Record returns for sockeye salmon in Sawtooth Valley

833 sockeye made the trip back to the Sawtooth Valley from the ocean this year-

This is a great success from the not too distant past when only one salmon returned — “Lonesum Larry”

Record sockeye salmon return. By Jon Duval. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer



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  1. jdubya Avatar

    Well this continues to be a banner year, relatively speaking, for salmon and steelhead returns, but this article is telling only part of the story.

    833 fish from about 150,000 hatchery smolt release?

    833 fish compared to historic runs of 30,000 fish?

    and the way to increase fish returns is to increase to 1 million smolt?

    The real reasons for these increased returns are the dumping of water over the Snake dams as ordered by the Federal Judge Reddon and a good feeding climate in the ocean. Why not just fix the dam problem for good, dismantle the hatcheries, and let the salmon recover on their own?

    Otherwise this “salmon recovery” is equivalent to Yellowstone Park raising wolf pups each year in pens, just to release them for the Montana hunters to shoot in the butt after riding them down in ATV’s.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    You’re right. Breaching the lower Snake River dams is a necessary component of salmon recovery.

  3. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I often wish I could have seen the run on watersheds that no longer exist at all. The Payette, the Boise rivers for example. that would have pumped tens of thousands of dollars, inclusive, in to local economies such as Boise, Caldwell, Mountain Home(a little bit away), Prairie, Atlanta, Idaho City, Lowman, Grandjean, on and on and on.

  4. Id Hiker Avatar
    Id Hiker

    Right on jdubja!!

  5. jdubya Avatar

    We may be getting closer:

    I like this quote:

    “”Tweaking a plan left over from the Bush administration, the national fisheries agency led by Oregonian Jane Lubchenco called for what it termed “rapid response actions” that would be handy, “on the shelf,” if fish runs fall below expectations.

    “What are those actions?” Redden wrote. “In light of the endangered Species Act (‘ESA’) mandate that the agencies give first priority to the species, why not implement those measures now?”

    Go Redden! Hold their feet to the fire!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan