Federal agencies have been planning how to recover endangered salmon and steelhead populations from risk of extinction for 30 years - spending substantial time, energy, and financial resources developing plans, only to have those plans deemed illegal by district Courts, putting the agencies back at square one.
Despite all of this planning for recovery, salmon and steelhead returns continue to decline. This year, spring chinook returns were the worst they've been in recent history. The summer steelhead season on the Snake was preemptively closed due to shockingly low projected returns.
Our opportunities to catch these magnificent fish seem to get worse each year - shorter seasons, smaller harvest allowances, and less of a chance to actually keep any of the fish you catch.
Meanwhile, the opportunity to actually recover these species within our lifetimes becomes even less likely as agencies drag their feet with planning.
While we suffer the impacts of poor fish returns, federal agencies acknowledge that removing the four lower Snake River dams is the only alternative that would improve salmon runs enough to actually allow these species to recover from risk of extinction. Instead of preferring dam removal in their newest salmon recovery plan, these agencies decided to move forward with status quo management based on flexible spill. Status quo management won't recover these fish or improve our fishing opportunities.
The time to act is now. We must change course if we want to be able to take our grandchildren fishing for chinook or summer steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. As a region, we must come together and develop a plan to secure a free-flowing Snake River and reap the economic and recreational benefits this would provide.
Use the form below to tell your elected representatives that we need bold action and urgent leadership to recover salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
Use this form to send an email to 4 people: your 2 senators, representative, and governor.
Forward this form to your personal networks so they have an opportunity to weigh in.
Phone calls are a more impactful form of communication - build on your email with phone calls to your representatives' offices.