salmon management

A federal judge is ordering the state of Washington to fix culverts that block salmon from reaching their habitat, setting a timeline and pressuring officials to find the money needed to do the job.

U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez's ruling was the result of a decades-old legal battle tied to treaties dating back to the mid-1800s. Tribes have said the state has blocked salmon passage and contributed to the decline of fish harvests.

Supporters of an effort to stop the government from killing sea lions at Bonneville Dam made their case to a federal judge in Portland Friday. The animals are targeted because they feed on endangered salmon.

The lawsuit was filed by the Humane Society of the United States this spring after the National Marine Fisheries Service gave Oregon and Washington the go-ahead to kill up to 30 California sea lions.

Bonneville Dam along the Columbia River is a favorite hang-out spot for the marine mammals. The dam makes it easy for them to munch on migrating salmon and other fish.

A draft federal evaluation has found that three more common pesticides used on home lawns and agricultural crops jeopardize the survival of West Coast salmon.

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Washington state wildlife spokesman says two salmon-eating California sea lions have been captured this week at Bonneville Dam and killed by lethal injection.

The Oregonian reports the deaths are the first this year after a federal judge ruled last month the program could proceed.

Northwest business, fishing and food industry leaders are asking for a new approach to salmon policy. From Richland, Courtney Flatt has more.

A group of one thousand businesses is using a ruling recently issued by federal judge James Redden to call for a new look at salmon policy.

In a news conference, business owners and fishermen say they hope to bring key regional stakeholders to the table to restore all salmon runs to the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Spokane outdoor retailer Paul Fish says a healthy environment goes hand-in-hand with a healthy economy.

Federal Judge James Redden this afternoon struck down the federal government’s plan for managing salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers.

LA Times

We’ve known for a long time that killer whales eat salmon. But new findings suggest that local orcas rely on salmon – specifically, adult Chinook salmon – more than previously thought. So now fisheries managers are having to ask themselves: What happens when endangered whales depend on endangered fish?

NPR.org

In President Obama’s State of the Union speech, he got the biggest laugh of the night when – to illustrate the need to simplify government – he made a crack about salmon management.

"The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater ... I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."

See it here, along with a shot of Commerce Secretary (and former Washington Governor) Gary Locke trying to be a good sport.