Wild Salmon & Steelhead News is produced by the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition. Read on to learn about the Columbia-Snake River Basin’s endangered wild salmon and steelhead, the many benefits they deliver to people and ecosystems, and the extinction crisis they face today. Find out how SOS is helping to lead efforts to restore health, connectivity and resilience to the rivers and streams they depend upon in the Columbia-Snake Basin and how you can get involved and help protect and restore healthy, abundant and fishable populations.


A NOTE TO COMMUNITIES OVERWHELMED BY AN UNPRECEDENTED WILDFIRE SEASON

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The Western United States is experiencing an unprecedented fire season with significant damage and devastating consequences. Our thoughts and hearts are with the countless people and communities affected by these wildfires. Many lives and hundreds of homes have been lost. We also want to thank those working tirelessly on the frontlines to keep further damage at bay.

Here are some resources and links for information about how to help those in need:


TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. YOU’RE INVITED! FALL ‘WILD SALMON WEBINAR SERIES’ - ORCAS, FISHERS, AND FAITH!
2. ACT NOW! THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE: CONTACT NORTHWEST ELECTED OFFICIALS
3. THE WATER’S TOO HOT! ‘HOT WATER REPORTS’ RECAPS FOR SUMMER 2020!
4. A NEW CALF FOR TAHLEQUAH - GREAT NEWS FOR ENDANGERED SOUTHERN RESIDENT ORCAS!
5. FROM THE 'SNAKE RIVER VISION PROJECT' - REVISITING THE TOWN OF ALMOTA (WA)
6. A MEDIA ROUND-UP: ALL THE NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED!


1. YOU’RE INVITED! OUR FALL ‘WILD SALMON WEBINAR SERIES’ - ORCAS, FISHERS AND FAITH!

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We’re excited to announce our fall ‘Wild Salmon Webinar Series’ during the month of October. We’re honored to present a set of experts primed to lead discussions with audience Q&A focused on (1) Southern Resident orcas, (2) coastal fishing economies and (3) perspectives of several Northwest leaders from the faith community. Like our spring webinar series, we’ll host these evening events virtually - via Zoom. Find more details on these discussions below, along with links in order to RSVP.

Our upcoming series will take place on three successive Thursdays in October - the 1st, 8th and 15th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm PST. These discussions will provide a chance to learn about the challenges, opportunities and implications of restoring the lower Snake River and its endangered fish by removing its four federal dams. We'll explore ways to solve today's Snake and Columbia river salmon crisis in a manner that also ensures clean, reliable and affordable energy and prosperous communities and cultures. These conversations and audience Q&A will be moderated by SOS' Sam Mace and Joseph Bogaard.

See our webpage for further information and follow the links below for the Facebook events:

October 1: Columbia/Snake river salmon and Southern Resident orcas - What's the connection?
With Dr. Sam Wasser (UW’s Center for Conservation Biology) and Giulia Good-Stefani (NRDC)

October 8: The high stakes of Columbia-Snake river salmon recovery for Northwest coastal communities
With Joel Kawahara (Coastal Trollers Association) and Elizabeth Herendeen (Salmon State)

October 15: Salmon, justice and community - a perspective from Northwest faith leaders
With LeeAnne Beres (Earth Ministry) and John Rosenberg (Lutheran minister (ret.))

Please share information and links about this series with your friends and family!
To RSVP, send a note here: speakerseries@wildsalmon.org
Have questions? Contact carrie@wildsalmon.org


2. ACT NOW - THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE: CONTACT NORTHWEST ELECTED OFFICIALS!

take action copySnake River salmon and Southern Resident orcas cannot speak up for themselves - so they need your help to raise the alarm with policymakers in the Northwest! The federal government's "new" plan (released this summer) repeats mistakes of the past and rejects a critical component for any effective solution for salmon and communities – restoring the lower Snake River by removing its four federal dams. This crucial piece is just one part of a larger solution that Snake River salmon and Northwest communities - and orcas - urgently need and deserve.

We must think bigger and bolder. The Northwest’s elected leaders must step forward and lead because salmon and the benefits they bring to our region and nation face extinction today. Now is the time for a dramatically new approach that achieves the largest river/salmon restoration in history and makes critical investments to enhance the region’s economy and create a strong future for farming, fishing and tribal communities.

ACT NOW! Visit our Alerts Page: Send an email. Sign a petition. Call an office. Contact Northwest governors and U.S. Senators today. Tell them we need their urgent leadership to restore the lower Snake River, recover salmon and rebuild jobs and communities.


3. THE WATERS ARE TOO HOT! A RECAP OF SOS' ‘HOT WATER REPORT’ FOR SUMMER 2020!

HOT WATER INSTAGRAM 1This summer the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition completed our fourth annual series of Hot Water Reports, tracking water temperatures in the reservoirs created by the federal dams on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers. Drawing on publicly available temperature data, our weekly reports during July and August help focus a necessary spotlight on the increasingly hot waters and existential threat they represent for the Northwest’s native cold water fish like salmon and steelhead. This year our reports also highlighted a set of related issues including dam removal/river restoration success stories, adult salmon and steelhead returns, information on the “new” and woefully inadequate Federal Salmon Plan, and other fish and wildlife species that are being harmed by hot water, degraded rivers and the loss of salmon and steelhead.

The Pacific Northwest’s once-abundant anadromous native fish are struggling to survive today due primarily to the harmful impacts of dams and reservoirs on their rivers - and now made worse by a changing climate.

Check out the reports from this and previous summers here: Hot Water Reports - compiled!


4. A NEW CALF FOR TAHLEQUAH - GREAT NEWS FOR ENDANGERED SOUTHERN RESIDENT ORCAS!

TahlequahKiller whale who grieved her dead calf for 17 days is a mother againhttps://www.whaleresearch.com/j57Credit: Katie Jones/Center for Whale ResearchEarlier this month, researchers announced that orca J35, also known as Tahlequah, is a new mother. Tahlequah attracted international attention during the summer of 2018 when she bore her dead newborn calf through the waters of the Salish Sea for 17 heart-wrenching days. The mourning mother  helped to elevate the plight of the Southern Resident orcas - one of our nation’s most endangered species. So far researchers report that Tahlequah’s calf looks healthy and active. They also believe that two other female orcas are also pregnant. This birth brings the number of Southern Resident orcas in the wild to 73.

These orcas are doing all they can to sustain and to rebuild their community. With this encouraging news comes a renewed urgency on our part to act! The most urgent thing we can do today to help these whales: deliver them more - a lot more - of their main food: chinook salmon.

The Southern Residents roam Northwest coastal waters searching for the chinook salmon that make up roughly 80% of their diet. With its historic productivity, low human population, and remaining pockets of large, high, pristine and well protected habitat, the Columbia/Snake River Basin represents our nation’s very best opportunity to restore the large numbers of Chinook salmon that endangered, hungry orcas need to survive and recover.

Learn more about the Southern Residents and their connection to the salmon populations of the Snake and Columbia rivers by attending our fall webinar on October 1. See details in the article above and/or here. (Photo above courtesy of the Center for Whale Research)

Follow these press links for further information on Tahlequah, her new calf and the Southern Resident-Snake River connection:

Seattle Times: Orca Tahlequah is a mother again (Sept 5)
New York Times: Orca That Carried Dead Calf for 17 Days Gives Birth Again (Sept 6)
Seattle Times: Southern resident orcas that frequent Puget Sound may not survive without breaching the Lower Snake River dams to help the salmon the orcas live on, scientists say. (October 2018)


5. FROM THE 'SNAKE RIVER VISION PROJECT' - REVISITING THE TOWN OF ALMOTA (WA)

The extinct town of Almota, located five miles downstream from Lower Granite dam, is a town with a history deeply rooted in the Snake River. The town itself was named after nearby Almota Creek. Before the settlement of Almota by European immigrants, the land was the site of an Indigenous settlement, sustaining generations 99 032 022Almota copythrough fishing, hunting, and gathering. The shores of Almota were a fishing site frequented by the Nez Perce and Palouse Tribes. The name “Almota” was corrupted from the Nez Perce word ‘Allamotin’ or ‘Almotine,’ meaning torchlight or moon light fishing. Sturgeon, Chinook and Steelhead were also once known to be fished here in abundance.

In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the territory was settled by Henry Spaulding. The first store was established in 1877 by L. M. Ringer while a post office was opened in July of 1878. This town along the Snake River would become a trading and shipping site for the region.

Situated close farm and orchard country, Almota became an important port. Steam boats navigated the shallows of the river, transporting wheat and other goods to downstream markets. Almota lost a portion of its business to the construction of the railroads in Colfax in 1883. Railroads would not reach the shores of the Snake until 1907 with the construction of the Snake River Valley Railroad.

Today, what was once the town of Almota has been inundated beneath the reservoir created by Little Goose Dam. All that remains today are the Almota grain elevators and Port of Almota that loads barges. A working railroad exists along the Snake nearby. Just upstream below Lower Granite dam is Boyer Park - a campground and marina.almota1 copy

What could Almota be with a free flowing river? Wheat would ship by rail rather than barge and thereby allow the Port of Almota to continue its operations. Important habitat and agricultural lands could return. Boyer Park could be transformed into a new recreation site along a restored river, providing a boat launch and camping for both human and motor powered watercraft. Tribal and non-tribal fishing would improve, benefiting local communities and economies.

Do you have a story or photo to share of the Almota area before the dams? Contact Sam Mace at sam@wildsalmon.org.

Resources of Interest:
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.357.3960&rep=rep1&type=pdf
https://revisitwa.org/waypoint/almota/

Picture 1: Before - The community of Almota before construction of Little Goose dam,, with farmlands and important habitat islands.

Picture 2: After - Today the Port of Almota delivers wheat to barges. Note the active railroad behind the grain elevators.


6. PRESS ROUND-UP: ALL THE NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED!

Christian Science Monitor: One solution to America’s dam safety problem - Remove them! (Sept 8)

East Oregonian (OR): Collaboration with all stakeholders is the best path forward, by John Appleton, owner of Alpine Archery and Fly in La Grande (Aug. 22)

Register Guard (OR): A failure to save salmon, by Jim Martin, Rod Sando, Doug DeHart, Dan Diggs, Bill Shake and Don Swartz (Aug. 22)

Register-Guard: River-dependent families need better solutions, by Barrett Christiansen, Walterville, OR (Aug. 17)

Bend Bulletin Guest Opinion (OR): Let’s heal our rivers and restore salmon, by Alysia and Elke Littleleaf, owners of Littleleaf Guide Services in Warm Springs (Aug. 25)

Vancouver Columbian Guest Opinion (WA): Snake River dams too costly, by Buzz Ramsey, Klickitat, WA (Aug. 23)

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