National Fisherman


State and federal wildlife officials are scrambling to figure out how hundreds of endangered salmon recently became stranded in irrigation ditches in the Colusa basin, west of the Sacramento River.

Finding the answers is a matter of some urgency, because tens of thousands of fall-run Chinook salmon are weeks away from their annual return from the ocean to the Sacramento River and could also become trapped.

"There has been some stranding in the past, but as far as I can tell, the numbers have been significantly lower than this," said Jeffrey McClain, assistant supervisor at the National Marine Fisheries Service office in Sacramento. "It's significant, and that's why this is a serious thing for us to figure out."

The rescues were led by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In 11 separate trips over a month, starting May 2, officials rescued 312 adult salmon headed upstream. Of these fish, at least eight were determined to be spring run, and the balance were winter run.

Spring-run are listed as a threatened species under federal law, and winter-run are endangered.

Read the full story at the Sacramento Bee>>

Inside the Industry

Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

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