Northwest fisheries managers must respond faster to reduce fish kills of sockeye salmon in the Columbia River Basin if warm-water conditions return, a draft report taking a hard look at last summer’s massive die-off says.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released late last month describes conditions and assesses actions of fisheries managers in a year when 90 percent of the 510,000 sockeye salmon that entered the Columbia died.
Endangered Snake River sockeye perished at an even greater rate, with only about 1 percent of the estimated 4,000 fish returning from the Pacific Ocean surviving the 900-mile journey to central Idaho.
“We need to be faster,” NOAA’s Ritchie Graves said. “There was too much talking and not enough action and experimentation.