An excellent overview of the state of the salmon in Puget Sound

Chris Dunagan is one of the best reporters in the Pacific NW covering the Salish Sea. Here’s a great overview of the state of the salmon.

Are we making progress on salmon recovery?

In recent decades, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to restore habitat for Puget Sound salmon. In this article, we look at how scientists are gauging their progress. Are environmental conditions improving or getting worse? The answer may depend on where you look and who you ask. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

https://www.eopugetsound.org/magazine/is/salmon-recovery

Northwest farmers urge Trump administration to sidestep salmon protection rules – AP

Ah yes, some of the folks in Eastern Washington and Idaho, people who’s livelihood was created by the tax payer funded dam projects that irrigated the dry eastern side of our state are back wanting the Feds to kill off the remaining runs of salmon for their short term benefits. These people, who have continued to complain for decades about the intrusion of the very government that created the dams and their farms, now wants it’s help again. This time to overrule the laws that protect our remaining runs of salmon. One of the big supporters of these folks has been Rush Limbaugh, among other radical right wing folks. You can bet your bottom dollar that if this committee ever comes to fruition, there will be not a single environmental representative on it.

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee with the power to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. Known as the “God squad” because its decisions can lead to extinctions of threatened wildlife, it has only gathered three times — the last 25 years ago during a controversy over spotted owl habitat in the Northwest. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/trump-administration-urged-to-avoid-salmon-protection-rules/

Some salmon forecasts like Puget Sound coho show an upswing from last year – Seattle Times

A small bit of good news.

State Fish and Wildlife unveiled salmon forecasts to a packed house in Olympia on Tuesday, and as usual there are some highlights mixed in with lowlights as the first steps are taken in this lengthy process of setting fishing seasons. The good news is a Puget Sound forecast of 559,045 coho (267,745 wild and 291,301 hatchery) is a drastic increase from last year’s dismal forecast of 255,403 (87,359 and 168,585) that led to one of the most contentious disagreements between state and tribal fishery managers on how to carve out fisheries. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/some-salmon-forecasts-like-puget-sound-coho-show-an-upswing-from-last-year/

See also: Far fewer pink salmon are expected to return to the South Sound this year http://www.thenewstribune.com/outdoors/hunting-fishing/article135528528.html Jeffrey Mayor reports. (News Tribune Tacoma)

Chum Salmon Runs normal on Snow & Salmon Creeks

Just in from Al Latham. While not as big as some years, it seems statistically pretty normal

Salmon Creek chums are up to 1,667 and 262 Snow Creek chum have been passed upstream of the WDFW station.  It’s important to note that the Snow Creek graph doesn’t include all of the fish that spawn in the ¾ mile downstream between the trap and the bay.

salmon-creek-2016-numbers

Snow Creek chum are negotiating the new channel in the estuary just fine and there are some redds in that lowest stretch.

snow-creek-chum-chart

The upper reaches of  Salmon Creek chum territory are quieter than last year but the fish are still coming in at 60 -130 per day.

Here is a male that came through on Tuesday – my friend Renee Karlovich took the photo.

chum-salmon-on-salmon-creek

‘Grim’ Fraser River salmon runs even worse than forecast -Canadian Press

The neglect of the Fraser runs under the Harper Regime was legendary. Then global warming. Now this.

This year’s Fraser River sockeye return, already forecast to be below average, has turned out to be even worse. One First Nation leader described the return as going from poor to grim. The forecast run this year — which has traditionally been one of the low-run years in the four-year cycle of sockeye — was 2.27 million. That was already below the average of the past half century of 3.9 million. The latest estimates from test fisheries and through sonar counts show that only about half of the expected sockeye had returned by last Friday: 400,000 to 500,000 of the anticipated 840,000, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission, a Canadian-American agency that helps manage fisheries. The peak of the remaining summer sockeye run is expected about mid-month, but there is little expectation that the numbers will change, said Pacific Salmon Commission executive secretary John Field. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

'Grim' Fraser River salmon runs even worse than forecast

See also: Federal government expected to act on 2012 report examining Fraser River sockeye http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/federal-government-expected-to-act-on-2012-report-examining-fraser-river-sockeye (Canadian Press)

Angry anglers protest closure of Skokomish River – Kitsap Sun

Fish wars continue long Skokomish river. Recent closure of fishing by the tribe based on federal lawsuit crates protest from nontribal sports fishermen. well the protesters were concerned that this may be the start of a trend by the tribes, it’s been my experience that other tribes in the area are not interested in taking this type of action. As the fisheries continue to decline from a variety of reasons, the unfortunate reality is that they may be forced to do so. And in interviews that I’ve done with oldtimers of all political stripes on the Olympic Peninsula, a common thread running through them,regardless of whether they are tribal or non-tribal people is that the fishery should be closed for an extended period,to help replenish the stocks. 

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/angry-anglers-protest-closure-of-skokomish-river-38ce4140-5d01-643b-e053-0100007faefe–388763471.html

Washington tribe joins legal challenge over modified salmon – AP

The Quinault weight in to stop the insanity of the FDA allowing more modified genetically engineered fish into our waters. What this is about, is a bureaucracy thousands of miles away, deciding that it is ok to grow these fish in waters alongside native species. What possibly could go wrong? Let’s start with sea lice and a breeding ground for virus’s. Just like north of us in B.C.

A Native American tribe in Washington state has joined a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s approval of an Atlantic salmon genetically modified to grow faster. The Quinault Indian Nation on Friday joined the lawsuit that 11 other fishing and environmental groups filed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and others in late March. The lawsuit alleges the FDA didn’t fully analyze potential environmental effects before approving the faster-growing salmon for human consumption in November. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/washington-tribe-joins-legal-challenge-over-modified-salmon/

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