Fishing-Fish Species

Both resident fish populations and massive runs of anadromous fish, particularly salmon, were crucial to Sinixt People and all western Plateau populations. According to 'Complex Hunter-Gatherers' by Prentiss and Kujit, "salmon provided an accessible, high-density, storable protein and fat source, crucial for winter survival on the Plateau."

Early Chinook salmon runs and late steelhead trout runs occurred during spring. A variety of salmon species were abundant by mid-summer, including chinook, sockeye, pink, and Coho. In terms of resident fish species, white sturgeon, bull trout, rainbow trout (including Gerrard rainbow trout) and mountain white fish were all important fresh food sources.

Once spring arrived, Sinixt people living all over their vast traditional territory would travel down the Columbia to gather at Kettle Falls. AS Sinixt descendent Lawney Reyes wrote," The great harvest of salmon began in June, when mature salmon returned from the shores of Alaska and began their 704-mile journey from the mouth of the Columbia to Kettle Falls. The bands moved to the banks of the river and caught the salmon that were not strong enough to clear the falls. The tremendous harvest lasted until late summer."