the film
Commentaries and editorials

If Salmon Go, So Will Orcas

by Howard Garrett
The Oregonian, May 2, 2005

Mark Trahant's column, "Salmon tell us the good times are over" (April 25), was a rare show of good sense about salmon.

To begin to restore overall natural abundance in the upper Columbia watershed and to recover our wild salmon and steelhead to healthy, harvestable populations, we need to begin planning the removal of the four Snake River dams.

One special-interest group often left out of deliberations about salmon is the Southern Resident orca community (three pods of orcas living in the Puget Sound and Strait of Georgia off Vancouver, B.C.), which will itself be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act by the end of this year.

The evidence is overwhelming that winter and spring chinook runs, reduced to less than 10 percent of normal size primarily because of the four Snake River dams, have been absolutely essential sustenance for this orca community for thousands of years.

If the salmon disappear, the orcas also will die off completely. If we let this happen, future generations will know we could have prevented these extinctions.

Howard Garrett, Greenbank, Wash., Board president, Orca Network
If Salmon Go, So Will Orcas
The Oregonian, May 2, 2005

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