"Fish are to the northwest what wheat is to Kansas.
Fish are the big integrator. They spawn 900 miles inland and they travel
to the ocean all along the coast. They bind this region together."
--Ed Chaney, Idaho fishery consultant
"Salmon are part of the heart and soul of the Pacific
Northwest. They have defined its history, and its culture, and hopefully
its future." --Will Stelle Jr., National Marine Fisheries
Salmon Mortality in 1996:
Out of approximately 1000 native anadromous stocks in Oregon, Washington
and California, 106 are extinct and 314 are at risk of extinction.
Currently, hatcheries produce two-thirds of
the salmon in the Columbia.
- Mortality in the ocean increases with El Niño conditions
and ocean trolling in Alaska and British Columbia.
- The Chief Joseph
and Hells Canyon dams block passage to large areas of habitat.
large dams cause 5% or more mortality (per dam) for smolts descending to
the sea and adult salmon returning to spawn. Dams also change water
temperatures, reduce flow of rivers, increase nitrogen levels, and allow
more predation by squawfish and other predators.
- The destruction and
filling of wetlands and estuaries reduces habitat.
- Logging increases
silt, reduces shade, and disturbs spawning beds.
- The spread of cities,
roads, and other development reduces habitat and increases pollution.
- Irrigation for agriculture reduces flow of rivers (in 1990, total
surface withdrawal for irrigation in the Pacific Northwest was about 7% of
the annual flow of the Columbia at its mouth).
- Unscreened water
diversions trap fish in ditches (in 1990, less than 5% of the diversions
in Oregon were screened).
- Hatchery fish may increase disease rates and
reduce diversity of wild stocks.
- Grazing livestock harm inland
spawning habitat by destroying vegetation and polluting streams.
The Columbia Basin in 1770
The Columbia Basin in 1940
The Columbia Basin Now
Other Salmon Links
Updated:Thursday, 04-Feb-2010 21:19:26 PST
URL is http://www.orst.edu/instruct/anth481/sal/cr1996.htm