Endangered sockeye salmon beat projections in Columbia River. AP. Idaho Statesman.

After the collapse of the spring chinook salmon run into the Sacramento River this year, there was fear it would be general; but the sockeye salmon run bound for interior Oregon, Washington, and Idaho is 6 times that of last year.

There are numerous species of salmon and runs of those species.  In many years some do well and others not. In others almost all are up or down.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Good news! Endangered sockeye salmon beat projections in Columbia

  1. avatar Mike Post says:

    I was just there at Bonneville watching the counts. The sockeye numbers are good but the Kings are still low.

  2. avatar Ryan says:

    Its nice that the sockeye are returning in good numbers.. The sad thing is that WDFW and ODFW have opened commercial fishing on them through incidentals in the shad fishery. While a 150K sockeye may look great on paper.. Its a shame considering that there were 20 million just a 100 years ago.

  3. avatar Ryan says:

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/crc/crc27jun08.htm

    What a shame, ESA listed steelhead and summer chinook be damned greed prevails again!

  4. avatar Salle says:

    Don’t be fooled by the augmented numbers. Don’t forget that Gayle Norton decided that hatchery fish were to be included in these counts, rather than actual indigenous fish, so that they could expidite the event of delisting and to quell the calls for breaching of several dams along the upper Snake River.

    Don’t lose sight of how much POWER the BPA wields in all directions.

    En plus,

    Much of the environmental nightmares taking place in the Rocky Mountains as well as Alaska and the Canadian coast are contributed to, in a very BIG way, the loss of the anadramous fish populations return to spawning grounds.

    The forests have been depleted of nutrients, phosphorous and nitrates which are ocean derived, for so long that they now have what could be compared to HIV/AIDS. Beetle infestations, rust etc are disease-like events that contribute to the unhealth of the forests on all levels from the microbial to the omnivores and all of the flora. Without healthy forests, the inhabitants of all other locations are affected adversely through lack of clean water, healthy crops, elk and deer and all forage for wildlife, a trickle down effect in its virgin form.

    The manner through which these elements, phosphates and nitrates that are essential nutrients reach these remote ecosystems so far from the oceans from which they come, is the return of the anadramous fish who were spawned in those forest streams; steelhead, and the multiple salmon species.

    They feed on the carcasses of their parents at the spawning grounds and then head for sea. Fresh, cool, swift water in abundance is needed to carry them there intact and quickly. they feed in the ocean, they do not feed enroute to the spawning grounds in fresh water. Therefore, the nutrients arrive in the physical form of the returning fish. Studies have indicated that otter will adjust its reproductive patterns to timing in accordance with the salmon runs because they feed on them. All flora and fauna of a forest receives this arrival of nutrition either directly by eating the fish or by eating something that did. The trees receive this food via decomposing remainders of prey and detritus from flora, etc.. The cyclical thing. A keystone species by definition.

    The dams have interrupted this process and the affects are widely evident now.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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