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.


Save Our wild Salmon Stands with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.

cpxne0ccs9dieedsrya8With today’s decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the final permit necessary to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline across the Missouri River and lands held sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their many supporters, and to instead initiate a process to develop an environmental impact statement that explores alternative routes, Save Our wild Salmon extends our congratulations and gratitude to the Water Protectors for their commitment and perseverance.

We also thank the Obama Administration for its decision to stop construction and begin a full and fair comprehensive review of the issues and impacts and identify alternative routes for the pipeline, and hope the incoming Administration will honor this decision and process.

This decision by the Army Corps is a potent reminder of the power of peaceful protest and the good things that result when many people work together and stand together to defend essential values - in this case the health of our lands and our waters and honoring our nation’s treaty obligations to Tribal people.

SOS stands in solidarity with the Water Protectors and congratulates them on this victory. Clean water in rivers and lakes that are drinkable, swimmable and fishable must be a top priority in order to keep our nation and its people healthy and strong.

Yakima Herald: Grant boosts effort to dismantle Yakima's Nelson Dam

Michelle Iracheta, December 2, 2016

nelson copyFor the better part of a century the Nelson Dam on the Naches River has hampered salmon trying to migrate upstream, while preventing countless tons of sediment from being carried downstream where it’s needed.

Yakima County is moving closer to getting both fish and sediment to the right places under a plan that creates more wildlife habitat and reduces the danger of floods.

On Tuesday, a national environmental group announced it is donating money to three dam removal projects in Oregon, California and here for the Nelson Dam.

The $75,000 donation will account for only a small portion of the estimated $12 million price tag for the dam removal project that been planned for years by Yakima city and county officials and the Yakama Nation.

But the donations quickly caught the eye of the National Geographic Society’s web page, which noted plans for the Nelson Dam are part of a growing movement to remove aging dams, while benefiting people and wildlife.




Thank you for your faith in wild salmon and wild places.

And for your active support to save our wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

With your continued support, we're going to recover healthy, abundant populations of wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin and achieve our nation's most ambitious river restoration -

A healthy, freely-flowing lower Snake River.

Thank you for all that you do. Have a safe holiday.

And then afterward, let's get back to work!

- Joseph, Sam and the whole SOS Team

KQED News: Removal of Klamath Dams Would Be Largest River Restoration in U.S. History

CopcoBy Molly Peterson, October 24, 2016

Our metal powerboat is puttering near a bend low in the Klamath River. Morning fog pours off the hills against a flat gray sky, but we can see a fight up around a bird’s nest.

“The eagles are perched up here in the tree,” says Mike Belchik, a fisheries biologist for the Yurok tribe, whose lands extend 44 miles from the Pacific Coast inland. “The osprey is dive-bombing them.”

Belchik claps loudly to break up the birds. “They both live around here and they fight all the time,” he laughs.
People along the Klamath once fought bitterly over this river, too. But that’s beginning to change.

Four hydroelectric dams may soon be demolished along the Klamath, near the California-Oregon border. Hundreds of miles of the Klamath would run free to the Pacific Ocean — opening up the largest river restoration in U.S. history.

What’s made this possible is compromise, forged over years of negotiation, among upriver and downriver interests, in California and Oregon, farmers and tribes and fishery advocates.

Two incidents of deep and painful loss, in 2001 and 2002, sparked this new era. First, the federal Bureau of Reclamation cut off water supplies to almost all irrigators on the Klamath Irrigation Project upriver, to protect water flows to endangered fish, including salmon. Angry farmers who were losing their crops converged at the main irrigation canal’s controls in Klamath Falls, Oregon, turning the water back on. A crowd of 18,000 cheered them on.

The next year, when irrigators once again were able to take water from the river, Belchik says the resulting low flows were deadly downriver.

“We started getting calls about dead fish,” he says, standing along the riverbank. “There’s tens of thousands of fish, rotting fish, big 20-pound salmon, four deep on all of the shorelines.” He wrinkles his nose. “The smell more than the look. It smells like death.”

Go HERE to hear the radio story online and see full text and photos.

Seattle Times: More Elwha fish find way to dam-free upper watershed

elwha.carcassMore sockeye, chinook and bull trout have made it above the former Glines Canyon dam site so far this spawning season than documented in any year since the unprecedented dam-removal project completed on the Elwha River.

By Lynda V. Mapes, Seattle Times environment reporter
October 17, 2016

More sockeye, chinook and bull trout have made it above the former Glines Canyon dam site so far this spawning season than documented in any year since the unprecedented dam-removal project was completed on the Elwha River.

The fish returns this season are an encouraging sign that blasting work in the river last summer to improve passage after initial dam removal has made a difference.
Numbers aren’t yet final, but so far snorkel surveys and radio telemetry used by scientists to track and monitor fish throughout the Elwha show that from the end of July through the end of September, about 70 chinook salmon made it above the former Glines Canyon dam site.

The farthest the fish have been seen upriver so far is at river mile 29. “That’s a considerable ways above, that’s past Elkhorn,” said George Pess, biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Pess, with an interagency team of collaborators, has closely tracked the river before and after dam removal to document the Elwha’s response.

To understand how fish are using the river, more surveys of redds and analysis of DNA samples from river water are under way this fall.
The largest ever anywhere, the $325 million federal dam-removal project on the Elwha took out the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams, built beginning in 1910 to provide hydropower for Port Angeles and the Olympic Peninsula.

Before the dams came down, the power they generated was replaced by juice from the public power grid to the dams’ only remaining customer, a pulp mill in Port Angeles. One of the dams’ original customers, the mill is still in business.


McClatchy News: Klamath River dams could be on chopping block

By Michael Doyle

klamath1Washington D.C. Three Northern California dams and one in Oregon would eventually fall, under a proposal floated Friday to a federal agency.

Facing resistance from Republican lawmakers, dam-removal proponents now hope to outflank Congress at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Advocates say removing the dams would help restore the Klamath River.

“This is great news and there’s no time to waste,” said Joshua Saxon, a councilman for the Karuk Tribe. “We are suffering from one of the worst salmon runs in history this year.”

To ultimately accomplish what advocates call “the largest dam removal in U.S. history,” the so-called “surrender” application filed Friday would allow transfer of the four dams from the current corporate owner, PacificCorp, to a newly formed non-profit called the Klamath River Renewal Corp.


More Articles...

  1. Aug 08, 2016 - SOS Blog: Wild Salmon and Climate Change: The Law
  2. Aug 01, 2016 - SOS Blog: Lessons from the 2015 Columbia-Snake Salmon Kill
  3. Jun 09, 2016 - Recent Economic Analyses of the Lower Snake River Dams
  4. May 31, 2016 - Orca Month 2016
  5. May 05, 2016 - Seattle Times: Judge: Salmon recovery requires big dam changes
  6. Apr 13, 2016 - Seattle Times: Lean year for coho means big worries for Westport salmon charters
  7. Mar 24, 2016 - An Evening on the Elwha Town Hall of Seattle Thursday, May 12, 2016
  8. Mar 23, 2016 - 14th Annual Rose' Revival and Cool Whites - An SOS fundraiser
  9. Jan 04, 2016 - CBB: Songbird Study Shows River Ecosystem Recovery After Dam Removal, Return Of Salmon Nutrients
  10. Dec 18, 2015 - 2015 SOS donor gifts and opportunities
  11. Dec 15, 2015 - New York Times: Finding Refuge for Salmon, Cold Water Preferred
  12. Nov 25, 2015 - Happy Thanksgiving 2015!
  13. Nov 19, 2015 - Save Our wild Salmon - Our 2015 Year-end Review!
  14. Nov 03, 2015 - Salmon and fishing advocates: Speak up for fish and wildlife!
  15. Sep 16, 2015 - Intertwined Fates: The Orca-Salmon Connection in the Northwest
  16. Sep 09, 2015 - A Tribute to Zeke Grader - 9.7.2015
  17. Jun 30, 2015 - Free The Snake: Patagonia’s new short film highlights lower Snake dam removal
  18. Jun 09, 2015 - Idaho Statesman: Salmon swim in the Owyhee River (Nevada!) after 87 years
  19. May 01, 2015 - 13th Annual Rose' Revival Benefit Event - June 18 in Seattle
  20. Apr 22, 2015 - Patagonia Ad: Don't Hold Back
  21. Feb 18, 2015 - Outside: What Happens When You Demolish Two 100-Year-Old Dams
  22. Nov 26, 2014 - Happy Thanksgiving 2014!
  23. Oct 13, 2014 - CBB: Dam Removal Study Suggests Rivers Return To Natural Conditions Surprisingly Fast
  24. Sep 23, 2014 - Snake River Sockeye Make Most Endangered List: New Report Highlights Ten American Species Our Children May Never See
  25. Sep 15, 2014 - Seattle P-I: Chinook salmon returning to reservoir sites on Elwha River
  26. Sep 02, 2014 - Associated Press: Orca population in Puget Sound falling
  27. Aug 26, 2014 - New York Times: Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost
  28. Aug 26, 2014 - Columbia Basin Bulletin: Dworkshak Unit Out
  29. Aug 20, 2014 - Al Jazeera: Elder’s devotion to ugly fish lives on after his tragic death
  30. Aug 19, 2014 - Energy & Environment Publishing: EPA finalizes agreement setting 'buffer zones' around salmon streams
  31. Aug 19, 2014 - Energy & Environment Publishing: Hastings blasts leaking dams settlement
  32. Aug 08, 2014 - KPLU: New Life After Dam Removal: Surf Smelt Spawning In Mouth Of Elwha
  33. Aug 05, 2014 - Associated Press: Army Corps of Engineers will monitor, disclose dam pollution
  34. Jul 31, 2014 - Nature Science Journal: Dam removals: Rivers on the run
  35. Jul 21, 2014 - Associated Press: EPA To Protect Salmon Fishery By Blocking Massive Alaska Mine
  36. Jul 10, 2014 - As dams fall, Elwha River makes stunning recovery
  37. May 09, 2014 - Remembering a legend: Billy Frank, Jr.
  38. May 06, 2014 - Statement on the passing of Billy Frank, Jr.
  39. Mar 20, 2014 - Northwest News: Fish Experts Plan A Salmon Water Slide On Cracked Wanapum Dam
  40. Mar 19, 2014 - Wenatchee World: Wanapum Dam spillway crack, showing algae, likely not new
  41. Mar 02, 2014 - New York Times: A Reprieve for Bristol Bay
  42. Feb 01, 2014 - Join SOS and Idaho River Adventures this July for a wild trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River!
  43. Jan 23, 2014 - Update: a not-so-new Federal Plan for Columbia/Snake salmon and steelhead
  44. Jan 03, 2014 - New York Times Blog: The Law That Save the Bald Eagle
  45. Dec 29, 2013 - Is the Northwest regaining lost ground?
  46. Dec 05, 2013 - An enhanced spill experiment – costs and carbon impacts are modest and manageable.
  47. Nov 20, 2013 - Seattle Times: Elwha River sees largest run of Chinook in decades
  48. Oct 23, 2013 - B.C. Releases Draft Columbia River Treaty Recommendations
  49. Oct 01, 2013 - Action Alert - Salmon Need
  50. Sep 25, 2013 - LA Times: Big chinook run doesn't let Columbia dams off the hook, activists say
  51. Sep 12, 2013 - Lewiston Morning Tribune: Feds deal blow to Nez Perce Tribe, salmon advocates
  52. Sep 05, 2013 - SOS and Idaho River Adventures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
  53. Aug 31, 2013 - Announcing a leadership transition for SOS
  54. Aug 15, 2013 - Save Our wild Salmon submits comments on the Columbia River Treaty
  55. Jul 15, 2013 - Save the law that protects America's natural capital.
  56. Jul 15, 2013 - Seattle Times: Lamprey Eel - bringing back an ancient species
  57. Jun 07, 2013 - High Country News Book Review: Elwha, a story of today's West
  58. May 13, 2013 - All Scientists Are Saying Is…"Give (More) Spill A Chance."
  59. Apr 10, 2013 - Chicago Tribune: Interior Department recommends removal of Klamath River dams to aid salmon
  60. Mar 05, 2013 - Farewell to Fenton Roskelley - outdoor writer, sportsman, and conservationist
  61. Jan 30, 2013 - Change on the Fly
  62. Jan 17, 2013 - Save Our wild Salmon Coalition welcomes new BPA administrator Bill Drummond
  63. Jan 11, 2013 - In Gratitude
  64. Jan 08, 2013 - Thank you for a successful End-of-2012 Fund Drive!
  65. Dec 04, 2012 - Confusing sockeye hatcheries with sockeye recovery
  66. Nov 07, 2012 - NOAA, We Have a Problem
  67. Oct 25, 2012 - Thank you for 13 excellent years
  68. Oct 22, 2012 - Looking to the Future: New report challenges the Northwest’s aging dam infrastructure
  69. Oct 08, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon athletes exceed their goal.
  70. Oct 04, 2012 - Senator Wyden Supports New Approach to Salmon Restoration
  71. Oct 01, 2012 - Feds Maintain Status Quo as Salmon Numbers Struggle
  72. Sep 27, 2012 - Author attempts world record run for salmon
  73. Sep 25, 2012 - “I’m Pro-Salmon, and I Vote”
  74. Sep 21, 2012 - A Baker's Dozen
  75. Sep 18, 2012 - Salmon, Coal, and the Columbia River’s Future
  76. Sep 14, 2012 - The salmon aren’t celebrating Bonneville’s 75th
  77. Sep 07, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon - Meet the Runners
  78. Aug 30, 2012 - Boil On Columbia
  79. Aug 28, 2012 - 2012 Salmon and Steelhead Returns Still Poor
  80. Aug 14, 2012 - The Worst Dam Bill Ever
  81. Aug 06, 2012 - The Most Interesting Fish in the World
  82. Aug 03, 2012 - In Virginia: Dam Removal Helping Eels
  83. Aug 01, 2012 - Outdoor Retailer is here!
  84. Jul 25, 2012 - Outdoor Idaho Focuses on Idaho's Salmon
  85. Jul 23, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon - Portland Marathon 2012
  86. Jul 19, 2012 - If you un-build it, the fish will come
  87. Jul 16, 2012 - Rivers Gone Wild! - Patagonia-style...
  88. Jul 13, 2012 - Roll On Columbia Roll On
  89. Jun 29, 2012 - Sockeye Numbers at Bonneville Dam are Encouraging
  90. Jun 28, 2012 - Saving Salmon to Save Orcas
  91. Jun 25, 2012 - Maine's Great Works and the Columbia-Snake Opportunity
  92. Jun 21, 2012 - Lamprey Summit Sets a Good Example
  93. Jun 20, 2012 - Victory: Highway to Hell Defeated
  94. May 21, 2012 - Book a river trip and help support SOS
  95. May 18, 2012 - TAKE ACTION: Visualize your support for salmon!
  96. May 15, 2012 - Solutions for one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers
  97. May 11, 2012 - Spill, Judge Redden, and the Need for a New Process
  98. May 03, 2012 - Mother's wants a seat at the table
  99. Apr 26, 2012 - Judge Redden Supports Dam Removal
  100. Mar 24, 2012 - Men's Journal Features LSR Dam Removal
  101. Mar 07, 2012 - Court-Ordered Spill Helps Salmon Returns and Jobs
  102. Feb 22, 2012 - HB 4101: Serious Issue, Bad Bill
  103. Feb 21, 2012 - Paul Fish: Salmon Super Hero
  104. Feb 15, 2012 - Showing NOAA Some Love for Valentine’s Day
  105. Feb 07, 2012 - Toxic Oil Spill on the Lower Snake; What Next?
  106. Feb 01, 2012 - Sea Change for Port of Lewiston?
  107. Jan 25, 2012 - Mascot Love at Outdoor Retailer
  108. Jan 19, 2012 - Osprey Packs to host Buster, Ice-P, Bigfoot, and Timmy O'Neil at Outdoor Retailer
  109. Jan 12, 2012 - Outside Sees Momentum for Dam Removal in 2012
  110. Jan 10, 2012 - Patagonia’s Salmon Super Heroes
  111. 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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