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Klamath River dam removal proposed


Things are really looking up for the salmon-eating killer whales of the west coast.  For the third time this fall, progress in removing dams on west coast salmon rivers has been made.  First there was press regarding the beginning of the removal of the Elwha dams.  Then news came of preparations for dam removals on [...]

Explosive Condit dam removal: more Columbia salmon on winter menu?


Kim Pokorny of the Oregonian reports progress on cleaning up the White Salmon River, a tributary on the lower Columbia, in preparation for an October 26 explosive removal.  This is good news for future foraging by southern resident killer whales who are known to target main stem Columbia fish when foraging on the Washington and [...]

Elwha dam removal begins this weekend


Here’s a great letter sent out today by Save Our Wild Salmon: This Saturday, September 17th, marks a truly historic event for wild salmon and river communities: the largest river restoration project to date with the removal of the two Elwha River dams on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Here are 3 great items to check [...]

Public and scientific influence in recovery of Columbia salmon for orcas


Great news last week from Save our Wild Salmon et al.: Judge Redden has again ruled that the Biological Opinion for managing Columbia Basin salmon is illegal and scientifically inadequate. This KPLU story on the timeline for revising or renewing the BiOp suggests that the Locke/Lubchenko team will probably not have time to react before [...]

Big fall chinook run expected on Columbia


Today’s Weekender Report from WDFW suggests SRKWs could have some good eating off the mouth of the Columbia this fall.  Does anyone have a read on how the Fraser chinook runs are faring this summer?  Why don’t killer whale conservationists have an easy way of monitoring the abundance of northwest salmon? Anglers are reeling in [...]

Fraser pollution and sockeye decline


In this Globe and Mail article, yet another suggestion that exposure to in-river contaminants may be a factor in the survival of Fraser River salmon: Among the endocrine disrupting ingredients identified in the Fraser were industrial chemicals, pesticides, compounds with a carbon-metal bond, pharmaceuticals and “several estrogen-like compounds,” the report says. It states that data [...]

Virus implicated in Fraser sockeye (and chinook?) mortality


The idea that a virus may play a part in the unpredictable Fraser river sockeye returns is (month) old news, but this article in Scientific American is the first to mention chinook that I’ve seen.  Perhaps the fate of the southern resident killer whales (who specialize on Fraser chinook in the summertime) is more connected [...]

Glimpses into the Columbia spring chinook fishery


In our on-going efforts to monitor Pacific salmon dynamics and interpret them from the perspective of southern resident killer whales, today brings news of a 6-hour commercial net fishery opening on the lower Columbia River.  It’s amazing that it’s even worth going out in a boat when the catch is limited to the first six [...]

Fraser and Bristol Bay sockeye runs compared


This article regarding a proposed open-pit mine in AK has a few insights into the Fraser River watershed, including this assertion that could suggest foci for conservation actions: Mining, pulp mills, agriculture, forestry, roads and other development in the Fraser River watershed all cause water pollution and regular violations of water quality standards for copper, [...]

Infrared detection of marine mammals


Live blog of a talk by Joseph Graber on “Land-based Infrared Imagery for Marine Mammal Detection” at UW/APL on March 10, 2011. Admiralty Inlet tidal currents can exceed 3 m/s and is therefore a valuable prospect for tidal power generation.  The Inlet is also a migration corridor for marine mammals, most importantly southern resident killer [...]