Rebecca Golat, front, catches a salmon at the annual Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society salmon collection last September. (Jack Most photo)

Rebecca Golat, front, catches a salmon at the annual Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society salmon collection last September. (Jack Most photo)

Sooke now Smoked Salmon Capital of Canada

Moniker suggested by Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society

Thanks to local historian Elida Peers, Sooke became the self-declared Smoked Salmon Capital of Canada on Monday.

Peers brought a presentation before district council, telling councillors the Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society has been trying to build awareness around Pacific salmon as the fish plays a big and historical role in the community.

To do so, the society erected a sign on Highway 14 to promote salmon spawning in the Sooke River, as well as put together a smoked salmon judging event that attracted more than 100 judges this year. Next year, the society hopes to double participation.

Peers said the spawning salmon has brought people from all over the world to Sooke to see the natural phenomenon, and making Sooke the smoked salmon capital would only solidify its importance in our area.

RELATED: Spawning salmon in Sooke

“We hope the councillors see this as a positive step forward in the culture of our community,” Peers said.

Council was receptive to Peers’ suggestion, and unanimously voted to make Sooke the Smoked Salmon Capital of Canada.