the film
Commentaries and editorials

Yes, Count Wild Salmon

by Les Wigen
Lewiston Tribune, May 16, 2004

It was great to see the article in the Lewiston Tribune on April 30 concerning hatchery fish be counted with the wild fish. Wild and hatchery fish are born and raised from salmon that return from the ocean. After spending three to four years in the ocean both return to their native waters and spawn and die -- some into native waters, some into the hatcheries along the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The offspring that are born from all of these salmon have an adipose fin. So let's raise these smolts in the hatcheries and stop cutting or burning the adipose fin off of them! Send them out to the ocean and when they return they will be all wild salmon.

The issue isn't only hatchery salmon. If we want to return more salmon, then get rid of the terns that live and breed on Rice Island in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam. Those terns consume over 25 percent of the salmon smolts on their way to the ocean. On their way back from the ocean, the average seal will consume over 100 salmon a day! Then , those salmon that get past the seals face several gill nets on the Columbia River.

The Endangered Species Act is driving agriculture, forest and mining into bankruptcy because of the sake of this policy, the Endangered Species Act, that was placed on the books in Washington, D.C., in the 1970s. ...

I commend NOAA-Fisheries and Bob Lohn for their stand on counting hatchery fsh in the formula for counting salmon along with the wild salmon. Save our dams!

Related Pages:
Where Salmon Mortality Occurs compiled by

Predation of Juvenile Salmon in estuary below Hydrosystem corridor
Caspian Terns consume 10.4% of spring/summer juvenile chinook, 5.4% of juvenile Fall Chinook and 18% of juvenile steelhead. Cormorants consume approximately 3% and gulls consume another 1% of juvenile salmonids. Comparable to the predation by birds, it is estimated that harbor seals may consume 14.4% of juvenile chinook.

Adult Salmon Mortality by Seals and Seal Lions
Returning adult salmon face predation by seals and sea lions at an estimated mortality rate of 1% to 1.5%.

Les Wigen, Whitman County Commissioner, Colfax
Yes, Count Wild Salmon
Lewiston Tribune, May 16, 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