These calfs will only survive if there are enough salmon to eat. The reason for the current southern resident baby boom is correlated with the relative abundance of salmon available to these whales the last year and a half, demonstrating once again how important chinook salmon are to SRKWs. Global changes in climate, hydroelectric dams, urbanization, agriculture, destructive fishing practices, and pollution all play roles in harming salmon populations. But we have an opportunity to help the salmon in a huge way, and in turn help the whales. 
The Columbia River Basin was once the largest salmon producing river system in the world. Today, fifty-six dams throughout the basin have brought wild salmon to the brink of extinction. The Snake River, the largest tributary of the Columbia, has the greatest potential to recover its endangered wild salmon populations, thus providing more prey for the Southern Residents. The lower Snake spans fifty miles with four dams restricting access to a 5500 mile expanse of cool climate change resilient Chinook spawning and rearing streams. The lower Snake dams no longer meet their congressionally authorized intent, if the costs exceed the benefits.

Please please PLEASE ask Gov. Inslee to support Obama taking executive action to breach the lower Snake River dams. Call now 360-902-4111


Steelhead, Chinook salmon, lake sturgeon, or suckers are some of the fish species who require migrating to spawning grounds and are particularly susceptible to declines from impassable river obstructions. The very best fish passage is the complete removal of the barrier.
When it is not possible to remove these obstructions, fishways or fish ladders can be installed to allow fish passage over or around the barrier.
Flows, energy dissipation, resting areas, drop between pools (fishway slope), attraction velocities, entrance locations, and space in pools are just some of the factors that need to be considered when designing a ladder.

From here

The Buckley Dam was built in 1911 and is showing its age. Salmon trying to get upstream impale themselves on exposed rebar and damaged planks. Others struggle as they fail to locate or find space in the dams’ outdated fish trap. Even if they make it into the trap, they’re battered and bruised as they wait to get trucked upstream past the dam. The ones who finally make it upriver are so tired and injured that their chances of surviving are much worse than they should be.

The result is hundreds of thousands of dead salmon – including endangered species, like the Chinook. This terrible fish kill could be stopped if the Army Corps modernized the fish passage. Please urge them to stop dragging their feet and fix this old, defective dam.

Sign the petition here
Salmon migrate by truck during California drought

In drought-stricken California, young Chinook salmon are hitting the road, not the river, to get to the Pacific Ocean.

Millions of six-month-old smolts are hitching rides in tanker trucks because California’s historic drought has depleted rivers and streams, making the annual migration to the ocean too dangerous for juvenile salmon.

“The drought conditions have caused lower flows in the rivers, warmer water temperatures, and the fish that would normally be swimming down the rivers would be very susceptible to predation and thermal stress,” said Kari Burr, fishery biologist with the Fishery Foundation of California.

California has been trucking hatchery-raised salmon for years to bypass river dams and giant pumps that funnel water to Southern California and Central Valley farms.

But this year state and federal wildlife agencies are trucking nearly 27 million smolts, about 50 percent more than normal, because of the drought, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Each spring, the Coleman National Fish Hatchery usually releases about 12 million smolts into Battle Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River near Redding. But this year, it trucked 7.5 million of them to San Francisco Bay because the drought had made the 300-mile swim too perilous.


King Salmon Tail

About a month ago I processed a king salmon from the Nushagak River. The tail was pretty impressive so I put it in salt. The bottom photo shows how the tail looked when I pulled it out today. The tail is still pretty oily and not all that desiccated. The most interesting thing to me, though, is how the red molting color has pretty much disappeared and the tail looks as though it came from a salmon before it got too far upstream.

I put the tail back into salt and maybe I’ll check on it again in another month. I wonder if this process will actually let it completely desiccate. Has anyone ever tried this process for fish or any other animal?