BRITISH COLUMBIA

To Photograph The Sockeye, You Must Swim With The Sockeye (PHOTOS)

11/04/2014 05:05 EST | Updated 11/05/2014 09:59 EST

Martin Gregus Jr. is only 18, but he's already an award-winning wildlife photographer. And for his latest project, the North Vancouver native literally swam with the fish.

Over three weeks in October, he photographed the celebrated sockeye salmon run in the Adams River near Kamloops, B.C.

martin gregus jr

adams river

The teen was there with BC Parks and the Adams River Salmon Society (as well as his photographer father, Martin Sr.) to capture the salmon for Thank You Canada, an interactive multimedia project designed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017.

Thank You Canada isn't ready yet, but Gregus Jr. sent The Huffington Post B.C. some photos as a taste of what's to come.

In order to gather the images he wanted, Gregus Jr. braved a mix of strong currents, wind, thunder, and snowstorms. But if you ask us, it was well worth it:

sockeye salmon bc

sockeye salmon bc

sockeye salmon bc

sockeye salmon

sockeye salmon bc

Sockeye battle their way upstream each year to reach their spawning grounds. The natural cycle is one that boldly represents a country built on natural beauty; as Gregus Jr. said in a press release: "This was the wild, strong and free Canada that we set out to capture."

See some other photos by Gregus Jr.:

Martin Gregus Jr.'s 'Where Eagles Dare'