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September 22, 2014

The leaves have begun to turn colour. Not the crimson, brilliant oranges and yellows of Ontario leaves but a softer Kootenay yellow and orange and the occasional red. But when the Kokanee come home the creeks run a glorious crimson.

Kokanee Glacier feeds Kokanee Creek: all named after the Kokanee Salmon, the Redfish of the aboriginal people of the Kootenays. They are truly the heart of Kokanee Creek. Kokanee Salmon have been landlocked ever since the ice age when Bonnington Falls blcoked their access to the Columbia and the ocean. Kokanee eggs feed dippers and ducks to name just a few while bears, raccoons, eagles and several other animals eat the adults and fry. The dead fish fertilize the surrounding forest. Without the Kokanee, Kokanee Creek would be an impoverished landscape.

It is always a special day when the first Kokanee come home. The return of the Kokanee marks a promise, a promise that while one life ends, another is created.

all photos and writing copyright J.A. Siderius, 2014. If you want to use them, just ask.

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