By Lee Callahan
Wild salmon and steelhead--from the Pacific Coast to central Idaho--are integral to the Pacific Northwest’s Tribes, fishermen, Main Street businesses, identity, and way of life. These fish, however, are running out of time.
Fish returns are plummeting year after year, leaving Chinook, Coho, and sockeye salmon and steelhead barreling toward extinction. Since the completion of the lower Snake River dams in 1975, the populations of Snake River salmon and steelhead have declined by at least 90 percent.
In a new report from a working group convened by Idaho Governor Brad Little, Idaho leaders recommended a range of new steps to take to recover wild salmon--but these solutions fall short of fully recovering salmon and steelhead to abundance.
Brian Brooks, executive director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation and a member of the governor’s working group, is available for interviews to discuss the report’s recommendations and what else is needed, including restoration of the Lower Snake River, to actually address the challenges facing salmon.
The issue of the future of Northwest salmon is expected to be a major issue in the upcoming session of Congress and a top priority in the region for the Biden Administration. This conversation, from an Idaho and regional perspective, offers a chance to dive into how a solution for salmon would benefit farmers, anglers, ratepayers, and Native American Tribes.
Hear my interview with Brian Brooks, executive director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation, here: