If you’re wondering why salmon and steelhead populations in the Snake River are in trouble, the answer is obvious: It’s the four dams on the lower Snake and the reservoirs behind them: They kill too many fish.
Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee took two actions over the past week that represent steps backward in steelhead and salmon conservation.
These remarks were delivered on Thursday, May 13, at the 2021 Environmental Conference at the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University by Chris Wood, the President and CEO of Trout Unlimited.
This week, American Rivers named the Snake River America’s No. 1 Most Endangered River of 2021, pointing to perilously low returns of Snake River salmon and steelhead, and the urgent need for lawmakers and communities to come together to develop a comprehensive economic revitalization plan.
Dean hollered from upstream as a steelhead took his fly, then hollered again a moment later as the fish released it. At another spot Dean had a nice fish on for perhaps a minute, his rod bowed and bobbing. But that steelhead, too, practiced detachment. Welcome to winter steelhead fishing.
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) has stepped up to lead toward a more optimistic future for the entire Snake River basin. Rep. Simpson laid out a proposal that would create new clean energy sources, build new infrastructure, and ensure the needs of local communities, irrigators and shippers are met. The proposal would also restore runs of healthy, harvestable Snake River salmon and steelhead by removing the lower four Snake River dams.
The Salmon SuperHwy’s Annual Report highlights the power of conservation partnerships to deliver real benefits for coldwater fish and local communities, even in troubled times.
Today, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced the River Democracy Act of 2021, which would create new Wild and Scenic River designations for a number of stream segments in Oregon where TU is working to protect and restore habitat, water sources and fishing opportunities. TU supports this legislation, which is based on more than 15,000 recommendations submitted by Oregon residents.
A fishery management plan being developed for southwest Oregon coastal rivers has generated some debate over whether to temporarily reduce or prohibit harvest of wild steelhead.
This past Tuesday, 10 of the most respected scientists who, collectively, have studied Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead for 400 years, penned a letter to the governors of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington stating that achieving healthy and harvestable/fishable abundances of Snake River salmon and steelhead cannot be achieved without removing the four lower Snake River dams.