Once again nature's yearly miracle takes place as one of the greatest salmon runs in Canada's history reaches its climax in the Adams River in the interior of British Columbia.
L.S. TILT DOWN THOMPSON RIVER.
L.S. INDIANS IN CANOE FISHING WITH SPEARS.
M.S. GROUP OF INDIANS IN REGALIA.
M.S. INDIANS IN CANOE FISHING, ONE INDIAN SPEARS SALMON.
M.C.S. INDIANS WATCHING.
M.S. SECOND INDIAN FISHERMAN SPEARS SALMON.
C.S. SALMON PRINCESS.
M.S. INDIAN FISHERMAN WITH THEIR CATCH.
M.L.S. SWIFTLY RUSHING WATER.
M.S. FISH IN STRONG CURRENT.
C.S. FISH IN STRONG CURRENT.
L.S. AREA NEAR SPAWNING GROUNDS.
M.S. TAGGING TEAMS, ONE MAN PULLS IN NET.
M.S. MAN PICKS FISH OUT OF NET.
C.S. FISH IS PLACED IN TROUGH, AND TAGGED.
M.S. FISH IS THROWN BACK INTO WATER.
L.S. TAGGING TEAMS AT WORK.
C.S. MAN'S FACE AS HE HOLDS FISH.
C.S. ANOTHER MAN MARKING IN NOTEBOOK.
C.S. SIGN "WORLD'S RICHEST 300 ACRES... ADAMS RIVER SPAWNING GROUNDS".
M.C.S. FISH IN TANK, SHOWING CHANGES THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE SINCE LEAVING OCEAN.
C.S. FISH IN TANK.
L.S.PAN ADAMS RIVER SPAWNING GROUNDS.
M.L.S. FISH AT SPAWNING GROUNDS.
M.S. FISH AT SPAWNING GROUNDS.
M.S. TWO FISH.
M.C.S. TWO FISH FIGHTING.
L.S. ADAMS RIVER.
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Background: Once again nature's yearly miracle takes place as one of the greatest salmon runs in Canada's history reaches its climax in the Adams River in the interior of British Columbia.
Averaging 17 miles a day, sockeye that elude the fishermen's nets make the 300-mile trip from the ocean to the mouth of the Adams River in about 18 days. There is evidence that sockeye are guided by the sense of smell in fresh water, and by that means are able to return to the gravel in which they were born. The sockeye maintain their exact time-table as they swim upstream -- the fish that leave the ocean first are the ones that arrive early on the spawning gravel, spawn first and die even before the late-comers arrive.
At Squilax, B.C. along Little River (below the mouth of the Adams River) the Squilax Indians in their regalia welcome the big run. Local Indians in an old-time dug-out canoe demonstrate spear-fishing of salmon. Spear fishing is usually done at night and the fire in the basket is to attract the fish and also help the Indians to see them.
At the mouth of the Adams River, crews of the International Pacific Salmon Commission insert a small tag bearing a number in the fish's back to ascertain the proportion of the run going to certain areas.
The Adams River sockeye run has 305 acres and each acre of gravel produced a crop of salmon worth $120,000 retail value in 1954 -- the last cycle year. This year, from the Adams River and nearby Little River, Canadian and American fishermen netted 15,000 fish, and yet an estimated 3,000,000 spawners remained to return to their birthplace.
As they reach the spawning grounds, each female selects a home territory in the gravel. She excavates her nest by lying on her side and flapping her tail vigorously. The process is a slow one, and as she works the male that has picked here for a mate continues to fight off other males. By the time the spawning is completed the fish have started to deteriorate and can no longer hold their own against the current. They all die after spawning.
In the spring the inch-long fry will be swept downstream by the current to the lakes and larger rivers. The following year they will continue on the reverse route taken by their parents down the Thompson and Fraser Rivers, and disappear into the broad reaches of the Pacific. But in four years they too will return and the cycle will be completed once more -- nature's miraculous method of assuring survival of the species.