Sunny skies came out for the second annual Sputc Ceremony

“Nuxalk Sputc Handbook” on hand for review by community members

It was a light-hearted celebration on the banks of the Bella Coola last week.

It was a light-hearted celebration on the banks of the Bella Coola last week as the community undertook a traditional ‘welcome back’ ceremony for the sputc (eulachon).

Although high water levels in the river have stymied local sampling efforts, local Nuxalk scientist and eulachon researcher Megan Moody said that a few have been spotted.

“It’s been hard to spot them, but we have seen a few,” she told the crowd gathered for the event. “Once river levels drop we’ll be able to get a better idea of how many are there.”

The day was filled with dances and songs, offerings and the unveiling of a sign located next to the eulachon pole that details a short history of the eulachon, the traditional song and the explanation of the pole.

It has been decades since the waters of the Bella Coola have been black with eulachon and the riverbanks buzzing with preparations, fishing and people. But that loss hasn’t dampened the appetites people still have for the small fish and its coveted grease.

The fish abruptly disappeared in 1999 and several factors have been identified as possible contributors for the crash. Trawling, warmer ocean temperatures and a smaller local river system are all thought to be reasons for the disappearance.

Moody remains confident that recovery of the eulachon stock is possible, and her tireless efforts do not go unnoticed. Her latest project, along with key community members and PhD student Rachelle Beveridge, is the production of the tentatively titled “Nuxalk Sputc Handbook.” The book will contain both historical and present information, statistics, key uses, and traditional knowledge.

The handbook, which was available at the hall for community review following the ceremony, is in the editing stages and will probably be published in the next few months.

Just Posted

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Mining company prospecting for gold near Bella Coola

Gold discovered in alpine areas where glaciers are receding

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Most Read