salmon

Riccardo Rossi / Flickr

Despite its stunning natural beauty, lots of problems lurk beneath the surface of Puget Sound. The state agency in charge of coordinating its cleanup meets this week to finalize its latest “State of the Sound” report. 

Q&A: So Why Are Atlantic Salmon In The Northwest?

Aug 29, 2017

Last weekend, a net pen broke apart near Washington’s Cypress Island. The pen held 305,000 Atlantic salmon, non-native fish.

The company that owns the pen, Cooke Aquaculture, says it is unsure exactly how many Atlantic salmon escaped. It estimates somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 fish. Cooke and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are inventorying fish are still inside the pens.

WikiCommons

Wednesday, dozens of scientists sent a letter to Northwest lawmakers in Congress. In it, they argue in favor of spilling more water over dams to help fish.

Sharks Sighted On Oregon Coast (Calm Down, It’s Normal)

Jul 19, 2017
Orin Blomberg / Flickr

Cannon Beach Police advised beach goers this week of shark dorsal fin sightings in the Cannon Beach area. They also announced state parks would be posting warning signs on local beaches.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

Four West Coast senators are calling on the Trump administration to declare a salmon fishery emergency and provide aid to economically struggling coastal communities.

Oregon Sea Grant

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown are calling for a federal disaster declaration in response to two years of dismal ocean salmon fishing seasons.

The salmon cannon made a big splash a few years ago on local news stations and even had a cameo on HBO’s "Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver. Soon, it could propel fish into its biggest project yet.

Even with all the hubbub around its name, the salmon cannon isn’t so much an explosion as a flexible plastic tube that sucks fish up and over obstructions — like dams.

Helping juvenile salmon migrate out to sea has long been difficult and controversial. Barging is a common way to get the fish around dams.

The salmon are hauled around eight dams in the Columbia and Snake rivers. Idaho Conservation groups say this practice harms fish — and needs to stop now.

Seven groups sent a letter to NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, asking the agencies to this spring stop sending salmon along their migration route in barges.

A judge has ordered federal agencies to spill more water over Columbia and Snake river dams to help threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead, though not until next year after testing.

Amelia Templeton / Oregon Public Broadcasting

The West Coast is on track for a meager and potentially disastrous salmon season. Fishery managers today/Monday proposed closures and severe cutbacks protect a record-low run of Klamath River fish.

NPS Climate Change Response / FLICKR Creative Commons

A lawsuit filed today by salmon advocates aims to reverse a trend of high summer water temperatures on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.

Navy Sued Over Aircraft Hull-Scraping In Puget Sound

Jan 27, 2017
Flickr User COMPDUDE787 / Flickr

The Suquamish Tribe and two environmental organizations have filed the legal paperwork necessary to sue the Navy for what they say are violations of the Clean Water Act that could harm salmon and other marine life.

NOAA Finalizes New Columbia River Hatchery Plan

Jan 17, 2017
Associated Press / AP Images

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a new plan for managing Columbia River hatchery programs while protecting endangered fish. The plan calls for reduced hatchery production in some areas and a complete stop to using hatchery broodstock from outside the Columbia River.

Associated Press / AP Images

Federal officials are taking a closer look at dam operations, as they update a new recovery plan for threatened fish that migrate hundreds of miles up the Columbia and Snake rivers. The plan comes during renewed debate over whether the Snake River dams should be removed.

Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / FLICKR Creative Commons

Nationally, commercial fisheries are doing fine, but fishermen on the West Coast are hurting. An annual report out Wednesday from federal fisheries managers shows a stark fall-off in the big seafood money-makers of the Pacific Northwest.

‘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.

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