In Hot Water, Rallies Planned for NW Salmon
Thursday, August 5, 2021
BOISE, Idaho -- Rallies are taking place across the Northwest to support salmon, which face dire conditions in the Columbia River Basin.
Saturday, the Rally for the River is calling for action from Congress to save endangered fish species in the region, including removing four lower Snake River dams that impede salmon migration and heat up the river.
Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, said his group recently captured video of the sockeye salmon struggling in the warm waters of the Columbia.
"The heartbreaking video of the sockeye covered in lesions and fungus should sound an alarm," VandenHeuvel asserted. "We need action now from the Northwest delegation."
Water temperatures above 68 degrees can be lethal for salmon, and the Columbia has already been above 70 degrees this year. VandenHeuvel pointed out high temperatures stress salmon metabolism and leave them more susceptible to predation and disease.
He predicted the situation will only get worse unless leaders act to remove the Snake River dams.
Betsy Emery, advocacy and campaign manager for the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, said anglers contribute $5 billion per year to the Pacific Northwest's economy, but she fears salmon in the basin are at a tipping point.
"A lot of us who spend time on the river and spend time thinking about these fisheries are really nervous," Emery remarked. "Could this be that catastrophic event that starts pushing some of these runs that we love so much, from a fishing perspective, into a space where they might not be strong enough to fish?"
VandenHeuvel added people are becoming inspired to take action.
"More and more people are getting involved and recognizing how serious and urgent this issue is," VandenHeuvel contended. "For salmon, for the orcas that depend on them, for the people of the Pacific Northwest."
Rallies are planned for Boise, Corvallis, Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Spokane on Saturday.
Disclosure: Columbia Riverkeeper contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species & Wildlife, Environment, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…
INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …
Health and Wellness
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …