Jeremy Red Star Wolf: Treaty tribes see success with hatcheries

Youth visit a hatchery operated by the Nez Perce Tribe as part of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Salmon Camp in July 2015. Photo from Facebook

Jeremy Red Star Wolf, the chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, explains how tribes are leading salmon recovery efforts:
Over the past few years, the Columbia River has been blessed with record returns of fall chinook, coho and sockeye — returns the region hasn't seen since Bonneville Dam was completed in 1938. This progress was neither easy nor haphazard. Over the last 40 years, a coalition of tribal, federal and state agencies worked together to reverse salmon declines.

Contrary to claims made by a few salmon interest groups, the Columbia Basin, while still facing many challenges, is home to world leaders in salmon management. Columbia River stocks provide the backbone for fisheries from Idaho all the way to southeast Alaska.

A recent Oregonian editorial poses a number of questions about the use of hatcheries in Columbia Basin salmon recovery. While some of the questions merit discussion, most stem from reactions to a sensationalized press release about the research and not from the Oregon State University research findings. The attention-grabbing release betrayed the actual research and mischaracterized the study's conclusions. A fair review of the OSU research supports, not contradicts, what the tribes have been arguing for decades: Hatcheries can be an effective tool for increasing fish recovery and can be managed to minimize impacts on wild fish.

Get the Story:
Jeremy Red Star Wolf: Hatcheries play a critical role in salmon recovery (The Oregonian 3/19)

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