Pacific Northwest tribes 'very worried' about future of salmon

Youth visit a hatchery operated by the Nez Perce Tribe as part of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Salmon Camp earlier this month. Photo from Facebook

Drought conditions, climate change and disease are threatening the existence of one of the most important tribal food items in the Pacific Northwest.

An estimated quarter-million salmon recently died, The Washington Post reported. That represented more than half of the spring spawning run in the Columbia River, the paper said.

“We’re very worried,” N. Kathryn Brigham, the secretary of the Umatilla Tribes of Oregon who serves as chair of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, told the paper.

The deaths are being attributed to a disease that thrives in warming water. Salmon look for cool water to spawn and they are no longer finding that in the Northwest, instead heading further north to Canada, the Post reported.

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As salmon vanish in the dry Pacific Northwest, so does Native heritage (The Washington Post 7/31)

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