This is a photo taken at the Kootenai Falls in Libby, Mont. Photo submitted by Jeff & Julie Wood.
Montanans take advantage of the “Salmon Run” in Kootenai Country
By Moira Blazi
Every year the pacific sockeye salmon make the long journey up the Columbia and Kootenai Rivers to pools and inlets just below Kootenai Falls to spawn.
After years of swimming up and down the pacific coast ,these fish head inland to freshwater rivers, to somehow find their way back to the original spot where their life began as eggs laid by their mother.
Each year the Potts- wood family from Kalispell make the much shorter and easier journey from their home to the Kootenai Falls to catch a few of these amazing fish before they die. \
Locals like, Rob Spady and his family come too carrying with them plastic buckets, nets and fishing rods , to catch some of the bright red fish before they die.
“The fish come to a wall at the natural barrier of Kootenai falls,” Spady told The Montanian , “They spawn and then die and then their babies eat them” He added with a grin.
Father and son Jeff and Layne Potts-wood were a bit late this year, snagging only two fish, which they will smoke. But the yearly family gathering is also a chance for they family to get out into the beautiful autumn forest. Eleven year old Bayden has been coming out since he was just three, and though he didn’t do much fishing this time he still had a great time. “I like climbing on the rocks and taking pictures.” he told The Montanian.
With just a few places left in the world where this miraculous journey takes place, the Kootenai is truly, as always, a treasure.
Local 4 year old shows she was born to hunt
Right: Lorianne Carpenter 4 years old, checking out the first grouse of the season during an after school hunt with mom (Kelsey Fenn) Left: A grouse shot while out looking for mushrooms in the Blue Creek area Photo submitted by Kelsey Fenn