Flowers in the Thompson Okanagan, Photo Allen Jones
Salmon Arm is located on an arm of Shuswap Lake in BC’s Thompson Okanagan region. This popular lake provides for a host of summer activities and brings locals and visitors alike to experience what the area has to offer. Water sports are one of the main attractions with several locations good for swimming and boating. Fishing is also popular with several species of fish including Kamloops, Rainbow, Bull, and Eastern Brook Trout, Kokanee, Whitefish, Lingcod, and Perch. Take a walk on the Salmon Arm Wharf, a wooden boardwalk that is the longest inland wooden curved wharf in Canada. A scenic stroll will offer a great view of the bird sanctuary and ecological reserve. For the more active visitors there are trails for hiking, biking, horse riding and mountain biking and in the winter snowmobiling is a favourite pastime.
The first white settlers arrived in this valley in 1888. Salmon Arm first began as a railway camp during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), later developing into a logging, farming, and dairy centre.
The beautiful Shuswap Lake takes its name from the Shuswap Indians, northernmost of the Great Salishan Family, and one of the largest tribes in the interior of British Columbia. Once numbering over 5,000, these people were fishermen and hunters, roaming in bands through the vast land of lakes and forests, reaching 240 kilometres to the west, east and north. Salmon Arm takes its name from the southwest arm of the Shuswap Lake, due to the large runs of salmon that used to run up the creeks that empty into the lake. The area has retained a unique rural quality that is reflected in the richness and diversity of the communities throughout the Shuswap. Residents have a keen sense of pride and satisfaction in protecting their quality of life. It is this balance that appeals to residents and visitors alike.
Salmon Arm’s economy is a diverse mixture of forestry, agriculture, tourism commerce, and manufacturing. A growing industry in the Salmon Arm area is the ever-popular agri-tourism. These farms includes wineries, berry farms, orchards, cheese plants, dairy farms, corn fields, pumpkin and gourd patches, canning and cider pressing, petting zoos, and much more.