the film
Commentaries and editorials

Take a Second Look at Salmon Gambit

by Editorial Board
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - May 2, 2004

It's alarming that the federal government wants to treat hatchery salmon as if they were wild fish. The worry stems from the source of the idea, the Bush administration. Its environmental record provides the cause for caution.

Carried out properly, inclusion of hatchery fish in decisions about salmon-run recovery could benefit the entire Pacific Northwest. As a recently completed study of state hatcheries showed, it's possible to manage stocking streams to help wild fish.

The keys to the success of the effort in Washington state will be diligence, cooperation and continued reliance on good science. That's exactly what to expect from the undertaking involving state, tribal and federal interests, coordinated by Long Live the Kings, a non-profit group. With many of the study's recommendations already being carried out, the hatcheries reform is building a record that inspires considerable trust.

The most polite way to describe the administration's environmental record is to say it's in need of significant improvement. News reports last week indicated the administration might treat hatchery fish as simply a part of wild runs, with hatchery counts used as a reason to block or end Endangered Species Act protections for some runs.

The administration bases its broad hatchery ideas on a single court ruling. The responsible course for the government is to make sure that hatchery fish are considered in improving overall protection of salmon, not misused as an excuse to allow continued abuse of habitat.

Editorial Board
Take a Second Look at Salmon Gambit
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 2, 2004

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation