Columbia River salmon fishing closed.

OLYMPIA – Starting Thursday (Sept. 13), fishing for salmon will be closed on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Hwy 395 in Pasco under new rules approved today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon

Deep River in Washington and other tributaries in Oregon (Youngs Bay, Tongue Point/South Channel, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough) are also closed to salmon and steelhead angling.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) already prohibited steelhead retention in much of the same area of the Columbia River several weeks ago, and the new emergency rule closes angling for both salmon and steelhead in those waters as well.

Bill Tweit, Columbia River fishery coordinator for WDFW, said the counts of fall chinook at Bonneville Dam are 29 percent below preseason forecasts, and on-going fisheries are approaching the allowable catch limits under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

“We recognize that this closure is difficult for anglers, but we have an obligation to meet our ESA goals so that fisheries can continue in the future,” he said.

Tweit said the upriver fall chinook run provides the bulk of the harvest opportunity for fall fisheries, but that returns in recent years has been declining due to unfavorable ocean conditions. The preseason forecast for this year is 47 percent of the 10-year average return of upriver bright fall chinook.

The new emergency fishing rule is posted on WDFW’s website at

Pesticides and salmon: Can we see a light at the end of the tunnel? – Watching Our Water Ways

Once again, the National Marine Fisheries Service has determined in official findings that three common pesticides — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — raise the risk of extinction for threatened and endangered salmon. By extension, for the first time, the agency also concluded that those same pesticides threaten Puget Sound’s endangered orca population by putting their prey — chinook and other salmon — at risk. This politically and legally charged issue — which has been around for more than 15 years — has gone beyond a debate over potential harm from pesticides. It also raises uncomfortable questions about whether our society will follow science as we try to solve environmental problems. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

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)

Male GM salmon can breed with wild species, researchers find–Vancouver Sun

More reasons to ban Net Pen aquaculture in Jefferson County.

7/14 Vancouver Sun

By Beatrice Fantoni, Postmedia News
On the heels of a new international guideline encouraging the labelling of genetically modified foods, Canadian researchers have found that transgenic Atlantic salmon can pass their genes on to wild salmon if they escape into the wild.
"It is possible for the genetic modification to enter wild populations through natural sexual reproduction," Darek Moreau, a researcher in evolutionary ecology at Memorial University in St. John’s told Postmedia News.
Moreau and his colleagues monitored the breeding behaviour of wild and transgenic male Atlantic salmon in a lab setting over two years. They found that wild male salmon were more successful at breeding, but the genetically modified males still managed to spawn naturally even if they tended to show less interest in female salmon and bred less frequently.
More at
Vancouver Sun Article on Male GM Salmon interbreeding with wild

No fish left behind…where will we fish next?

Any of us that love to fish have realized, instinctively, that fishing is in decline and that what we have lost in one generation, around the Straits, Sound, and out on the oceans, is a diminishing pie split among more and more people

This interesting article, by Science Daily, shows a bit more of the facts behind the belief. It’s real, and it’s getting worse.

‘No Fish Left Behind’ Approach Leaves Earth With Nowhere Left to Fish, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2010) — Earth has run out of room to expand fisheries, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia researchers that charts the systematic expansion of industrialized fisheries.

In collaboration with the National Geographic Society and published in the online journal PLoS ONE, the study is the first to measure the spatial expansion of global fisheries. It reveals that fisheries expanded at a rate of one million sq. kilometres per year from the 1950s to the end of the 1970s. The rate of expansion more than tripled in the 1980s and early 1990s — to roughly the size of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest every year.

Read the whole story here.

Chum Salmon on the Move in Chico Creek – Kitsap Sun

10/23 Kitsap Sun
By Christopher Dunagan
Chum salmon are swimming into Chico Creek a little early this year, but they’re finding no impediments at Kitsap Golf and Country Club, where a major stream restoration is nearing completion.
“Chum are spawning throughout the system,” said Jon Oleyar, a biologist with the Suquamish Tribe who keeps track of the local salmon migration. “This is the earliest they have been in Chico Creek for the past eight years.
“The fish look healthy,” he added, “and they’re a good size.”
More at

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