Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Tribal Fisheries
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January 2014

Fisheries: Canoeists paddle way of Columbia River salmon - The five dugout canoes were carved at various schools over the past year. The Salmon Savior, a 21-foot ponderosa pine, was carved at the Wellpinit Middle and High School on the Spokane Reservation. The Crying Salmon, a 33-foot cedar canoe, was carved by the students of Inchelium School on the Colville Reservation.

Fisheries: Columbia River Treaty Recommendation Near Finalization - Will fish passage be restored from the Columbia River to Canada? Will a 15-tribe coalition significantly influence an international treaty that will last a lifetime? Can Canada and the U.S. agree to financial impacts affecting each country? Will ecological concerns get equal consideration with electric power rates?

Fisheries: Chehalis River Dam Threatens Treaty Rights - As removal of two fish-blocking dams on the Elwha River dams nears its end, I’m scratching my head. Why is a proposal to build a brand-new dam on the Chehalis River watershed in Lewis County receiving serious consideration? And why is the Quinault Indian Nation being left out of the discussion?

December 2013

Fisheries: U.S., Canada clash over Columbia River Treaty agendas - Vast mudflats appear in British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa when the reservoir is lowered to protect U.S. communities from flooding.

Fisheries: Tribes Recondition Steelhead to Bring Back Endangered Trout - The notion of “reconditioning steelhead” might sound outlandish, even a bit ominous, at least when applied to an animal. Reconditioning is what’s done to prepare discarded electronics for resale, and the word carries connotations of recycling. How does one recycle a fish?

Fisheries: Warmer oceans put Northwest streams at risk - More than a million fall chinook salmon are expected to pass the mouth of the Columbia River during the 2013 run, almost twice the previous record on the books. Tribal and state biologists attribute the record run to high spring river flows when the fish migrated downstream, increased flows to spill them over dams, projects to improve fish passages and habitats, and improved ocean conditions.

Fisheries: Canoeing salmon advocates near source of Columbia River - The “Sea to the Source” canoe expedition that left Astoria, Ore., on Aug. 2 in hand-made crafts is on track to reach the end of its voyage Monday at Canal Flats, the source of the Columbia River in British Columbia.

Fisheries: Tribal consultation plays unofficial role in council process - Historical participation weighs heavily in fisheries management decisions, and Alaska Natives have thousands of years of history of fishing throughout the state, relying on salmon, halibut, crab, herring and other species for food and trade.

Fisheries: Ruling on tidal turbines delayed; sparring continues - While a decision on whether tidal power turbines may be installed in Admiralty Inlet has been delayed in part by the federal government shutdown, sparring between the proponent and opponents has continued.

Fisheries: Slow start to salmon spawn - Fewer than half the salmon expected to enter the Klamath River in California this year have moved inland, but environmental scientist Sara Borok said water conditions are favorable and it’s still too early to gauge the final count.

October 2013

Fisheries: State awards $9.6M for salmon work - Four projects to restore salmon habitat in and near the South Sound will receive more than $2 million in grants from the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board. They were among 11 Puget Sound-area projects that will receive $9.6 million in grants.

Fisheries: Canoe journey spotlights plight of Columbia salmon - On Aug. 2, five salmon-inspired dugout canoes started their journey up the Columbia River to pay tribute to the salmon no longer able to reach their historic spawning grounds of the Upper Columbia River since the construction of Grand Coulee Dam.

Fisheries: Reopening Columbia River to salmon could come at high cost to B.C. taxpayers - On a recent trip through Washington state, I took a tour of the Chief Joseph Dam, having been told I would gain a unique insight into one of the complexities that would arise from reopening the Columbia River Treaty.

Fisheries: Restore salmon runs - For years, we have read articles about restoring salmon runs to the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam up into Canada. All the money they have spent on fish studies since they built the dams in the 1930s could have fixed a lot of the problems. Millions have been spent on trying to come up with a good plan to restore the salmon runs, but little is done to fix the problem.

Fisheries: Northwest Tribes Exult as Nearly One Million Chinook Return to Columbia River - Northwest tribes are exultant to see nearly a million fall Chinook salmon returning to the Columbia River this year, nearly 400,000 more than have returned since the Bonneville Dam was built 75 years ago.

Fisheries: Shocking water mismanagement is wiping out western chinook salmon - As many as half of this year’s endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon run may have perished in irrigation ditches, according to information disclosed in a federal agency report, a state agency report and an independent scientific assessment. To compound the problem, the weakened survivors face being hammered by the mismanagement of cold water releases from Shasta Dam by the state and federal government.

Fisheries: We need to bring food back to our forests - Folks up in Seattle are developing a “food forest” on Beacon Hill. Right there, near the heart of the city, a place where anyone can come along and pick fruit, vegetables, herbs, berries and more. The first harvests from the forest are expected this fall. It’s a great idea. Sharing food and community are two things that I care a lot about. Most of my life has been centered on food and the rights of tribes to be able to harvest their own food. For us Indian people, all of western Washington was once a food forest.

August 2013

Fisheries: With new ladders at Columbia River dams, Pacific lamprey get a fighting chance at survival - The first big hurdle for migrating Pacific lamprey comes at the base of Bonneville Dam, where fish ladders designed for salmon discourage it from getting over the 200-foot high concrete monolith. But under pressure from Columbia River tribes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is spending $50 million to build lamprey passage systems at Bonneville and modify fish ladders elsewhere to get more of them upriver.

Fisheries: Group wants study on Bateman Island causeway - The milelong hike to the tip of Bateman Island can reward hikers with breathtaking views of Rattlesnake Mountain and the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia rivers. The way people get to the island could change, however. A study is looking at the 73-year-old causeway connecting the island to the riverfront trail in Richland. The Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, a White Salmon-based nonprofit seeking to increase the salmon and steelhead trout population, wants to know whether the causeway is acting as a barrier to salmon migration.

June 2013

Fisheries: Washington attorney general appeals culvert ruling - Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is appealing a federal ruling ordering the state to fix culverts that block salmon passages. The state on Tuesday filed a notice of appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on the March 29 U.S. District Court ruling by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez that set up a timeline to fix hundreds of culverts around the state.

Fisheries: Klamath Basin water wars heat up as drought threatens - For decades, this rural basin has battled over the Klamath River's most precious resource: water that sustains fish, irrigates farms and powers the hydroelectric dams that block one of the largest salmon runs on the West Coast. Now, one of the nation's fiercest water wars is on the verge of erupting again.

Fisheries: Restoration projects to vie for grant money at meeting today - The North Olympic Lead Entity for Salmon's policy and technical teams will hear seven presentations for grant money for programs. Project proposals include: Dungeness River large wood restoration and Dungeness riparian habitat protection, proposed by the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe and Ediz Hook beach restoration, phase 3, and Elwha River revegetation, phase 2, proposed by the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe.

May 2013

Fisheries: Deadly Catch - This Thursday (April 25, 2013), as tribal chairs across Washington state meet with the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Ecology, the toxicity of fish will dominate discussion. Specifically, they’ll tackle the “fish-consumption rate,” an innocuous-sounding statistic fraught with environmental and economic consequences.

Fisheries: Rate protects polluters, not public health - Eating more fish and other seafood is a healthy choice as long as those foods don’t come from polluted waters. We think the state of Washington needs to make sure our waters stay clean.

Fisheries: To manage the Columbia River, we need a new treaty for a new era - The Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada has been a hybrid of fears and profits since its ratification in 1964. Narrowly designed for flood control and optimized hydropower production, the treaty has locked in 1960s priorities that do not reflect the modern values and considerations of our time.

Fisheries: State facing $1.9 billion bill for new culverts - More than 800 others in Western Washington will have to be replaced or removed to make the streams more fish-friendly, according to a recent federal court ruling. The estimated cost: $1.9 billion. The ruling applies only to state-owned culverts, leaving the state on the hook for the cost. According to a 2005 Adopt A Stream survey of several Snohomish County streams, however, most of the fish-blocking culverts are owned not by the state but by the county, cities or private property owners. So far, the tribes that initiated the litigation have not pressed the issue on non-state-owned culverts.

Fisheries: Tribes' salmon court win may go way beyond $1B in culvert repairs - A long-awaited tribal fishing-rights decision by a federal judge Friday means the state must immediately accelerate more than $1 billion in repairs to culverts that run beneath state roads and block access to some 1,000 miles of salmon habitat.

Fisheries: Dead smelt seem everywhere in lower Columbia - Smelt continue to swarm up tributaries of the Columbia River, and their bodies litter local riverbanks. Despite the run’s apparent strength, it’s still illegal to dip for the endangered species — or even pick up dead ones — and enforcement agents have issued several tickets.

Fisheries: Tribes Work To Maximize Columbia River Basin Steelhead - Steelhead in the Columbia River Basin are threatened. Current populations have dwindled to a fraction of the historic numbers a century ago. That has led two Northwest Indian Tribes to try something new to help this struggling fish survive.

April 2013

Fisheries: Political Theater of the Absurd in the Klamath Basin - When the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, or KHSA, and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, or KBRA, were signed in February 2010 amid pageantry and fanfare, the public was told these deals would unite the Klamath River Basin and end conflict over Klamath water. Promoters no longer make those claims. In light of the considerable conflict and controversy that has come to surround both Agreements, hope that they would bring “Peace on the River” has proven wildly over-optimistic.

Fisheries: Geo-Engineers Without Orders – Lack of Rules Could Mean More Rogue Experimenters - Last July, American businessman and “rogue geoengineer” Russ George undertook an ambitious iron-fertilization experiment in the waters off the western coast of Canada. The officially-unapproved-but-not-technically-illegal experiment in geoengineering sought to trigger a massive bloom of CO2-loving plankton (which it did) and which would in turn buttress the local food chain and (consequently) the declining salmon population.

March 2013

Fisheries: Allocation is not conservation - Allocation is being confused with conservation as the states of Oregon and Washington move to restrict non-Indian commercial gillnet fisheries on the lower Columbia River.

February 2013

Fisheries: We aren't doing enough to protect, restore state's salmon runs - Chris Gregoire’s last budget as governor – submitted a few weeks ago – shows the most significant commitment to Puget Sound since salmon were first listed in Puget Sound in 1999. If our next governor, Jay Inslee, and state legislative leaders follow her lead, funds for salmon restoration will increase from $26 million to $95 million.

January 2013

Fisheries: Peninsula counties get $2.3 million for salmon recovery - Clallam County tribes and groups received $1.2 million — and Jefferson groups got $1.2 million — in salmon recovery money from the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board. In total, $19.2 million in grants to 28 counties were announced.

December 2012

Fisheries: As water-quality rules are hatched, tribes sit out - As part of setting new limits on water pollution based in part on how much fish people eat, state government is convening meetings of interested parties. But the state’s Indian tribes are refusing to participate. Discouraged by lack of progress, and asserting their rights as sovereign nations, tribes are trying to bypass the state’s process. “We want action, not further discussion,” Andy Whitener of the Squaxin Island Tribe wrote to Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant in a letter turning down an invitation to join a group providing advice. Nisqually tribal member Billy Frank, the chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission who supported Democrat Jay Inslee in his successful campaign for governor, wrote a blog post Monday calling on Inslee to “reset” the process after taking office next month.

November 2012

Fisheries: Boeing Begins Construction of Salmon Habitat at Plant 2 in Seattle - Northwest salmon are closer to getting a much needed resting area for their annual migration down the industrial Duwamish Waterway now that Boeing has begun the initial rough grading that will start the construction for a new wildlife habitat. This work is being coordinated with the Natural Resource Trustees — the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Ecology, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, and the Suquamish Tribe.

Fisheries: Hatching a Plan for Northwest Salmon: Conference Highlights Fish Stock Restoration - Fish hatcheries built below the dams in the Pacific Northwest have replenished salmon stocks for downstream and ocean fishermen for decades, while upstream, wild runs where treaty tribes fish have dwindled. Now tribes report that hatcheries can serve another purpose—to restore and strengthen wild stocks by allowing them to breed with hatchery fish, a controversial practice that seems to be refuting experts’ fears that the wild fish stocks would be weakened.

Fisheries: Tribes Oppose Oregon’s Measure 81 Banning Commercial Gill-Net Fishing - Environmental issues are a major concern for tribes this election in the Pacific Northwest, and in Oregon, the Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and its four member tribes are opposing a politically compromised ballot measure that would ban non-tribal commercial gill-net fishing in the lower Columbia River.

Fisheries: 10 Years After Klamath Fish Kill, New Water Proposals and Weakening of Indian Water Rights Threaten Salmon Gains - Ten years ago thousands of adult salmon died in the Lower Klamath River in far Northern California when extremely low flows ordered by the Bush administration created lethal conditions for fish. This year, as we celebrate the first good run of salmon since the fish kill let’s remember the ten years of advocacy that got us here. Proposed projects like California governor Jerry Brown’s massive tunnels to Southern California could siphon water from the Klamath watershed via diversions of its largest tributary the Trinity River. What’s more, water planning, and proposed legislation which calls for assurances against Tribal water rights, on the Klamath proves the threats to the ailing watershed are far from over.

October 2012

Fisheries: Klamath River Restoration Needs Tribal Unity - The Karuk and Yurok Tribes are parties to the KHSA Dam Deal. That means they could have invoked the Deal’s dispute resolution process as a means to block PacifiCorp’s algaecide use. The fact that these tribes did not invoke the process available to them to block use of the poison tells us a lot about current Klamath River politics. In the old days (before the KHSA and KBRA) united tribes and environmental groups would have challenged PacifiCorp’s use of poison in court.

Fisheries: Conservation, cooperation are keys to salmon recovery, by Billy Frank Jr. - Folks in Oregon are realizing that allocation, not conservation, is the real aim of Oregon’s Measure 81, which would restrict non-Indian commercial gillnet fisheries in the lower main stem of the Columbia River and increase sport harvest. The measure is still on the ballot, but even its supporters say they are walking away and urging voters to reject it in light of a compromise plan by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Fisheries: Looking for rain - On Oct. 10, the Karuk and Yurok tribes issued a joint press release accusing the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) of ignoring their "responsibility to protect endangered salmon." Karuk Tribal Chairman Buster Attebery said, "During meetings between the USFS and the Karuk Tribe, the tribe has asked that attention be brought to the failure of meeting water needs. The Klamath National Forest has yet to take any action regarding the reported shortage in water and the obvious failure to protect the fishery." But Patty Grantham, Klamath National Forest supervisor said there is no other water available to meet the adjudication.

Fisheries: Another fish barrier removed - Since 2003, some 232 fish barriers – usually road culverts – have been eliminated on nonindustrial timberland, returning some 500 miles of stream habitat to migrating salmon and trout through the state Department of Natural Resource’s Family Forest Fish Passage Program. The $17 million program investment to date is about to jump significantly: The state Legislature included $10 million for the program when it passed a $1 billion jobs bills this year.

Fisheries: Treaty Tribes release the State of Our Watersheds Report - Ongoing damage and destruction of salmon habitat is resulting in the steady decline of salmon populations across western Washington, leading to the failure of salmon recovery and threatening tribal treaty rights, according to a report released today by the treaty Indian tribes. The tribes created the State of Our Watersheds report to gauge progress toward salmon recovery and guide future habitat restoration and protection efforts. It tracks key indicators of salmon habitat quality and quantity over time from the upper reaches to the marine shorelines of 20 watersheds in western Washington. The report confirms that we are losing salmon habitat faster than it can be restored, and that this trend shows no sign of improvement.

September 2012

Fisheries: Bonneville Power Administration says fish restoration program cuts are a temporary blip - Even as it faces court mandates to make measurable progress in fish restoration, the Bonneville Power Administration is proposing to trim spending on wildlife programs due to a tight budget and higher than anticipated spending by the contractors who carry them out. The federal power marketing agency has asked some of its largest contractors to cut spending by 10 to 15 percent in 2012 and 2013.

Fisheries: Plentiful fall chinook, savvy tribal fishermen hit the Columbia River for peak of the migration - The fall chinook migration should peak this week in the Columbia River Gorge. As it does, some 400 Native American fishermen from the four tribes allowed to fish in the 147 miles between Bonneville and McNary dams will be furiously minding nets.

Fisheries: Doc Hastings launches a new effort to save dams from salmon - "Save Our Dams" read irrigation farmers' signs outside a Pasco hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee on Aug. 15. The committee chair, central Washington Congressman Doc Hastings, held the hearing on a bill — christened the Saving Our Dams and New Hydropower Development and Jobs Act — that would make it a whole lot harder to recover salmon populations in the Columbia River system and potentially a lot of other places. Hastings' bill would, among other things, prohibit any federal money from being spent on removing, partially removing, or studying the removal of any dam in the United States that generates hydropower or on any dam removal mitigation or restoration measures without explicit approval from Congress.

August 2012

Fisheries: The Northwest’s Salmon People Face a Future Without Fish - Five populations of Pacific salmon are endangered including the prized King Salmon and 23 are officially threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Today, Pacific salmon are facing yet another threat, which Billy Frank, Jr. fears could drive them to the brink of extinction. Salmon need the snowmelt and glacier-fed streams of the Northwest to survive. But since 1920 the average annual temperature in the region has risen by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That slight increase in temperature has caused the South Cascade Glacier at the Skagit River headwaters to shrink to half what it was a century ago, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Fisheries: Tea Parties, Property Rights and Anti-Indianism in the Klamath River Basin Featured - The article outlines how the local Tea Party Patriots in the Klamath River Basin have blocked efforts to preserve the salmon runs and protect the property rights of the tribes. The case is too complex to explain in short note the hypocrisy of the Tea Party Patriots, who are fighting to preserve the dams, but the E-Cat may offer a solution. Assuming it's not a huge hoax, the E-Cat is a "cold fusion" power plant. They are not available for sale, yet, but they are supposed to be later this year. A consortium of tribes might buy a bunch and compete to put the dams out of business by selling the power to the BPA.

Fisheries: Facts and fiction on the Klamath River Settlement Process and dam removal - Full water allotments went to farmers in the Upper Klamath this year, which left little water for salmon and the birds in the Nation's first wildlife refuges. Only water mandated by the Endangered Species Act to keep Coho Salmon alive will be available, regardless of the fact 380,000 Chinook Salmon are expected. This is two-and-a-half times more salmon than in 2002 when the fish kill occurred.

July 2012

Fisheries: Northwest 'Salmon People' Face Future Without Fish - Billy Frank, Jr. was 14 the first time he was arrested for fishing. Overfishing, loss of habitat and hydro-electric dams have depleted salmon populations throughout the Northwest. Five populations of Pacific salmon have been listed as endangered and 23 as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Today, Pacific salmon are facing yet another threat, which Frank fears could drive them to the brink of extinction. Salmon need the glacier-fed streams of the Northwest to survive, but since 1920, the average annual temperature in the region has risen by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fisheries: W. Wash. tribes say tribal fishing rights at risk - More than 150 years ago, American Indian tribes in western Washington ceded much of the state to the federal government in return for guarantees of salmon and other fishing rights. Now, those tribes say their treaty rights with the U.S. are at risk because the region is losing habitat that salmon need to survive. They say their treaty rights won't mean much if there's no salmon to harvest, and they're warning the federal government that they could resort to court action if more isn't done.

Fisheries: Quileute and Puyallup Tribes Keep Hatchery Programs Running - Featured in this season’s NWIFC Magazine is a story about how the Quileute and Puyallup tribes are picking up various aspects of the state’s hatchery management responsibilities as the state’s budget shrinks. You can download a free copy of the magazine here.

Fisheries: Settlements sidestep Klamath's real problems - Klamath Hydroelectric Project dams need to be taken down because they cause irremediable water quality problems, including toxic algae, but their removal should come through the FERC relicensing process. Fish ladders mandated by the National Marine Fisheries Service costing $240 million render the dams uneconomic and will trigger abandonment and decommissioning by PacifiCorp. In addition, the California State Water Resources Control Board will likely block dam relicensing by refusing to issue Clean Water Act certification because pollution caused by reservoirs cannot be remedied without dam removal. If the Klamath River is ultimately to be saved, legislation taking an ecological restoration approach similar to that being attempted for the Everglades will be necessary because it is the only scientifically valid solution. For more information, see

June 2012

Fisheries: Tagged salmon must be released in upper Columbia - Starting July 1, anglers will be required to release all chinook and sockeye with external floy tags and/or with one or more holes (round, approximately ¼ inch diameter) punched in the caudal (tail) fin. Several fish-marking programs are currently being conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Yakama Nation and the Colville Confederated Tribes to study survival and migration patterns.

Fisheries: Four tribes selling fresh fish along Columbia River - Tribal fish sales opened Monday along the Columbia River. The general public can buy freshly caught summer chinook, sockeye and steelhead from fishermen from the four Columbia River tribes -- Yakama, Nez Perce, Umatilla and Warm Springs -- along the banks of the river. Sales will be open until further notice, according to a news release from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which oversees tribal treaty fisheries on the river.

Fisheries: Treaty Rights Are Civil Rights - The tribes’ fight to preserve and protect the salmon and our treaty fishing rights has mirrored the civil struggle in the United States. That’s because treaty rights are civil rights, just like your right to vote, and they are protected under the U.S. Constitution. After a long, difficult battle, we are seeing our hard-won treaty rights slip away because salmon and their habitat are being lost faster than they can be restored and the state refuses to enforce its own laws to protect the resource.

Fisheries: NW Tribes Working To Develop Better Hatchery Fish - For years critics have included hatcheries in their list of problems for wild salmon and steelhead. Among the gripes: hatchery fish weaken the species’ gene pool by breeding with wild fish. Scientists at a laboratory in Idaho are determined to change. The goal? Build a better hatchery fish.

May 2012

Fisheries: Hatchery Salmon Posing Problems For Wild Stocks - A special issue in the journal Environmental Biology of Fishes looks at how hatcheries are affecting wild fish populations. One of the major findings: hatchery fish may be outcompeting wild fish for food in the Bering Sea.

Fisheries: Balancing fish and farms on a Washington estuary - Unlike in other parts of the Skagit River Delta, where conservationists have squabbled with farmers over salmon restoration, the work at Fisher Slough has tried to benefit both groups. By helping farmers reduce flood risk, among other things, the project has won their grudging support, and thus serves as a model for other projects seeking to resolve conservation vs. agriculture stalemates.

Fisheries: Reaction to Redden's pro-breach comments - Supporters of the four lower Snake River Dams continued to express disappointment today over retired judge James Redden's public support for dam breaching. U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and Terry Flores, executive director of the Portland based industry group Northwest RiverPartners said his remarks reveals he was biased against their side in the long running salmon versus dams court case.

Fisheries: Lawmakers expand Puyallup salmon research center - Washington lawmakers have provided $800,000 to expand Washington State University’s Salmon Toxicology Lab to look at stormwater and pollution effects on other critical species. The primary goal of the WSU expansion is to house researchers, fisheries, and private businesses collaborating, testing and solving critical questions for Washington’s multibillion dollar commercial and tribal fishing and shellfish industry.

April 2012

Fisheries: Port Angeles Harbor damage council schedules first meeting - A council tasked with creating a habitat restoration plan for facilities on Port Angeles Harbor, including the Rayonier pulp mill site — and work with those held responsible for the damage — will conduct its first meeting Monday, April 23.

Fisheries: Washington, tribes agree to salmon fishing seasons for 2012 - The 2012 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and treaty tribes, were finalized today during the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Seattle. The package sets regulations for salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, Washington’s ocean and coastal areas and the Columbia River.

Fisheries: Billy Frank, Jr.. - Polluted stormwater runoff barrier to salmon recovery and Puget Sound cleanup - Scientists have seen adult coho salmon dying within 24 hours of returning to some polluted urban streams in Western Washington. In some cases, 60 to 90 percent of the coho are dying before they can spawn. What’s killing the fish? It’s a poison soup of brake pad dust, oil, gasoline and other pollutants that are washed by rain or melting snow from yards, sidewalks, parking lots and roads right into our streams and Puget Sound.

Fisheries: First Nations don't want a chinook fight - First Nations from Vancouver Island and around the Fraser River want to meet with sports fishers to decide how best to protect the diminishing stocks of Fraser River-bound chinook salmon. "We don't want to fight with them, we want to sit down and see how we can work together for conservation," said Ernie Crey, fisheries adviser to the Sto:lo Tribal Council.

March 2012

Fisheries: Sea Lion Removal Authorised to Protect Salmon - NOAA's Fisheries Service said that it is authorising Idaho, Oregon and Washington to permanently remove the specific California sea lions eating the imperiled salmon and steelhead that congregate below Bonneville Dam as they head up the Columbia River to spawn.

Fisheries: Ceremonial Fisheries Culturally Important To NW Tribes - Columbia River Indian tribes are keeping their ancient traditions alive in the coming weeks with ceremonies to open their spring fisheries. Predictions of strong salmon runs are giving the tribes extra reason to celebrate.

Fisheries: Film examines challenges that face Puget Sound - A showing of “Sound and Vision,” a documentary film about efforts to protect and clean up Puget Sound, will be show March 12 in Tacoma. Told in eight parts, the film transitions to what is happening in the Puget Sound region and what is being done to protect the Sound. The benefits of river and estuary restoration is featured in the seventh portion of the film and features interviews with Jean Takekawa, manager of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, and Nisqually tribal member Billy Frank Jr.

Fisheries: Fall chinook redds on rise in Snake River, and tributaries between Lower Granite and Hells Canyon dams - Here is a story from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission that discusses an increased numbers of Snake River fall chinook redds: Continued high numbers of Snake River fall chinook redds throughout the Snake and Clearwater river basins demonstrate the success of tribal restoration projects.

February 2012

Fisheries: The Klamath dams are a massive investment - PacifiCorp operates seven dams on the Klamath River system. The six hydroelectric dams have a generating capacity of 169 megawatts. Replacing the Klamath River dams' renewable energy won't be difficult, PacifiCorp officials say. The company has developed nearly 1,600 megawatts of new wind energy in the past five years.

Fisheries: Research tracking changes - The Klamath River commonly is referred to in a cultural sense by tribes. But they're talking science, too. Tribes have invested in fisheries research to track changes.

Fisheries: ‘Our lives depend on the river’ - When tribal members and leaders up and down the Klamath River talk about cultural changes and issues, almost all of it circles around to the river. The Klamath River system is many things to many people. To the tribes, the water is everything.

Fisheries: Water quality, low flows stop ceremonies, dances - Even though each tribe has its own ceremonies, most involve either getting into or floating down the waterways. Poor water quality and low flows make that more and more difficult.

Fisheries: ‘The river is too hot, the fish are too soft’ - Before she was born, Mavis McCovey was made known to the Karuk people in a vision sent to the tribe's medicine woman. McCovey has been around long enough to remember a time when it was safe to swim in the Klamath River, before mining, logging, farming and ranching practices made the water too unhealthy. "In the beginning of time we believed that God made Ishi-pishi Falls for us so we could find those fish forever," McCovey said. "But the river is too hot and the fish are too soft. I don't eat fish from those falls anymore."

Fisheries: Origin sisters remain to guide salmon home - The origin story for the Yurok tribe says its traditional ancestral lands were prepared specifically for the Yurok people. The spirit people knew once the area was ready for the Yuroks they had to leave, said Yurok tribal elder Robert McConnell, 62. But they didn't want to. As Klamath River water quality continues to degrade, McConnell wonders how the sister rocks feel calling the salmon home to a place where dams and over-fishing mean they may not ever make it to their spawning grounds.

Fisheries: Voices along the river: Kathleen Sloan, director of the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program - "You can't just take out the dams, walk away and say, ‘Good luck, ecosystem.' We engineered the problem, and I believe we can engineer the solution. Down here, we are basically the tailpipe of the system. When there are big algae blooms upriver, we get the remnants down here. We have more fine silts coming down and salmon need cold, clear water with lots of gravel."

Fisheries: Dam construction degraded river water quality, hurt food sources - Native American cultures are traditionally subsistence-based, which means they eat what grows locally and is in season. In the Southern Oregon and Northern California areas, this means American Indians mostly lived off deer and elk meat, salmon, steelhead, acorns, wild turnips, and berries, such as huckleberries and wild strawberries. Dam construction and degraded water quality mean Indians are unable to continue eating traditional foods. The fish have stopped running because of the dams and poor forest management has negatively affected the animal population and the growth of berries, acorns and other traditional foods.

Fisheries: Chinook salmon could be a health hazard - Orcas are being poisoned by their own prized prey, the chinook salmon, scientists say. Natives eat a lot of this fish too. Are they getting contaminated as well? Ernie Crey, a senior policy adviser to the Sto:lo Tribal Council, wants to know.

Fisheries: Being Frank: We need to win the battle for salmon recovery - We are losing the battle for salmon recovery in Western Washington because salmon habitat is being destroyed faster than it can be restored. Despite massive cuts in harvest, careful use of hatcheries and a huge financial investment in restoration during the past four decades, salmon continue to decline along with their habitat.

Fisheries: Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs pushes for moratorium on chinook salmon fisheries - In a recent letter to federal fisheries and oceans minister Keith Ashfield, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs called for a stop to all nonaboriginal fisheries on early-spring chinook bound for and in the Fraser River. The Native leaders' group also told Ashfield that it will "encourage" all First Nations to cease fishing this largest of the Pacific salmon species "to mirror this moratorium". According to the letter, of which a copy was obtained by the Straight, these measures will help in the recovery of chinook stocks that have been in decline.

Fisheries: Tribes offer states advice in managing salmon fisheries - It long was practice by the Columbia River treaty tribes to avoid telling Washington and Oregon — at least in public — how to manage salmon fishing for non-Indians. About five years ago, that started changing, especially regarding spring chinook destined for the upper Columbia and Snake rivers. Tribal fishermen get exasperated watching a huge sport fleet in the metropolitan area catch hundreds of spring chinook while daily counts at Bonneville Dam remain in single digits. At last week's Columbia River Compact meeting in Portland, the tribes continued their trend of giving Washington and Oregon advice how to manage non-Indian fishing in the lower river.

January 2012

Fisheries: Endangered Species Act review needs all sides - U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings was vilified by environmental bloggers last month when he announced plans to revisit the Endangered Species Act...if the act is gutted, as environmentalists fear, they better take a hard look in the mirror before assigning blame. We've seen environmental lawyers wield the ESA like a bludgeon to smash hard-won compromises that would clearly benefit endangered Northwest salmon runs. As a result, after 20 years of trying to produce a salmon management plan -- called an Biological Opinion, or BiOp, for the Columbia River system -- the federal government remains stalled. The latest agreement, which would have provided nearly a $1 billion over a decade to improve fish and lamprey survival in the basin, looked momentarily like it might actually shift the battle to save salmon from the courtroom to the river. The proposal was supported by the Umatilla, Yakama, Warm Springs and Colville Indian tribes, the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Bureau of Reclamation and the states of Montana, Idaho and Washington. Of course, the environmental wing that supports dam removal responded to the agreement with a federal lawsuit.

Fisheries: Being Frank: Salmon are for everyone - I'm starting to wonder if the state's budget problems mean it will no longer be able to co-manage natural resources with the treaty tribes. Even President Obama has said recently that the state's budget crisis is a "huge problem." Like most of state government, natural resources agencies are likely going to see a huge hit during this upcoming legislative session as the state seeks to fill its $2 billion budget gap. The governor has wisely proposed a one-time transfer of $1.5 million from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife's wildlife fund to protect salmon production at several hatcheries. We hope the Legislature will support her plan. The state's budget problems, combined with the ongoing loss of salmon habitat and the state's inability to stop that trend, put tribal cultures and treaty-reserved rights at risk. The treaty tribes are committed to co-management. We know that difficult decisions must be made during these tough economic times, but they should not come at the further expense of tribal cultures and treaty rights or the fish production that we all, both Indian and non-Indian, rely on.

Fisheries: Winter fishery on B.C. coast may put inshore herring stocks at risk, scientists say - The winter herring fishery underway in the Strait of Georgia has alarmed some conservationists, with some scientists worrying that local resident herring populations could be damaged. First nations up and down the coast are convinced that past mismanagement of the herring fishery has resulted in the extinction of local resident stocks that used to support their ancient marine economy. Delegates to last summer’s Herring School conference hosted by Simon Fraser University said that aboriginal herring and roe fisheries in Sliammon and near Skidegate in Haida Gwaii were devastated by non-aboriginal commercial overfishing in the 1960s and have never recovered.

December 2011

Fisheries: Tribes propose plan to preserve Pacific lamphrey - The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s four member tribes – the Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama and Nez Perce – adopted a comprehensive restoration plan for Pacific lamphrey.

Fisheries: Study of Hood River steelhead finds natural selection in hatcheries causes rapid productivity declines in the wild - Genetic adaptation of hatchery steelhead starts hurting spawning success within just one generation, according to a study of Hood River fish that could lead to pinning down the causes of hatchery domestication.

Fisheries: Strong run of chinook predicted for spring - The 2012 forecast calls for 36,400 5-year-old chinook, which are larger and tend to return a bit earlier, and 277,400 4-year-olds. Four hundred 6-year-olds also are predicted.

Fisheries: Gov. Gregoire announces new initiative to create jobs, restore Puget Sound - "Shellfish have always been an important part of tribal culture here in Western Washington," said Billy Frank, Jr, chairman, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. "This initiative will help protect and restore shellfish by increasing accountability for activities that pollute shellfish beds and threaten our treaty rights. As co-managers, the treaty Indian tribes stand ready to work with our state, federal, and local partners, the shellfish industry and others to accomplish the goals of this initiative."

Fisheries: U.S. Judge Redden To Step Down from Long-running Columbia Salmon Case

Fisheries: First Nation leaders say they are closing B.C. borders to Gateway pipeline

Fisheries: Canada kept detection of salmon virus secret

November 2011

Fisheries: Oregon dam removal may cost California

Fisheries: Alliance forms to end Klamath water war

Fisheries: Rising streams welcome surge in salmon runs

Fisheries: Fear but little fact in Resighini Klamath Settlement opposition

Fisheries: Comment period for Klamath dams removal environmental report extended to Dec. 30

Fisheries: Feds announce salmon plan

Fisheries: Battle lines drawn over Klamath bill

Fisheries: Klamath Basin water bill is landmark, but will it pass Congress?

Fisheries: Condit Dam decommissioning takes the next step

Fisheries: Salish Sea: The Breakdown (Day 1)

Fisheries: Salish Sea: The Breakdown (Day 2)

October 2011

Deadly Salmon Disease Found on West Coast

The White Salmon runs wild

Crews breach Condit Dam in Washington

Condit Dam to be demolished Wednesday

Condit Dam to be breached Wednesday

Condit Dam next to tumble in restoration plan

Alaska Smokehouse Smoked Salmon Fillet in Wood Gift Box, Assorted Designs, 8-Ounce Each (Pack of 2): Salmon, Salt, Natural Alderwood Smoke.
Salmon Without Rivers: A History Of The Pacific Salmon Crisis [Paperback]: fisheries biologist Jim Lichatowich offers an eye-opening look at the roots and evolution of the salmon crisis in the Pacific Northwest. He describes the multitude of factors over the past century and a half that have led to the salmon's decline, and examines in depth the abject failure of restoration efforts that have focused almost exclusively on hatcheries to return salmon stocks to healthy levels without addressing the underlying causes of the decline.

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