salmon

‘Salmon Camp’ Helps Students Connect With Nature

Sep 2, 2016
Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

  Pulling on a dry suit isn’t easy, even if it is several sizes too big.

“Can you pull your socks up around your jeans?” fish biologist Jens Lovtang asks a camper.

“Ah, I better not get my Batman socks wet,” the camper responds.

Dr. Ron Hardy, University of Idaho Aquaculture Research Institute / Northwest News Network

They’re billed as vegan rainbow trout, but their new menu, developed by the University of Idaho’s Director of Aquaculture Research, Ron Hardy includes a little fish oil. So more accurately, you might call these fish pescatarians.

The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish.

River Design Group

Evans Creek is barely a trickle. A dry summer in Southern Oregon means the important salmon and steelhead creek, a tributary of the Rogue River, disappears below the gravel bed in places. Seemingly stagnant isolated pools are all that remain in some areas.

Loren Kerns / Flickr

Some good news for anglers in Central Oregon: The state department of Fish and Wildlife has lifted fishing restrictions on the Lower Deschutes River.

Alan Sylvestre / EarthFix

Oregon and Washington officials are curtailing fishing starting Saturday on many of the states’ rivers in hopes of helping salmon, trout and steelhead survive drought conditions.

Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

Federal hatchery managers are keeping an eye on warming river water as temperatures continue to rise throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Ken Balcomb / Center for Whale Research

It’s been a one-two punch of low snowpack last winter and not enough rain this spring for many Northwest rivers. Warm temperatures and low river flows are causing problems for salmon making the return migration.

WikiCommons

The legal battle over maintaining dams and salmon in the Columbia River is back in court this week. On Tuesday, a new judge will hear arguments on the Obama administration's latest salmon protection plan.

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

It's been seventy five years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam. Tuesday, a group of inland Northwest tribes released a work plan to investigate fish reintroduction.

Benjamin Cody

Construction begins this week on a state project in the Methow Valley that will give fish a boost of cold, clean water in rivers near Twisp, Wash.

The state and a trout conservation group are pouring about $10 million into a whole new irrigation system there.

Back in 2011, the Methow Valley Irrigation District was fined more than $30,000 for its old, leaky irrigation system. The state determined it was wasting water through too much seepage in its open canals.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Salmon may soon have a faster way to make it around dams. There’s a new technology that’s helping to transport hatchery fish in Washington. It’s called the salmon cannon — yes, you read that right.

Danny Didricksen / Earthfix

Flash floods this August swept mud, debris, and ash through north central Washington. All that gunk has created an unusual problem for farmers and migratory fish.

Farmers usually install screens on the end of irrigation pipes to prevent clogs. Those screens also keep fish from being sucked out of the water and into farmers’ fields. But fish screens do little good when they get inundated with debris and mud.

Danny Didricksen is with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He said crews have been working non-stop to help unclog fish screens.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

It’s back to court for the federal government and salmon advocates. Fish supporters Tuesday once again challenged the government’s plan to manage dams on the Columbia River and protect endangered salmon and steelhead. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

MrPanyGoff / Wikimedia Commons

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades. Tribal leaders from across the region gathered for the past two days in Portland to strategize how to return salmon to their full historic range.

Wednesday afternoon, a federal fisheries management panel approved what some charter captains are calling the best ocean fishing season in 20 years. It's a big turnaround from the recent past when ocean salmon fishing was sharply curtailed or not allowed at all.

Roger Tabor / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Crews are finishing the largest dam removal in history on the Elwha River. It's on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. A plan to restore fish runs there includes releasing more than 7 million hatchery salmon and steelhead.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Dozens of central Washington fruit farmers are still high and dry without water for their valuable fruit trees. Many irrigation pipes don’t reach the lowered Columbia River behind the cracked Wanapum Dam.

But it turns out the farmers’ rush for water is now being slowed because of concerns over endangered tiny baby salmon. 

Tom Banse

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, there at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.  Those epic migrations ended in 1938 with the construction of Grand Coulee Dam.  This week, tribes from both sides of the U.S.-Canada border along with scientists and policymakers are meeting in Spokane to figure out how Columbia River fish could be restored to their entire historical range. 

Ashley Ahearn / KUOW

Steelhead in Puget Sound have been listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act since 2007. Millions of dollars have been spent improving the habitat of this iconic fish, but the population isn’t increasing. In fact, a lot of the fish aren’t even making it out of Puget Sound and scientists can’t pinpoint why.

Shawn Murphy / Flickr

Senator Maria Cantwell wants the White House to stop a proposed mine in Alaska that she says will threaten jobs in Washington state. The proposed Pebble Mine, in Western Alaska, sits near Bristol Bay, which is one of the world’s most abundant salmon habitats. About 1,000 Washington residents hold commercial fishing permits there. At a rally at Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle, Cantwell described the mine as a “giant cauldron of toxic waste.”

Feds Stand By Current Dam, Salmon Plan For Columbia

Jan 20, 2014
Ann Larie Valentine/Flickr

The federal government Friday said its plan to protect the Columbia River’s endangered salmon and steelhead is working. That means little would change for dam operations on the West's biggest river.

How A 3D Printer Helped Preserve A Sabertooth Salmon

Jan 7, 2014
mrdavisdc/Flickr

For years paleontologists have searched for a way to duplicate fragile fossils without damaging them. Now scientists with the University of Oregon say 3D printing is the secret.

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking the public to comment on a new fish management plan. The plan would eliminate the release of hatchery-raised fish in three tributaries to the lower Columbia River.

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

When Columbia River salmon reach the ocean, they may swim off in different directions than previously thought. that could require new thinking on how many fish are surviving their journey to the sea.

Fishermen around the Northwest are enjoying some exceptional salmon runs this autumn. Puget Sound is teeming with pink salmon and there's a record-breaking fall Chinook run in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Two federal agencies are recommending that a 50-year-old treaty between the U.S. and Canada be renegotiated to give Northwest electricity ratepayers and salmon a better deal.

USFWS Pacific Southwest Region

Not much would change for dam operations on the Columbia River under the federal government’s new draft plan for protecting endangered salmon and steelhead.

Out-Dated Dam Killing Thousands Of Fish Near Tacoma

Aug 30, 2013

Right now there are tens of thousands of salmon - including endangered species - dying at the base of an out-dated dam on the White River east of Tacoma. The Buckley Diversion Dam is blocking their homeward journey to spawn in the Mt. Rainier watershed. Local tribes say the federal government is failing in its responsibility to transport the fish around the dams on this river.

New Transboundary Salmon Recovery Effort Launched

Aug 21, 2013
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Leaders on salmon research and recovery from the U. S. and Canada came together in Seattle Wednesday to announce a new research effort. It’s called the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project.

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