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Ecology and salmon related articles

Fishing Guide: WA Dams
Contribute to Salmon Season Shutdown

by Eric Tegethoff
Public News Service, April 13, 2022

Snake River Steelhead Triggers Early Warning Indicator, NOAA is trying to ignore that fact. The salmon-fishing season on the lower section of the Columbia River was shut down a week ago, prompting folks to call for more action to save the fish.

Bob Rees, executive director of the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association, said the April 6 closure directly impacts rural communities in Washington and Oregon.

"The industry that supports us and our families really represents one of the greatest transfers of wealth from urban to rural communities," he said. "Most of our clientele come from the city. They want to come out and enjoy these beautiful rural settings along the lower Columbia River and have a chance at one of these prized salmon."

Many rural communities still are recovering from the pandemic. Rees noted that this time of year, sportfishing typically represents the only source of tourism for communities along the Columbia.

As salmon travel up the Columbia into Idaho to spawn, Rees said, four lower Snake River dams in southeast Washington turn the river into a series of warm-water reservoirs that have reduced the numbers of wild salmon to a few hundred in some years. In turn, that reduces the number of meaningful fishing days people get.

"Even though we are targeting hatchery fish only," he said, "the number of wild fish that come back to those spawning grounds directly dictates what our opportunity is to catch those hatchery fish."

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee have said they'll have an actionable plan on replacing the four lower Snake River dams by July. Rees said it's the most encouraging movement he's seen working on this issue for the past two decades, but he warned solutions will have to come quickly if salmon species are going to survive in the region.

"These fish don't have another two decades," he said, "so it needs to be something that is meaningful, and it needs to have the support of other elected delegates in the Pacific Northwest."

Related Pages:
Columbia River Salmon Return Forecast. And What It Means for the 2022 Fishing Season by Eric Barker, Tri-City Herald, 3/6/22
Washington Closes Part of Snake to Steelhead Fishing by Staff, Lewiston Tribune, 9/3/21
Stretch of Columbia River Closing to Salmon, Steelhead Fishing by Bill Monroe, The Oregonian, 9/2/21
Idaho Allows Limited Steelhead Season by Staff, Lewiston Tribune, 9/2/21
Amid Poor Runs, Idaho Officials Propose Limited Steelhead Harvest by Staff, Lewiston Tribune, 8/31/21
Spring Offers Big Steelhead Fishing Opportunities in Smaller Rivers by Idaho Fish & Game, EIN Presswire, 2/18/21
Steelhead Closure Extended In Eastern Oregon by Staff, KXI, 12/26/19
Steelhead Closure Extended on Columbia River by Staff, The Astorian, 12/23/19
Limited Steelhead Season Approved by Staff, Moscow-Pulmman Daily News, 12/19/19

Eric Tegethoff
Fishing Guide: WA Dams Contribute to Salmon Season Shutdown
Public News Service, April 13, 2022

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