperatures for the smolts, which resulted in many mortalities. A tenure was signed with Land and Water B.C. and a new site was built in 1992 on the banks of Dunn Creek. The move allowed the hatchery to be ground water fed, which was cooler water, thus less mortalities.

We presently produce Coho from the following streams:

  • Dunn Creek – 15,000
  • Louis Creek – 30,000
  • Lemieux Creek – 15,000

The Hatchery Program is overseen by, in partnership, Simpcw Sustainable Resource Department fisheries and Community Advisor for DFO. The main focus of Simpcw Fisheries is the conservation and management of any fish stock within Simpcwulucw. Some of the programs the fisheries department has been involved in the past years are:

  • Chinook enumeration program on Raft River, Finn Creek, Lemiuex Creek and Louis Creek.
  • Catch monitor throughout Simpcwulucw.
  • Stewardship program for the Upper Fraser River and North Thompson River watersheds.
  • Barriere River selective harvest fence.
  • Involving the youth summer program in fisheries activities.
  • Habitat restoration projects on a variety of streams within Simpcwulucw.
  • Playing an active role in Neqweyqwelsten School cultural program.
  • Working in partnership with the licensees and forest district located within Simpcwulucw.

Selective Fishing Program

The main focus is conservation and management of fish stocks within Simpcwulucw. Simpcw First Nation was able to secure funding for catch monitoring. Funds were available through the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy starting in 1993. The monitor recorded stocks being harvested but also informed Simpcw members where fish were in abundance. This led to the Simpcw First Nation leading the way in selective fish harvesting methods in Secwepemc Territory.

Popular Selective Fishing Streams for Chinook or Sockeye:

  • Raft River
  • North Thompson River
  • Finn Creek
  • Clearwater River
  • Holmes River
  • Upper Fraser River
  • Barriere River

For more information, contact:

Raft River First Fish Ceremony

2010 marked the 6th Annual First Fish ceremony held at the Raft River Viewing Platform located next to Department of Fisheries & Oceans office in Clearwater. People are invited to participate in the day’s activities which include:  pit cook preparation, traditional game called Lehal, viewing of sockeye salmon in river, story telling and dinner.

Raft River Interpretative School Program

Fall of 2010 also marked the 6th Annual school program hosted at Raft River Viewing Platform and DFO compound.  In 2010, 644 students participated from Barriere Elementary, Neqweyqwelsten, Raft River, Vavenby and Blue River Elementary Schools in the three day program.  The program included four stations which the students rotated through:  Simpcw Culture, TNRD recycling program, TNRD bear aware, fish dissection and Stream Model.

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