Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Colville Confederated Tribes celebrate First Salmon


BRIDGEPORT – Colville Confederated Tribes Fish and Wildlife (CTRW) will host its annual First Salmon Ceremony at the Chief Joseph Hatchery administration building, 48 Half Sun Way on Thursday, May 23.

Tribal elder Randy Lewis will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

The ceremony begins at 6 a.m. when the first salmon will be caught. It will include a prayer and song by tribal leaders and tribal leaders will be invited to speak.

At 7 p.m., a welcoming address by CCT Chairman Jarred Erickson will introduce presentations by:

  • D.R. Michel. Executive Director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT), speaking in Reintroducing Salmon Upstream of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams,
  • CTCW Senior Research Scientist Casey Baldwin with a Chief Joseph Hatchery update.
  • Fisheries Program Manager Chad Fuller discussing Okanogan National Alliance (ONA) Fisheries.

During that interim, salmon fillets roasting in traditional tribal barbecue pits will be ready for the 10 a.m. luncheon that will feature:

  • A table song by tribal elders,
  • A first salmon lunch shared by guests,
  • A closing prayer.

Chief Joseph Hatchery staff will be available throughout the ceremony to conduct tours of the hatchery.

The First Salmon Ceremony is always a well-attended event where guests learn the latest information regarding tribal efforts to restore historic salmon populations to the Upper Columbia River system.

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or


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