Monday, January 31, 2011

Save the Date: March 12th Summit on the Elwha River


March 12th from 9:30am to 3:00pm

The Steelhead Summit is a regular gathering of conservation organization members and other concerned citizens who meet to discuss current issues facing steelhead throughout their range in the Pacific NW and California. Jointly these steelhead advocates make up the Steelhead Summit Alliance which works together for the protection and restoration of native, wild
steelhead.

This Summit is one we have been anticipating for some time - an in-depth discussion of the steelhead conservation issues relating to the removal of the Elwha River dams and the associated policies and practices proposed relating to recovery of the steelhead fishery. Important topics include State, ONP and tribal hatchery activities on the River, recreational and tribal fishing and other related issues.

We are hosting a daylong session to meet with scientists and other professionals who will educate us on this issue. Jim Winton (Western Fisheries Research Center) has once again offered to serve as our host and we will meet at his conference room in Seattle near the University of WA. The address is: 6505 NE 65th St. and is at the junction of Sandpoint Way near the University District.

More information to come about this important Summit and the details on agenda items.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Innovation, Investment? Look No Further Than the Snake River


In Tuesday night's state of the union speech, wild salmon became a part of the national discussion when President Obama used fisheries management as an example of bureaucratic redundancy in the federal government joking, "I hear it gets even more complicated when they're smoked". The reference has proven to be a popular launching point for advocates of wild salmon who say that the president lacks the necessary understanding of salmon's complex biological, social and economic role in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps more significant than the off hand reference to salmon was the presidents emphasis on the importance of innovation and investment in clean energy and transportation, and how smart government spending can tap the potential of the American economy in the 21st century.

To find a perfect opportunity for visionary leadership and investment in clean energy and transportation President Obama need look no further than the Snake River. Currently millions of dollars are spent annually to maintain the four lower Snake Dams and to mitigate their impacts. Obama also alluded to the fact that government dollars need to be spent more wisely and in a fashion that fosters long term economic benefit and innovative solutions, sadly the status quo on the Snake is just one mitigation band aid after another and ensures further declines of wild salmon and steelhead. The President was right in his assessment that salmon management is complicated but its time for his administration to take the issue seriously and provide leadership on a path towards a lasting fix for the Snake system. The four lower Snake dams generate trivial amounts of energy. Investment in alternative and truly green energy such as wind could easily replace the power generated at Ice Harbour, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite dams and improved rail and highway transportation along the Snake River corridor would provide a salmon friendly alternative for transporting wheat and other products from the region.

At present the Snake River corridor is being managed to achieve one end transportation, specifically barging. Imagine for a moment the economic benefit of a restored lower Snake River. Creating 150 miles of free flowing river from Clarkston and Lewiston to the mouth of the river would bring tremendous benefit to the communities along the Columbia and Snake Rivers through tourism, commercial and sport fisheries, green energy, and rail shipping. If we hope to free the lower Snake River from dams and unlock the long sunken potential of the Snake River it will take leadership from Washington's senate delegation of Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and also the Obama administration. Leave the failed Bush plan behind altogether and bring stakeholders together to address the needs of every party at the table. The future of the Snake River's economy, culture and ecosystem depend on it.

Condit Dam Update

After last weeks post about the possibility of further delays in the removal of Condit Dam a reader posted a link to a excellent article about the dam removal. As it turns out white water kayakers are just as excited about this project as fish folks. Check it out for some insights into why the project may be delayed and why there is hope that the dam will still come down this year.

http://www.wetplanetwhitewater.com/index.php?/blog/comments/condit-dam-removal-accelerated-timeline/

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Greatest Migration

The Greatest Migration from EP Films on Vimeo.



Check out this short film documenting the migration of Snake River spring Chinook. From their feeding grounds in the Alaska, past 8 mainstem dams to the pristine headwaters of the Snake. Then find out what you can do to help save these one of a kind fish.

Take Action:
https://secure3.convio.net/sows/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=507

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Salmon Farms Must be Tested For Disease


A recent publication in the journal Science revealing the fact that a viral pathogen is likely responsible for high prespawn mortality in Fraser Sockeye has opened a pandoras box of questions about the potential role of open net pen salmon farms in introducing or spreading disease to wild populations. DFO has also indicated that similar viral symptoms have been identified in both chinook and coho, aduts and juveniles. While the magnitude of the disease and its impacts is unknown there is a glaring need for more research and it is critical that DFO test salmon farms as a potential source or vector for the disease. Canadians and Americans need to be concerned about these developments. Salmon do not stop at the international border and if a viral disease is widespread in the Strait of Georgia the chances are it is likely affecting Puget Sound salmon as well. More information at Alex Morton's blog:

http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/

sign a petition to Fisheries Minister Gail Shea:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEtNMExpVGpXZ2U4R3J1dFdhQVJxU3c6MQ

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Puget Sound Rivers to Close Early


WDFW announced today that for the second consecutive year fishing will close early in the rivers of the Puget Sound Basin. In recent years these populations have been plagued by poor marine survival and runs have dipped to record low numbers. The Skagit had been the last river in the Puget Sound to remain open during the traditional March/April catch and release fishery however in 2009, the last time the river remained open throughout the season, WDFW estimated that fewer than 3000 fish returned to spawn.

Understanding the environmental and biological factors contributing to recent declines in marine survival is a glaring research need. With rivers closing January 31st to protect fragile wild steelhead populations, angling opportunities on the iconic rivers of the Puget Sound are all but gone, at least for the time being. Returns to hatchery programs around the area have also been dismal and biologists on the federal Hatchery Scientific Review Group have expressed concern that large numbers of hatchery salmon and steelhead released into the sound may exceed the carrying capacity of the system. Under normal conditions steelhead typically have smolt to adult survival ranging from 10 to 30%. Over the last decade survival of hatchery smolts in many puget sound rivers has fallen below 1%, worse than pink salmon which enter the marine environment almost immediately after emerging from the gravel. While marine survival is undoubtedly higher for wild fish it has almost certainly hovered in the single digits in recent years.

Despite the bleak outlook for wild steelhead in Puget Sound habitat conditions in many river systems have actually improved since the 1980s when as many as 13,000 wild steelhead returned annually to the Skagit system. While WDFW has a limited number of tools at its disposal to increase marine survival the first steps should be reducing the number of hatchery salmon and steelhead competing for limited resources in the sound and to invest in research to better understand population trends, freshwater productivity and factors associated with high mortality in the marine environment. Recent budget cuts at the department may necessitate some of these cut backs in the hatchery system and the ineffectiveness of Puget Sound hatchery programs has raised eyebrows in Olympia where a state auditors report last year revealed that every Puget Sound blackmouth caught in the fishery costs taxpayers nearly 800 dollars. Clearly something has to give. Change has been incremental, WDFW has reduced the number of steelhead smolts in some systems and has ended outplanting in rivers around Puget Sound without collection facilities and more is coming.

All this is a painful reminder that without healthy wild runs there is no possibility of even catch and release angling opportunity. WDFW has been extremely aggressive in closing rivers which are failing to meet escapement goals. Their concern over catch and release on these fragile returns may be valid however the fact remains, Puget Sound steelhead are not in peril because of catch and release angling. In fact catch and release is likely at the bottom of the list of factors that may be contributing to declining steelhead returns and it is unfortunate that WDFW does not place equal emphasis on curtailing other impacts such as the ecological and evolutionary threat posed by hatchery programs or the long term effects of habitat degradation. Each year 58 million dollars are spent on hatchery programs around the state, why not divert some of that money to expanded monitoring and research on Puget Sound systems? Because, until wild fish recover all of the iconic rivers of the Puget Sound will remain closed.

Link to the WDFW news release:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/release.php?id=jan2511a

Monday, January 24, 2011

Condit Dam Removal Faces Another Delay


Originally slated for removal in 2006, it looks like the removal of Condit dam on the White Salmon River will be delayed for yet another year. The project had been delayed by unusually high levels of mercury trapped in the sediments behind the dam however permits obtained from the Washington Department of Ecology cleared the way for removal to begin in 2011. Now according to legal briefs filed by PacifiCorp (the dams owner) indicate the project may be delayed yet another year because of new requirements from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). After years of hard work by the PacifiCorp and WA DOE the new requirements from FERC appear to threaten the future of the dam removal project.

Enough is enough, this project has already been delayed far too long by bureaucratic hangups. Lets cut the red tape and get to work. Above Condit are 30 miles of unused habitat which once supported winter and summer steelhead, spring and fall Chinook, and coho. Despite the morass of regulatory bog downs these projects are actually relatively simple and can be completed much faster. For a perfect example one needs to look no further than Gold Ray dam which this fall was removed using stimulus funds. The project took about one year to complete from proposal to removal. If you're as frustrated about the seemingly endless number of delays to the Condit Dam removal project check out FERCs website and their Northwest Regional Office


More information in an article from the Columbian:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Awakening the Skeena


This Monday January 24th at 6PM Awakening the Skeena, The Wild Steelhead Coalition brings you a film documenting an epic month long journey from the Skeena's headwaters to the Pacific to raise awareness about proposed coal bed methane mining in the Sacred Headwaters.The Sacred Headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine are the source for three of the worlds greast remaining salmon ecosystems, check out the film for some epic scenery and more information about the proposed project. The film shows at the Guild 45th Theater.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Protect Puget Sound From Oil Spills


In the wake of the Gulf oil spill the need to improve Washington State's ability to respond to an oil spill has come to the forefront. Currently Washington does not have the capacity to respond to a major oil spill despite the fact that annually more than 15 billion gallons of oil are shipped through our waters. People for Puget Sound and a coalition of other organizations have launched a campaign to improve funding and regulations that protect Washington's waterways from a catastrophic oil spill. The Puget Sound ecosystem has already been severely impacted by industrial activity and biologists are only beginning to understand the magnitude and nature of these impacts. An oil spill would be a catastrophic set back in the effort to recover the Puget Sound's endangered ecosystem. In Prince William Sound the ecosystem has still not recovered more than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez spill. More information on People for Puget Sound's website:

http://pugetsound.org/programs/policy/action-alerts/011011oil/

take action:
http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5430/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3619

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Run of the River Just Doesn't Make Sense


Ashlu Run of River Facility was Built Despite Community Opposition


In BC a push for "greener" energy has created a massive wave of proposals to build new 'run of the river' hydroprojects on hundreds of rivers throughout the province. Many of the rivers threatened by new hydrodevelopment are home to important and fragile populations of anadromous fish. Run of the river hydroprojects will divert as much as 80% of a rivers flow for power generation regardless of the season, exacerbating low flow conditions during summer. One project proposed for the Kokish River will divert 10 kilometers of river through an intake pipe, dramatically reducing in river flows and habitat for wild steelhead and salmon. Rivers on the island and lower mainland need all the water they can get during the summer and these projects will have disastrous impacts on the many watersheds they're currently proposed in. More than 500 hydroprojects are currently on the table for rivers throughout BC including the Pitt, Harrison, Big Silver, Squamish, Lilloett, Gold, Heber, Kokish, Nimpkish, and many many more.

A Map of Proposed and Approved Hydro Projects in BC

Run of the river hydroprojects are dependent on the natural hydrology of the river to deliver energy and will supply unpredictable and relatively trivial amounts of energy. Despite this fact current regulation requires that generation continue throughout the year. Consequently during periods of summer drought, hydro facilities must divert large proportions of the river's flow or pay penalties to BC hydro. These projects absolutely must not go ahead on important salmon rivers and their tributaries. It is essential that the citizens of BC and and elsewhere who are concerned about the impact of run of the river hydro voice their opposition. Much of the energy generated by these private power facilities is being sold to the United States.

Run of the river hydro has already been developed on the Ashlu River, an important tributary of the Squamish River. Check out this video about the destruction of the Ashlu valley.



and this website for the story of the Ashlu
http://ashlu.info/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

lots of resources at Save Our Rivers:
http://www.saveourrivers.ca/

Steelhead Society of BC:
http://www.steelheadsociety.org/

Ray's Does Right by Wild Steelhead


After a flurry of emails and discussion Ray's has chosen to stop serving wild steelhead on their menus altogether. Peter Birk their excutive chef contacted us today and informed us of their decision. Thanks Rays for your willingness to listen and your commitment to sustainable fisheries and wild steelhead. I imagine there are alot of hungry steelhead lovers out there...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Declining but Not Listed...Yet


If you sent an email to Ray's boathouse yesterday regarding their decision to serve steelhead on their menu, chances are you got a form letter from Peter Birk explaining that Ray's is committed to providing sustainable locally harvested sea food to its customers and that steelhead are not ESA listed on the Peninsula and are therefore the fishery is sustainable. While the point is valid we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to be harvesting the last non-listed stocks of wild steelhead in Washington State.


Hello Peter,
Thank you for your detailed response and your efforts to ensure that Ray's only serves sustainably caught fish species. While the Olympic Peninsula Distinct Population Segment of steelhead are not currently listed under the ESA (per your link below). The runs in several Olympic Peninsula rivers have rapidly declined in abundance over the last decade. I have analyzed and graphed data from the Quileute River for you because you said your fish come from there, but I can assure you that the trends are similar if not worse in most of the other rivers. I obtained this data from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/snider_creek/snider_creek_data_11-29-10.xls The Quileute River run has declined in abundance by 60% over the last decade, at an annual rate of 5% per year. This resulted in the whole river failing to meet its WDFW-Tribes agreed upon escapement goal of 5,900 fish in 2009. In 2009, only 4,733 wild steelhead escaped to spawn in the Quileute. The tribe harvested 1,623 wild steelhead that year (not including their harvest of hatchery fish). Had the tribe not harvested these fish, or harvested less, the river would have met its WDFW-Tribe agreed upon escapement goal. This was true for the Queets and Hoh Rivers in 2009 as well. This is not responsible fisheries management. Furthermore, given the recent declines of Olympic Peninsula steelhead and the greater context of range-wide steelhead declines that I alluded to in my prior email, the sustainability of commercial wild steelhead harvest is questionable. Do you really want to serve wild steelhead from the last few populations that remained healthy longer than others until even they are collapsed and listed under the ESA? I hope not. Attached is a graph showing the Quileute steelhead escapement over the last 10 years. The data show a steep decline which is equivalent to 700 fish per year or 5% of the initial abundance per year. The graph shows that the abundance dipped below the escapement goal for the first time in 2009, and given its trajectory, is likely to in the future. The Tribe has harvested an average of 2720 wild steelhead per year over the last 10 years, and still harvested enough wild steelhead to cause the run to not meet escapement in 2009. Finally, your comments about some of the fish being of hatchery origin is irrelevant because tribal fisheries, which employ gillnets, are not selective, and are thus equally lethal to hatchery and wild fish.

See the graph above.

Email Rays at:

rays@rays.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rays Boathouse Serving Wild Steelhead


It has come to our attention that Ray's Boathouse in Seattle is serving wild steelhead caught on the Olympic Peninsula. Despite the fact that Peninsula steelhead returns continue to dwindle with each passing run cycle restraunts buy wild steelhead caught in tribal fisheries and advertise it as fresh and sustainable. This is absolutely unacceptable. Write Rays an email today and tell them to stop serving wild steelhead now.

rays@rays.com

Feel free to use this form letter.

Hello,

It has come to my attention that your restaurant is serving wild steelhead from the Queets River (and presumably other rivers) from the Quinault Indian Tribe. Wild steelhead are endangered species act listed throughout much of their range in the United States. In Washington State, stocks of steelhead in the Columbia River, Snake River, and all of Puget Sound have been listed under the ESA within the last 20 years. Steelhead in other areas in Washington continue to decline. In coastal areas on the Olympic Peninsula where the Quinaults and other tribes fish, rivers are largely protected in the Olympic National Park, so freshwater habitat is in very good condition. Yet in recent years several of the rivers including the Hoh, Queets, Quileute (including the Sol Duc, Bogahciel and Calawah), and others, have failed to meet the minimum spawning escapement goals established by the state. The Hoh river has failed to meet its goal the majority of years recently, and in 2009 none of the above mentioned rivers met their goals, and the Queets missed its goal by more than 1/2, meaning that less than half the minimum number of fish needed to spawn to produce the next generation did so. This failure to meet escapement goals is a major conservation issue and could result in coastal stocks being ESA listed eventually too. Yet it is totally preventable. In all of the cases where escapement goals were not met, had tribal harvest been curtailed, escapement would have been met, meaning that the run was large enough to meet the goals but due to irresponsible and unsustainable tribal overharvest, the runs did not meet their goals. I am very disappointed to see your fine restaurant supporting this unsustainable harvest of wild steelhead and would ask that your restaurant take it off the menu immediately. All of the data I have referenced above is available from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife if you would like to see it for yourself. Please stop serving wild steelhead. Thank you.

Sincerely,
xxxxxx

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Closed Containment: Not a Matter of If But When


The Courier Islander had a article last week on a new closed containment fish farm in Campbell River. Other projects are underway to build closed containment farms on land. It is refreshing to see industry finally tackling the environmental challenges posed by open net pen salmon farms but sadly, most of the big players in the BCs Aquaculture don't seem to be paying attention.

Rather than recognizing the weight of the scientific evidence demonstrating the dangers of open containment fish farms pose to wild salmon the industry has insisted on engaging in a high profile PR blitz to instill uncertainty in the Canadian public. A group of researchers paid by the salmon farming industry released a paper last month which used sea lice data for the last 9 years and trends in local salmon abundance to attempt to disprove the ever growing body of research pointing to salmon farms as one of the leading causes of wild salmon decline in the Georgia Basin. Predictably, they concluded that Broughton pink salmon were not being depressed by the effects of parasitic sea lice however a quick look at the research and it becomes clear the depth of the industry's willingness to deceive the public. The inference was drawn from only 9 years of data. Pink salmon populations are naturally highly variable to the point that even if there was a significant effect of sea lice on wild salmon the chances of detecting no effect in the data series is about 95%. Basically they didn't have data good enough to detect an effect so they concluded that there was none and engaged in a high profile PR campaign to refute the impact of the industry.

Now this week a DFO researcher and a group of collaborators published a paper in science pointing to a viral pathogen as the cause of extremely high rates of prespawn mortality in Fraser River sockeye and a leaked DFO brief revealed that the department has known about the virus since 2009 which has also been detected in both coho and chinook. Even more startling is the fact that the virus has been found in juvenile fish of all species and is thought to dramatically reduce marine survival. While the source of the virus may never be known the fact of the matter is open net pen fish farms are probably one of the best ways possible to expose wild populations to a pathogen. Could it be a coincidence that high prespawn mortality began appearing in migrating sockeye during the last two decades, the same time that the fish farming industry exploded onto the scene on the east side of Vancouver Island? Have these pathogens reached populations of salmon in Puget Sound where marine survival has been chronically low for the last two decades? Wherever fish farms have gone, devastation of wild populations has followed. The impact has been felt from the Broughton Archipelago all the way to the Clayoquot Sound where chinook populations collapsed from runs numbering in the thousands to last year when the run on the Burman river was estimated at 33 fish.

Despite the weight of the anecdotal and correlative evidence and some very well run, high profile research which incriminated salmon farms as the cause of pink salmon declines in the Broughton, DFO and Fish Farming Corporations continue to place the burden of proof on wild fish. All this begs the question, why aren't salmon farming companies seeing the writing on the wall? Why have they been so resistant to moving their operations to closed containment or onto land? Yes it will cost money but the environmental costs of the industry is already beyond our ability to comprehend. It is only a matter of time before the salmon farming industry moves to closed containment and a few visionaries are already leading the way, developing infrastructure and business models that can farm salmon sustainably without the huge cost to wild salmon. So salmon farming industry we're asking you, why wait?

Article in the Courier Islander:
http://www2.canada.com/courierislander/news/story.html?id=13efb164-5bb1-4658-a564-16069e24a031

Friday, January 14, 2011

Researchers Find Viral Infection Killing Fraser Sockeye


Over the past two decades elevated in river temperatures have led to high prespawn mortality in Fraser sockeye salmon. Compounding the problem is the fact that despite warm water temperatures, the sockeye which would normally stage off the river mouth, were instead entering the river as much as a month earlier than normal. The result has been catastrophic prespawn mortality, in excess of 95% for some run years. Fish simply die on their way to their natal river or on the spawning gronuds prior to successfully spawning. Now a group of Canadian researchers has publised findings from a four year study into prespawn mortality on the Fraser and their findings are raising concern about the well being of Fraser River sockeye. The group found genomic evidence of a widespread viral infection in Fraser River sockeye and that pre-spawn mortality rates increased 13.5 fold in infected fish. The story is still evolving and more research will be required to fully uncover the magnitude and scope of the disease, however many in BC are concerned that open containment fish farms in the migration route of Fraser sockeye are the source of the virus. Up to now fish farming companies have refused to release disease records but a recent decision by the Justice Bruce Cohen mandated the release of all disease records for the last 10 years. More information in the Vancouver Sun website:


Alex Morton's Blog:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Headwaters of History


The Pebble Limited Partnership are in full PR blitz attempting to steer the debate about the proposed project away from the reality about the potential impacts on Bristol Bay Salmon Fisheries. They're also attempted to paint defenders of Bristol Bay as "legal terrorists" and out of touch environmentalists who's only goal is stop job creation. The very fact that the Pebble Partnership is engaged in such extreme PR distortion shows they're desperately trying to salvage public approval for the project. This year is critical and continuing to voice our strong opposition to the Pebble Mine will be absolutely essential. For lots of updates and opinion on the pebble project as well as some photos and narratives on the early history of fly fishing check out the Headwaters of History Blog.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Act Now and Stop The Destruction of Coos Bay


The Oregon Department of State Lands is accepting comments through today on a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal to be located in Coos Bay Oregon. The natural gas pipeline and associated infrastructure pose a major threat to the habitat and ecology of the bay and it is critical that permits not be granted. The dredging alone required to accomodate the natural gas shipping would significantly impact the bays ecosystem by removing enough sediment to fill 14 Rose Bowls. Coos bay provides important habitat for chinook salmon, cutthroat and ESA listed coho as well as a huge variety of birds and other coastal species. Furthermore the proposed route of the pipeline will cross six major rivers and poses an unacceptable risk. Comments are due by the end of the day so act fast, visit a website set up by We Agree No LNG and submit comments to the Department of State Lands.

More information:
http://weagreenolng.org/southern-oregon/

Take Action:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/608/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5440

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Report Identifies Snake and Sacramento Among Ten Most Endangered Ecosystems in America


Last week a coalition of biologists and conservation organizations released a report highlighting the United States' 10 ecosystems most endangered by climate change. Not surprisingly, among the two most endangered ecosystems were the Snake River and the Sacramento River and Delta. Both watersheds are home to multiple ESA listed species, including salmon and steelhead and both have fallen victim to dam construction, water diversion and other industrial river uses. The report highlighted conservation issues in each ecosystems and outlined actions which will be needed to restore each ecosystem. Among the recommendations for the Snake was removing the four Lower Snake River dams which would hasten the passage of juvenile salmon to the sea, reduce thermal stress on migrating adult salmon and open up 140 additional miles of free flowing Snake River. In the San Francisco bay ecosystem water diversions are identified as the major barrier to recovery. See the report here:

http://itsgettinghotoutthere.org/ESC_Top_10_Digital.pdf

Monday, January 10, 2011

Orca Decision Could Help BC Salmon


Last month in a landmark decision a Canadian Federal court ruled that DFO had failed to adequately protect critical habitat for resident Orca Whales which are listed under the species at risk act. Among the concerns of the court was the failure to ensure the availability of adequate numbers of salmon, the primary food source for resident whales. The decision is significant because it recognizes the fact that without improvements throughout the Georgia Basin ecosytem Orca whales cannot recover and could give DFO a more broad mandate to recover diminished populations of wild salmon, particularly chinook. More information at the Georgia Strait Alliance:

http://www.georgiastrait.org/?q=node/989

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dylan Tomine in the Flyfish Journal


Steelhead fisher, writer and advocate Dylan Tomine recently published a short and informative piece on the conservation and political realities facing steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula. Given the tremendous value of these relatively intact watersheds the fact that wild runs continue to decline is unfortunate and could be reversed with the implementation of better fish management, and an improved relationship between native and sport fishers. The Fly Fish journal kindly allowed the WSC to reprint the article and post it on their website. Read it here:

http://wildsteelheadcoalition.org/tomine-OP-flyfishingjournal.pdf

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Big Oil Mega Loads to Impact the Lochsa



The Lochsa River is one of the largest tributaries of Idaho's Clearwater River, it is federally designated as a wild and scenic river and supports many of the Clearwater's remaining wild steelhead and chinook salmon. Now big oil companies, led by Exxon Mobile have proposed to permanently alter Highway 12 which runs along the Lochsa in order to ship massive loads of industrial equipment from Korean manufacturers to the Alberta Tar Sands. Highway 12, a scenic byway and the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition cuts through some of the most beautiful and rugged terrain in the region. The proposed shipping traffic would permanently alter the highway corridor to facilitate megaloads up to 500,000 pounds and will open the floodgates for increased truck traffic along the Lochsa River corridor. Despite the long term impacts of the project the oil companies and an attorney for the Idaho Department of Transportation are recommending the project go forward without first conducting an environmental impact statement. Given the scope of the project and the sensitive nature of the habitat and fish populations on the Lochsa this is extremely inadvisable. More information at the All Against the Haul website:

http://allagainstthehaul.org/

Monday, January 3, 2011

ODFW Open House in Salem


Tomorrow, January 4th the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be hosting its annual open house in Salem. If you live in Western Oregon this is a great opportunity to turn out, hear what the department has to say and make your voice heard on behalf of wild fish. The meeting will be held at ODFW Headquarters at 3406 Cherry Avenue Northeast in Salem and is scheduled to run from 6pm to 9pm. More information at the ODFW website.

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2010/december/122710.asp