Save Our wild Salmon: The Blog

Where we candidly and accurately react to and reflect on current affairs impacting wild salmon and salmon jobs.  And of course, never missing the opportunity to point out that those obsolete dams on the Lower Snake River need to go. Bloggers include SOS staff, with occassional guest entries.


Seattle Times   Judge: Salmon recovery requires big dam changes

sr.damBy Lynda V. Mapes

May 4, 2016

For the fifth time, a federal judge has called for an overhaul of Columbia and Snake River dam operations to preserve salmon and steelhead. In his ruling, he urged renewed consideration of Lower Snake River dam removal.

A federal judge has called for a new approach to Columbia and Snake River dam operations to preserve salmon and steelhead, with all options on the table for consideration, including dam removal on the Lower Snake River.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon in Oregon on Wednesday invalidated the U.S. government’s 2014 Columbia Basin biological opinion, under which federal agencies operate the Columbia River hydropower system. It’s the fifth time a biological opinion written by the agencies permitting operation of the dams has been struck down by the courts.

In his sweeping, 149-page ruling, Simon sounded about out of patience, quoting rulings over two decades by his predecessors denouncing a system that “cries out for a major overhaul,” and urging consideration of breaching one or more of the four dams on the Lower Snake River. “For more than 20 years, however, the federal agencies have ignored the admonishments and continued to focus essentially on the same approach,” Simon wrote. “ … these efforts have already cost billions of dollars, yet they are failing. Many populations of the listed species continue to be in a perilous state.”


Seattle Times: Lean year for coho means big worries for Westport salmon charters

Low coho runs could mean more economic hardship for already hard-hit Westport and its charter boats.


By Erik Lacitis, April 11, 2016

WESTPORT — As pretty much always, it’s windy and cold on this day by the ocean.

A few tourists poke around the main drag in town, maybe stop in a gift shop and buy caramels. It’s the slow time of the year, with just a couple of boats taking customers out for bottom fishing.

In his office at Deep Sea Charters, Larry Giese, one of the two big local fishing-boat operators, talks about its being a nervous time in this little town of 2,100.

The salmon season could be an unmitigated disaster. Coho — one of five salmon species that migrate out to sea and then return to the state — are in big trouble; the Columbia River hatchery coho are expected to return in half the numbers of last year.

State and tribal fish managers are expected this week to decide whether to cut way back on the commercial and recreational salmon fishery in Washington’s ocean waters — or call it off completely.

“We’re fishermen. We’re not hedge-fund managers and bankers and Internet gurus. We’re fishermen,” says Giese, a member of the state’s sport-fishing advisory board. “We’re already operating on a shoestring of what we used to have.”


elwha.mouth2An Evening on the Elwha
Town Hall of Seattle
Thursday, May 12, 2016


In 2013, after a successful campaign by the Lower Elwha K'lallam Tribe and local conservationists, the nation’s largest dam removal project was completed on Washington’s Elwha River. More than two years have passed and this newly-restored watershed that links Olympic National Park with the salt waters of the Salish Sea is in the midst of a fascinating and unprecedented transformation. “An Evening on the Elwha” will present a series of rapid-fire presentations by renowned experts from the field who will describe how this rich ecological system is coming back to life before our eyes. Presentations will cover salmon recovery, otters, sediment migration, estuary and coastal restoration, reservoir revegetation, a trip down the re-wilded river, and much more.


Program: 6:30-8:30 (doors open at 5:30)

Tickets: $10 general / $5 senior/student/limited income. Tickets can be purchased here.

Lynda Mapes, author and environmental reporter for the Seattle Times, will emcee the evening program

Speakers include:
1.    Frances Charles, Lower Elwha K’lallam Tribal Chairwoman
2.    George Pess, NOAA-Fisheries Program Manager and Research Fisheries Biologist
3.    Ian Miller, Coastal Hazards Specialist for Washington Sea Grant
4.    Kim Sager-Fradkin, Lower K’lallam Tribal Wildlife Program Manager
5.    Sarah Morley, NOAA-Fisheries Research Ecologist
6.    Shawn Cantrell, Regional Director for Defenders of Wildlife
7.    Joshua Chenoweth, Olympic National Park Restoration Botanist
8.    Jonathan A. Warrick, U.S. Geological Survey Research Geologist
9.  David Spiegel, Outdoor Adventurer/Writer/Photographer, Elwha River 2015 Source to Sea expedition    

elwhariver1This event is presented by:
American Whitewater
Defenders of Wildlife
National Park Conservation Association
Save Our wild Salmon Coalition

With support from:
Sierra Club
Student Conservation Association
Olympic Park Associates
The Mountaineers
Mountaineers Books


14th Annual Rose' Revival & Cool Whites -
A benefit for Save Our wild Salmon

14th.rays.sos1Thursday, May 26th, 2016
Ray's Boathouse
6049 Seaview Ave NW Seattle, WA

Doors open at 6 pm - $35 tickets

Special "Early Entry" at 5 pm - $45 ticket

Event ends at 9 pm.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition.

What could be more relaxing than sipping tasty rose' and white wines on the beautiful deck of at Ray's Boathouse watching the sun set over the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound?  

Be part of this Seattle tradition by joining us at the 14th Annual Rose' Revival and Cool Whites Wine Event on Thursday, May 26th from 6-9pm!

This event features a wide array of dry Washington Rose' and interesting white wines - NO reds! Attendees will meet a variety of Northwest winemakers and taste their rosé made in very small lots from Sangiovese, Syrah, Cab Franc, Tempranillo, Grenache, Pinot Noir! The event will also feature a wide array of delicious whites for summer, including varietals such as Semillon, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Albarino, Gruner, & Pinot Blanc!  

Ray's will provide tasty treats to accompany.

Proceeds from this event go to support Save Our Wild Salmon, a Northwest-based coalition of conservation organizations, river groups, fishing associations, businesses, working to protect and restore abundant, fishable populations of wild salmon and steelhead by protecting and restoring their rivers and watersheds.


For more information:


This year's Rose Revival and Cool Whites will featuring the following local wineries (so far):

Coral Wines
Forgeron Cellars
Genoa Cellars
Goose Ridge Estate Winery
Kaella Winery
NHV -Naches Heights Vineyard
Purple Star & Native Sun
Seven Hills Winery
Terra Blanca Winery
Tildio Winery
Waters Winery

Columbia Basin Bulletin: Songbird Study Shows River Ecosystem Recovery After Dam Removal, Return Of Salmon Nutrients

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

American.DipperA songbird species that flourishes on the salmon-rich side of dams in the western United States struggles when it tries to nest on the side closed off from the fish and the nutrients they leave behind.

But the songbird and the rest of the divided ecosystem rebounds, faster than some experts expected, when dams come down and rivers are allowed to resume their natural flow.

Two new studies led by Christopher Tonra, assistant professor of avian wildlife ecology at The Ohio State University, illustrate the stress dams impose on species that rely on salmon and the impact of dam removal on the well-being of that wildlife.

The areas previously depleted of salmon are on a fast track to recovery in a shorter time than he ever expected after the dam removal, Tonra said.

"It's exciting to be able to show a real positive outcome in conservation. We don't always get that," he said. "That these rivers can come back within our own generation is a really exciting thing."

During his time conducting the studies in Washington, Tonra watched reservoir beds that looked like moonscapes return to vibrant, rich habitat and cascades emerge where none had been, at least for the last century.

"Watching that happen was just incredible," he said.

Tonra and his colleagues studied the American dipper, a bird set apart by its unusual feeding style. Dippers, which are equipped with a transparent second eyelid (think water goggles for birds), dive below the river's surface and walk the riverbed scouring the rocky floor for meals, mostly aquatic insects in their larval stage. They also eat some small fish, including juvenile salmon when they're available.


Save Our wild Salmon 2015 donor gifts and holiday shopping opportunities

-- Scroll down to learn about our donor gifts and some holiday shopping opportunities.

-- Go here to learn out SOS' 2016 accomplishments and our 2016 priorities.

-- Go here to donate.

Thank you in advance for your support for our work protecting and restoring the Northwest's rivers and its wild salmon and steelhead. Our successes depend on your generous support.

This year, you can combine holiday shopping and your support for wild salmon and healthy rivers.

We're offering great coffee and t-shirts.

Coffee first - as it should be. When you buy these two excellent and delicious (fairly-traded and organically-grown) coffees, a portion of your purchase price comes to SOS:

(1) Roast House Coffee is based in Spokane, WA. When you buy “Free the Snake” coffee in town or online, $8 of eveey bag you purchase goes to support SOS. “Bittersweet, chocolate, and tobacco”.

(2) Grounds For Change is based in Poulsbo, WA. 15% of every bag you buy online comes to SOS. “A dark, rich coffee with a complex flavor and smooth finish.”

Great coffees that make great gifts and help protect wild salmon and steelhead!

Second, the T's. We are also offering two beautiful salmon- and river-saving t-shirts for all gifts to SOS of $75 or more:

(1) “FREE THE SNAKE” Salmon Rally on the River: This design was created by the wonderful people at Patagonia for the (1st Annual) 2015 Flotilla on the banks of the lower Snake River. They went like hotcakes at the rally, so we’ve made a bunch more. By buying and wearing these shirts you're supporting SOS and promoting the campaign to restore the lower Snake! (men and women's sizes available).

(2) Eileen Klatt’s Wild Salmon Watercolor T's: Eileen has generously supported SOS with her stunning artwork to SOS for several years. This shirt features full-color Snake River fish from her epic watercolor collection of wild salmon and steelhead of the Columbia/Snake River Basin.

Remember your gift to SOS is fully tax-deductible. It will help us hit the ground running in 2016 to protect some of our nation's most endangered wild salmon and steelhead by restoring the healthy rivers and habitat they depend upon in the Pacific Northwest! 

Thanks so very much for your support – we can’t do it without you!

Take good care,

Joseph, Sam and the SOS Team

Save Our wild Salmon

811 First Ave, #305

Seattle, WA 98104

PS – if you have any questions about our work and programs – please reach out. We’d be happy to get together or jump on the phone to talk further and provide additional detail. Thank you! -jb

PPS - Don't forget our raffle! For every $25 you donate to SOS before Dec. 31st, we'll give you a virtual raffle ticket. Our prizes this year: 5 hardcover copies of the acclaimed book "Beyond Words: what animals think and feel" signed by the author - award-winning scientist Dr. Carl Safina.

More Articles...

  1. Dec 15, 2015 - New York Times: Finding Refuge for Salmon, Cold Water Preferred
  2. Nov 25, 2015 - Happy Thanksgiving 2015!
  3. Nov 19, 2015 - Save Our wild Salmon - Our 2015 Year-end Review!
  4. Nov 03, 2015 - Salmon and fishing advocates: Speak up for fish and wildlife!
  5. Sep 16, 2015 - Intertwined Fates: The Orca-Salmon Connection in the Northwest
  6. Sep 09, 2015 - A Tribute to Zeke Grader - 9.7.2015
  7. Jun 30, 2015 - Free The Snake: Patagonia’s new short film highlights lower Snake dam removal
  8. Jun 09, 2015 - Idaho Statesman: Salmon swim in the Owyhee River (Nevada!) after 87 years
  9. May 01, 2015 - 13th Annual Rose' Revival Benefit Event - June 18 in Seattle
  10. Apr 22, 2015 - Patagonia Ad: Don't Hold Back
  11. Feb 18, 2015 - Outside: What Happens When You Demolish Two 100-Year-Old Dams
  12. Nov 26, 2014 - Happy Thanksgiving 2014!
  13. Oct 13, 2014 - CBB: Dam Removal Study Suggests Rivers Return To Natural Conditions Surprisingly Fast
  14. Sep 23, 2014 - Snake River Sockeye Make Most Endangered List: New Report Highlights Ten American Species Our Children May Never See
  15. Sep 15, 2014 - Seattle P-I: Chinook salmon returning to reservoir sites on Elwha River
  16. Sep 02, 2014 - Associated Press: Orca population in Puget Sound falling
  17. Aug 26, 2014 - New York Times: Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost
  18. Aug 26, 2014 - Columbia Basin Bulletin: Dworkshak Unit Out
  19. Aug 20, 2014 - Al Jazeera: Elder’s devotion to ugly fish lives on after his tragic death
  20. Aug 19, 2014 - Energy & Environment Publishing: EPA finalizes agreement setting 'buffer zones' around salmon streams
  21. Aug 19, 2014 - Energy & Environment Publishing: Hastings blasts leaking dams settlement
  22. Aug 08, 2014 - KPLU: New Life After Dam Removal: Surf Smelt Spawning In Mouth Of Elwha
  23. Aug 05, 2014 - Associated Press: Army Corps of Engineers will monitor, disclose dam pollution
  24. Jul 31, 2014 - Nature Science Journal: Dam removals: Rivers on the run
  25. Jul 21, 2014 - Associated Press: EPA To Protect Salmon Fishery By Blocking Massive Alaska Mine
  26. Jul 10, 2014 - As dams fall, Elwha River makes stunning recovery
  27. May 09, 2014 - Remembering a legend: Billy Frank, Jr.
  28. May 06, 2014 - Statement on the passing of Billy Frank, Jr.
  29. Mar 20, 2014 - Northwest News: Fish Experts Plan A Salmon Water Slide On Cracked Wanapum Dam
  30. Mar 19, 2014 - Wenatchee World: Wanapum Dam spillway crack, showing algae, likely not new
  31. Mar 02, 2014 - New York Times: A Reprieve for Bristol Bay
  32. Feb 01, 2014 - Join SOS and Idaho River Adventures this July for a wild trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River!
  33. Jan 23, 2014 - Update: a not-so-new Federal Plan for Columbia/Snake salmon and steelhead
  34. Jan 03, 2014 - New York Times Blog: The Law That Save the Bald Eagle
  35. Dec 29, 2013 - Is the Northwest regaining lost ground?
  36. Dec 05, 2013 - An enhanced spill experiment – costs and carbon impacts are modest and manageable.
  37. Nov 20, 2013 - Seattle Times: Elwha River sees largest run of Chinook in decades
  38. Oct 23, 2013 - B.C. Releases Draft Columbia River Treaty Recommendations
  39. Oct 01, 2013 - Action Alert - Salmon Need
  40. Sep 25, 2013 - LA Times: Big chinook run doesn't let Columbia dams off the hook, activists say
  41. Sep 12, 2013 - Lewiston Morning Tribune: Feds deal blow to Nez Perce Tribe, salmon advocates
  42. Sep 05, 2013 - SOS and Idaho River Adventures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
  43. Aug 31, 2013 - Announcing a leadership transition for SOS
  44. Aug 15, 2013 - Save Our wild Salmon submits comments on the Columbia River Treaty
  45. Jul 15, 2013 - Save the law that protects America's natural capital.
  46. Jul 15, 2013 - Seattle Times: Lamprey Eel - bringing back an ancient species
  47. Jun 07, 2013 - High Country News Book Review: Elwha, a story of today's West
  48. May 13, 2013 - All Scientists Are Saying Is…"Give (More) Spill A Chance."
  49. Apr 10, 2013 - Chicago Tribune: Interior Department recommends removal of Klamath River dams to aid salmon
  50. Mar 05, 2013 - Farewell to Fenton Roskelley - outdoor writer, sportsman, and conservationist
  51. Jan 30, 2013 - Change on the Fly
  52. Jan 17, 2013 - Save Our wild Salmon Coalition welcomes new BPA administrator Bill Drummond
  53. Jan 11, 2013 - In Gratitude
  54. Jan 08, 2013 - Thank you for a successful End-of-2012 Fund Drive!
  55. Dec 04, 2012 - Confusing sockeye hatcheries with sockeye recovery
  56. Nov 07, 2012 - NOAA, We Have a Problem
  57. Oct 25, 2012 - Thank you for 13 excellent years
  58. Oct 22, 2012 - Looking to the Future: New report challenges the Northwest’s aging dam infrastructure
  59. Oct 08, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon athletes exceed their goal.
  60. Oct 04, 2012 - Senator Wyden Supports New Approach to Salmon Restoration
  61. Oct 01, 2012 - Feds Maintain Status Quo as Salmon Numbers Struggle
  62. Sep 27, 2012 - Author attempts world record run for salmon
  63. Sep 25, 2012 - “I’m Pro-Salmon, and I Vote”
  64. Sep 21, 2012 - A Baker's Dozen
  65. Sep 18, 2012 - Salmon, Coal, and the Columbia River’s Future
  66. Sep 14, 2012 - The salmon aren’t celebrating Bonneville’s 75th
  67. Sep 07, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon - Meet the Runners
  68. Aug 30, 2012 - Boil On Columbia
  69. Aug 28, 2012 - 2012 Salmon and Steelhead Returns Still Poor
  70. Aug 14, 2012 - The Worst Dam Bill Ever
  71. Aug 06, 2012 - The Most Interesting Fish in the World
  72. Aug 03, 2012 - In Virginia: Dam Removal Helping Eels
  73. Aug 01, 2012 - Outdoor Retailer is here!
  74. Jul 25, 2012 - Outdoor Idaho Focuses on Idaho's Salmon
  75. Jul 23, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon - Portland Marathon 2012
  76. Jul 19, 2012 - If you un-build it, the fish will come
  77. Jul 16, 2012 - Rivers Gone Wild! - Patagonia-style...
  78. Jul 13, 2012 - Roll On Columbia Roll On
  79. Jun 29, 2012 - Sockeye Numbers at Bonneville Dam are Encouraging
  80. Jun 28, 2012 - Saving Salmon to Save Orcas
  81. Jun 25, 2012 - Maine's Great Works and the Columbia-Snake Opportunity
  82. Jun 21, 2012 - Lamprey Summit Sets a Good Example
  83. Jun 20, 2012 - Victory: Highway to Hell Defeated
  84. May 21, 2012 - Book a river trip and help support SOS
  85. May 18, 2012 - TAKE ACTION: Visualize your support for salmon!
  86. May 15, 2012 - Solutions for one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers
  87. May 11, 2012 - Spill, Judge Redden, and the Need for a New Process
  88. May 03, 2012 - Mother's wants a seat at the table
  89. Apr 26, 2012 - Judge Redden Supports Dam Removal
  90. Mar 24, 2012 - Men's Journal Features LSR Dam Removal
  91. Mar 07, 2012 - Court-Ordered Spill Helps Salmon Returns and Jobs
  92. Feb 22, 2012 - HB 4101: Serious Issue, Bad Bill
  93. Feb 21, 2012 - Paul Fish: Salmon Super Hero
  94. Feb 15, 2012 - Showing NOAA Some Love for Valentine’s Day
  95. Feb 07, 2012 - Toxic Oil Spill on the Lower Snake; What Next?
  96. Feb 01, 2012 - Sea Change for Port of Lewiston?
  97. Jan 25, 2012 - Mascot Love at Outdoor Retailer
  98. Jan 19, 2012 - Osprey Packs to host Buster, Ice-P, Bigfoot, and Timmy O'Neil at Outdoor Retailer
  99. Jan 12, 2012 - Outside Sees Momentum for Dam Removal in 2012
  100. Jan 10, 2012 - Patagonia’s Salmon Super Heroes
  101. Jan 06, 2012 - Salmon…and bikinis?
Save Our wild Salmon is a diverse, nationwide coalition working together to restore wild salmon and steelhead to the rivers, streams and marine waters of the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of our region's ecology, economy and culture.

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Seattle, WA
811 First Ave.,
Suite 305
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone:  206-300-1003
Spokane, WA
35 W Main Ave., Suite 200
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone:  509-747-2030

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