The best fall chinook salmon run in years has made this a banner season for Columbia Basin anglers. River towns, outfitters, shops and motels throughout our region have shared in this unexpected bounty.
Unfortunately, the news about many of our region's other salmon and steelhead populations is far less encouraging. And the future for all the basin's endangered wild salmon remains very much in doubt.
Amid this busy fishing season, federal agencies have released a draft of their latest plan to restore endangered Columbia-Snake salmon. Ironically, the government's fourth attempt in 12 years to craft a legal Biological Opinion calls for rolling back the very provisions that helped bring our iconic fish home this year – most notably additional spill.
For years the Bonneville Power Administration and the other agencies have resisted calls by fishing and conservation groups, the State of Oregon, the Nez Perce Tribe and the federal judiciary to develop a recovery plan guided by science and law. The recently released draft plan fails to address the issues that forced the court to reject the three previous versions. Worse, it would cut back on existing critical protections for wild salmon, including spilling water over dams to aid young salmon's spring-summer migration to the ocean. Rather than build on this limited success, the agencies want to take us backward.
The federal court began ordering increased spill in the spring and summer in 2006, and wild salmon – and fishing businesses – have benefited greatly. While current court-ordered spill levels have aided endangered populations, 13 Columbia Basin stocks remain at risk of extinction. More help is needed.
Read the full story at the Spokesman-Review>>
National Fisherman Live: 4/22/14
Brian Rothschild of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries on revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.
The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.