Page 1

Issue 1

November 2011

Legacy Wild Game Fish Conservation International http://WGFCI.blogspot.com

Elwha River Restoration Olympic National Park, Washington State


Legacy Wild Game Fish Conservation International Wild Game Fish Conservation International (WGFCI): Established in 2011 to advocate for wild game fish and for those who rely on them. LEGACY: A monthly publication for wild game fish conservationists LEGACY, the WGFCI Facebook page and the WGFCI web site will be utilized to help educate fellow conservationists, elected officials, business owners and others regarding wild game fish and the many issues impacting them and those who rely on their sustainability. This issue marks the debut of "LEGACY". LEGACY will feature wild game fish conservation projects, fishing adventures, accommodations, equipment and more. Your photos and articles featuring wild game fish from around planet earth are welcome for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue of LEGACY. Your ―Letters to the Editor‖ are also welcome. Successful wild game fish conservation efforts around planet earth will ensure their existence for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. This is our LEGACY.

On the cover: Demolition of the two, 100-year-old Elwha River dams; Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon dam, in order to restore the Elwha as a free-flowing river. “The largest dam removal project in U.S. history will reopen more than 70 miles of pristine spawning and rearing habitat in the Elwha River and its tributaries. Salmon populations are predicted to swell from 3,000 to nearly 400,000 as all five species of Pacific salmon return to one of the Pacific Northwest's most productive salmon streams. The Elwha is the largest watershed in Olympic National Park, and the return of salmon to this ecosystem will return marine-derived nutrients to the watershed, restoring a vital food source for the range of life that inhabits it… ―

ELWHA RIVER RESTORATION DETAILS ELWHA RIVER RESTORATION VIDEO


Legacy In this issue:  Elwha River Restoration (Washington State)  Monthly Masterpiece  Bristol Bay Protection (Alaska)  Salmon Feedlot Practices (British Columbia, Norway, Patagonia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Chile, more)  Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership – Ecosystem Economics  Columbia and Snake River Restoration (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, British Columbia)  Chehalis River Flood Damage Prevention (Washington State)

WGFCI Facebook Friends November 2011


 Elwha River Restoration Elwha Dam removal illustrates growing movement By Juliet Eilperin, Published: September 16 (Washington Post) The largest dam demolition in the nation‘s history will begin Saturday when an excavator claws away at the concrete supports for Washington‘s 108-foot Elwha River Dam, a ceremonial act of destruction that will signal not only the structure‘s demise but the latest step in a broad shift in the way Americans are managing rivers. Faced with aging infrastructure and declining fish stocks, communities are tearing down dams across the country in key waterways that can generate more economic benefits when they‘re unfettered than when they‘re controlled. ―What once seemed radical is now mainstream,‖ said American Rivers President Bob Irvin, whose group has advocated dam removal for environmental reasons. ―All of these are experiments in how nature can restore itself, and the Elwha is the biggest example of that.‖ The pace of removal has quickened, with 241 dams demolished between 2006 and 2010, more than a 40 percent increase over the previous five years. Many of them are in the East and Midwest, having powered everything, including textile mills and paper operations at the turn of the 20th century. A drumbeat of litigation by tribes and environmental groups has pushed federal officials to dismantle some dams that otherwise would have remained in place. Although this has led to political fights in regions where dams matter the most, such as the Pacific Northwest, it has also forged historic compromises. ―The Elwha River restoration marks a new era of river restoration in which broad community support provides the bedrock for work to sustain our rivers and the communities that rely on them,‖ Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. Although estimates vary on the economic value of restoring a river‘s natural flow, it creates construction jobs in the short term and eventually restores depleted commercial fisheries. It also draws tourists — anglers, rafters and kayakers. Federal officials estimate the $325 million, 2 1/2-year Elwha river restoration project will generate at least 760 jobs during its duration and 446 annual jobs in recreation and tourism once it‘s finished. This push to demolish large dams on major rivers in the Pacific Northwest, which got 70 percent of its electricity supply from hydropower as of 2009, has been criticized by influential policymakers, such as House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.). Hastings sought to block funding for dam demolition as well as the nomination of President Obama‘s choice for assistant secretary of fish, wildlife and parks, Rebecca Wodder, who advocated for dam removal as the former president of American Rivers.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


Web cameras and more


Big kings retur n to reign in Elwha For a research project accompanying dam removal, 10 adult chinook salmon were released to swim the Elwha River above Glines Canyon Dam for the first time in a century. By Lynda V. Mapes Seattle Times staff reporter LAKE MILLS, Clallam County — Ever so gently, Dick Goin let four big chinooks go into Lake Mills above Glines Canyon Dam, some of the first of their kind to swim in those waters in a century. Goin, 80, an Olympic National Park volunteer, was one of a select few to help release 10 big kings in all above Glines Canyon last week, on the eve of the start of the largest dam-removal project ever in U.S. history. "They were genuine Elwhas," Goin said of the four fish he let go, sounding a bit awestruck. All 10 fish were fitted with radio tags before the release, so scientists can track them at receiving stations and by airplane as the fish swim in the upper watershed. That will enable scientists to learn how the fish travel in and use waters where they have not been since construction started on Elwha Dam in 1910. Removal of both dams on the Elwha is now under way and is expected to take up to three years. Goin's family moved to the lower river when he was just 6, and he would become one of the first to push for taking the dams out of the river before it became a popular cause. "Oh heavens, this is something I have been waiting for," Goin said after letting the big fish go. "I literally am having trouble believing it's actually happening." Seven male and three female chinooks were released, ranging in length from 27 to 34 inches. All were between 3 and 4 years old, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The first reconnaissance flights by the National Park Service to track these fish may be as soon as Tuesday, and biologists expect to glean a lot of data. "We'll have very detailed movements on individual fish," said Sam Brenkman, head fish biologist for the Olympic National Park and leader of the tracking project. The project is a cooperative effort among the park, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Department and state Fish and Wildlife. Recolonization is expected to be a two-way street once the dams are out. Adult salmon will move from the saltwater into the river to spawn in some 70 miles of habitat. And there will be a reawakening of anadromy — oceangoing migration — in landlocked rainbow trout, headed downriver once more to sea as steelhead, when they have access to the saltwater Strait of Juan de Fuca.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


 November Masterpiece “Mayfly” Custom tied and photographed by Joaquín López La Coruña, Spain

Attention Artists (amateurs and professionals) LEGACY will feature a monthly masterpiece from photographs submitted by artists located anywhere on planet earth. Selections will include only photos of original art (paintings, sculptures, photographs, lures and more). Photos selected will promote values associated with wild game fish conservation. Please send your photos and contact information to LEGACY EDITOR.


 Bristol Bay - Wild Salmon Protection Enormous Mining Proposal Threatens World’s Greatest Salmon Rivers

The Bristol Bay Watershed produces the world‘s greatest commercial salmon fishery and internationally renowned salmon and trout runs that attract anglers from all over the world. The waters in this region have long been an integral part of the State‘s economy and have provided sustainable jobs, subsistence foods and other benefits to Alaskans for generations Today, the State of Alaska and Canadian mining company want to create North America‘s largest open pit gold mine and a 896-square mile mining district in the headwaters of Bristol Bay

Open Pit, Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah Pebble's Pit Would be Bigger

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At the same time, the Bureau of Land Management is trying to open 3.6 million acres of vital fish and wildlife habitat in the Bristol Bay Watershed to hardrock mining. What most people don‘t know is that the hard-rock mining industry is the single largest source of toxic releases and one of the most destructive industries in America. The proposed Pebble Mine may pose the greatest single threat to this area‘s salmon-bearing rivers and the people who depend on them. Similar open pit mines have devastated entire watersheds and surrounding fisheries throughout the United States and around the world. If opened, the Pebble Mine could pave the way for many more destructive mines. The Bristol Bay Alliance is a group of fishermen, business owners and local citizens working to help ensure that the people who depend on Bristol Bay‘s natural resources have the most influential voice of any group regarding the future of our land and waters. An open pit mine could threaten our communities by polluting our clean rivers that provide us with drinking water and plentiful fish. The Pebble mine is not a done deal. We want to have a voice in what happens in our backyard.


Fishers of Nation’s Largest Salmon Run Fight Proposed Mine Locals and indigenous people worry that the proposed Pebble Mine will harm their remote Alaskan community.

Driftnet fishing for sockeye salmon along the Nushagak River.

Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic Steve Fisher For National Geographic News Published October 7, 2011 This story is part of a special National Geographic News series on global water issues.

Last June, preparations were made in a remote village in Southwestern Alaska for the upcoming commercial sockeye salmon season at one of the largest salmon runs in the world. All along the gravel beach, crew members could be seen mending their patchwork of well-worn green nylon nets, as boat captains prepared their open-hull aluminum skiffs for the highly anticipated sockeye run.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


Results of Pebble Mine measure expected mid-Oct. By BECKY BOHRER

More from BusinessWeek JUNEAU, Alaska Tuesday marked the deadline for voting, but it will be nearly two weeks before Alaskans know the outcome of an initiative aimed at stopping the Pebble Mine project. Municipal elections in southwest Alaska's Lake and Peninsula Borough are conducted by mail. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday and in the clerk's office by Oct. 14. They will be counted when the canvassing board meets Oct. 17. Clerk Kate Conley said results will be certified Oct. 27 if there are no challenges. Voters are deciding whether to ban large-scale resource extraction activity, including mining, that would "destroy or degrade" salmon habitat. It's directed at Pebble Mine, a massive gold-and-copper prospect near the headwaters of Bristol Bay and one of the world's premier wild salmon fisheries. The vote likely won't be the last word on how, or whether, the mine is built, with a challenge to the initiative having already been filed. Pebble Limited Partnership, the group promoting the project, has argued, in part, that the measure would improperly bypass the role of the local planning commission. The state attorney general's office has said the initiative would enact an ordinance that is "unenforceable as a matter of law." A judge has put the case on hold until Nov. 7. Conley declined to speculate on voter turnout. The borough mailed out 1,192 ballots, to all registered voters. Turnout in recent municipal elections have ranged from 191 in 2007 to 384 last year, according to information Conley provided. The ballot count is being held at a venue that's larger than originally planned because of the interest from the media and others in witnessing it. The vote is the latest in the years long fight over a project that supporters say could create up to 1,000 long-term jobs in economically depressed rural Alaska. Opponents, however, fear that the mine could fundamentally change the landscape and disrupt, if not destroy, a way of life. The mine is a joint venture of Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. and Anglo American PLC of the United Kingdom.

BRISTOL BAY PHOTOS: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC


“The Pebble Mine is a massive mineral exploration project proposed for the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. Currently, this project is under consideration for development by British-based Anglo-American, PLC, and Canadian-based Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd. According to the companies' review of the proposed mine site, fully mining the copper, gold, molybdenum, and other metals would produce over seven billion tons of waste rock, a toxic stew that would be deposited in massive new artificial lakes. Seepage into the groundwater could adversely impact the Bristol Bay watershed, which is the main outflow for the rivers and streams in the proposed mine area. Contaminated water and industrial mining activities could threaten the pristine local environment and the diverse marine and terrestrial life that depend on it, in particular the wild and healthy salmon populations that thrive in the watershed, like the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.

On September 12, 2011, I sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to express my support for the EPA's decision to conduct a thorough scientific analysis of the effect a large-scale development project would have on the Bristol Bay watershed. Bristol Bay is one of the most productive salmon runs in the world, generating a total value of at least $500 million each year for commercial and recreational fisheries. Thousands of Washington state jobs, including seafood processing and the restaurant industry, depend on healthy, sustainable salmon populations. In 2008, Bristol Bay yielded over $113 million in total value for Washington state commercial fisheries while recreational salmon fisheries yielded an additional $75 million for Washington state businesses alone.

EPA is conducting a scientific analysis of the Bristol Bay watershed to help the agency understand how future large-scale development may affect water quality and the salmon fishery. The information the agency gathers is intended to help guide future actions to protect the waters and promote sustainable development. EPA will study information related specifically to the Pebble Mine because it is the most likely near-term large-scale development project. EPA does have the authority, under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, to restrict, prohibit, deny, or withdraw the use of a water body as a disposal site for dredged or fill material – such as mining and other waste – if it determines the discharge will have unacceptable adverse impacts on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on Pebble Mine, and please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation as it develops.”


 Salmon Feedlot Practices Open Letter to Fisheries and Oceans Canada Dr. Laura Richards Director General, Science, Pacific Region Fisheries and Oceans Canada Vancouver, BC. Dear Dr. Richards: I am writing to ask for your progress report on the thousands of silver-bright sockeye and now Coho that are floating dead down the Fraser River tributaries feeding into the Harrison River. People on the river say this has been ongoing since early August reaching upstream of Harrison Lake and estimate 100,000 sockeye have died in this area without spawning. When I was on the stand at the Cohen Inquiry the lawyer for Canada prevented me from presenting the information I gathered on disease from the 500,000 government documents provided to the Inquiry. Among other things, I found that you appear to have had a direct role in waiving the Fish Health Protection Regulations for exotic egg imports on request from the Norwegian salmon farmers. It looks like you are attempting to suppress information that your scientist, Dr. Miller found suggesting that the Fraser sockeye salmon have been dying of a virus since 1992, which is exactly when salmon feedlots were placed on the Fraser sockeye migration route. I was prevented from telling Justice Cohen that your scientists do not have the support they need from you to do the required sampling to figure out why very large numbers of Fraser sockeye are dying just before spawning. They have written numerous emails on this that I read as a participant of the Inquiry. I also read their frustration with you trying to keep this from the public. I was prevented from presenting the evidence there may be brain tumors in these dying sockeye and there are strong the linkages between the dying sockeye and a disease in farm salmon caused by Salmon Leukemia. On the stand you informed us that you do not review the farm salmon disease records, even though one of your scientists published in a top scientific journal that a form of fish cancer may be in our sockeye and this cancer has been reported by other DFO scientists in farm salmon in the journal CANCER RESEARCH. http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/52/23/6496 I am now examining the brains of these dying salmon myself, because I have lost all confidence in DFO. On my trip up the Fraser River two days ago I also found four yellow pink salmon.


Yellow pink salmon, even cartilage in their head is yellow


While you testified that you have not read the salmon farm disease records, I have read every line and note that the Provincial vet Dr. Gary Marty is diagnosing a form of jaundice in farm salmon that he states is similar to a virus found in Coho in Chile, he cites a paper by P.A. Smith et al 2006. I want your report on these jaundice farm salmon and the jaundice pink salmon DFO must be aware of – why are they yellow, why are there so many of them, is this the Chilean virus Dr. Marty notes and how would such a virus get here? We know some of the fish farmers in BC also have operations in Chile. Funding provided by the public is currently being used to study jaundice that is killing farm Chinook salmon. Please send a progress report to us . Dr. Richards there is something very wrong here, the salmon are dying and DFO is suppressing their own people who are closest to figuring this out. I am forwarding this letter to the over 20,000 people on my mailing list and we want your report on what DFO is doing and who is doing it. We want the diagnosis on the yellow salmon. We want to know if we a getting a side order of brain tumour in the salmon we are eating. Please give us a timeline on receiving this information and when we can expect updates from you. Who is providing samples to Dr. Miller’s lab of the dying sockeye? Miller is the only DFO scientist working on the sockeye I trust after observing so many of you on the stand at the Cohen Inquiry. Please let us know how much funding you have provided to Miller’s lab for further work on why the Fraser sockeye salmon are dying, do they have a virus, what is the virus, where is it coming from and is it causing brain tumours? Thank you, Alexandra Morton

Comments Catherine Barroll said...

This is a must read for every Canadian citizen concerned with the state of the wild salmon in Canada, and freedom of information in Canada...to get on Alexandra Morton's email list go to wildsalmonpeople.org. This is the real face of salmon farming, and the department of fisheries in this country.

Dr. Alexandra Morton Marine Biologist, Whale Researcher, Author


Salmon virus could spread to Washington from British Columbia MARK HARRISON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Farming salmon in the Northwest must end Editor, The Times: It is shocking to read that a deadly exotic disease from Europe has now been reported in wild Pacific salmon in British Columbia and could spread to Washington and Alaska. [―Infectious virus detected in wild Pacific salmon,‖ page one, Oct. 18.] Infectious salmon anemia (ISA) is a fish-farm flu, which is a listed disease requiring notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health — like bird flu, swine flu, rabies and mad-cow disease. How this lethal disease was allowed into North Pacific waters is a lesson in madness and greed. Norwegian companies now control 92 percent of salmon farms in British Columbia and recently spread ISA to the South Pacific in Chile — resulting in $2 billion MARK HARRISON / THE SEATTLE TIMES A processing line at Seafreeze guts farm raised in losses. Atlantic salmon minutes after they are killed and iced. In the North Pacific, there is even more at stake, with wild salmon feeding bears, orcas, fishermen, eagles and wolves. Wild salmon are absolutely priceless, yet the Canadian government is putting this all at risk for short-term corporate profits. Farming Atlantic salmon in the Pacific is clearly illogical and against the laws of nature. The only sensible solution is to immediately slaughter all the Atlantic farmed salmon stock on the Pacific Coast and let wild salmon have free passage. It is heartening to see the removal of dams in the Pacific Northwest — now it is time for the salmon farms to get out of the way. — Don Staniford, Sointula, B.C

Don Staniford Global Coordinator Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture


Record sockeye returns to Harrison anticipated 1.1 million salmon en route, 300,000 could die before arriving By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun October 17, 2011

An estimated record run of 1.1 million late-run sockeye are destined for the Harrison River system in the upper Fraser Valley. "It's a very good run," Mark Saunders, division manager for salmon and freshwater ecosystems, said in an interview from the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. "This is one of the [late-run] populations ... that is doing extremely well. We're expecting a very high escapement on to the grounds." The record run of 1.1 million Harrison sockeye this year - an estimate based on migrating fish counted at Mission - compares with 389,000 sockeye in 2005, 169,000 in 2006, 128,000 in 2007, 6,750 in 2008, 307,000 in 2009, and 761,000 in 2010. As many as 300,000 fish could die en route to their spawning grounds, he said. Despite the large-scale dieoff, the federal fisheries department says such events are not unheard of and it remains pleased with the returns and the numbers expected to successfully spawn. Temperatures, water flows, fat reserves as the salmon leave the ocean, stress, and disease are among factors that could "conspire to kill them on route," he said. Sockeye in recent years have also been entering fresh water up to several weeks earlier than normal, which could put them at increased risk. "Once they're in fresh water, they don't eat and have to run on their reserves," Saunders said. "A lot of things have to go right for any given salmon, right from the time it migrated out until it comes back, to get them back on the spawning ground." Accurate en-route mortality rates are not available every year, but federal fisheries estimates 27 per cent of the total Harrison run are expected to die before spawning this year, compared with 27 per cent in 2007, 81 per cent in 2008, and just three per cent in 2010. The peak of Harrison-bound sockeye travelled past Mission in late August, but won't start spawning for about another week, with federal fisheries staff on the ground to monitor success, Saunders said. Alexandra Morton, who for years has warned about the dangers of salmon farms transferring disease to wild stocks, said she believes farms have contributed to en-route mortality since 1995. But she said the Harrison's stocks seem to be bucking the trend among sockeye destined for the Fraser River system, perhaps, in part, because of their migratory routes at sea. "They are doing phenomenally well," she confirmed.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


Patagonia Pushes Back Against Salmon Farming

Written by Paul Molyneaux

In July of this year, after a two-year moratorium that gave residents and regulators of Magallanes and Antarctica time to take a hard look at what salmon farming would do for their region, the Chilean office of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) sent out a press release announcing a ban on salmon farming in Tierra del Fuego and a 57 percent reduction in the areas available for salmon farming in the rest of the Region. ―We played an active role in the process,‖ says Bárbara Saavedra, director of WCS Chile. ―We talked to fishers, tourism people. The mayor of Porvenir was very supportive, and the provincial governor of Tierra del Fuego, Catalina Besnier, told me this area was slated for tourism development and salmon farming was simply not compatible.‖ For two decades, salmon farming had appeared to be Chile‘s new El Dorado. By 2007 Chile challenged Norway as the largest salmon producing country on earth, but it took a disaster, in the form of the 2007 viral epizootic that wiped out salmon farming in Los Lagos, to drive home the point that salmon farming offers only the illusion of economic growth—there have always been problems with the math. WCS Chile researchers have examined existing studies on the social and environmental impacts of salmon farming and found the industry was a net loser for the environment, artisanal fishing communities, and eco-tourism. Sharing that deeper understanding of salmon aquaculture led to stricter regulation of the industry in Chile‘s southernmost region, but Saavedra calls the victory, bittersweet. ―The government has given the salmon industry over 3,000 miles of coastline in northern Patagonia, it runs right through the middle of Chile‘s largest national park, Parque Nacional Bernardo O‘Higgins,‖ Saavedra said. ―Everywhere it‘s a disaster, but up there people think—think because they don‘t know—that salmon farming will make their lives better, even in spite of everything that happened in the Los Lagos Region.‖ When Saavedra and many others add up the numbers they see high costs and few benefits in salmon farming. ―The only competitive advantage in the Chilean salmon industry is that they don‘t include environmental or social costs in their numbers. And they are doing the same math here in Magallanes.‖

READ ENTIRE RTICLE HERE


FARMED ATLANTIC SALMON: POTENTIAL INVADER IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST? INSIDE Farmed fish on the loose...................................................3 The threat of Atlantic salmon invasion..............................3 Potential vectors of parasites and disease........................4 The risk for national forests..............................................5

INSUMMARY

Commercial farming of Atlantic salmon in marine net-pens has become a booming industry. At present, approximately 130 salmon farms exist along the Pacific coast of North America. Most of these farms are in cold marine bays within British Columbia, where farmed salmon have become the province’s most valuable agricultural export. Each year, thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon escape their pens, and could potentially impact native fishes. The PNW Research Station has recently examined the risk of population establishment by escaped Atlantic salmon in the Pacific Northwest, and assessed the potential implications of invasions for native fishes inhabiting streams within national forests. The short-term risk of Atlantic salmon invasions appears to be low and is limited to a few areas in northwest Washington and southeast Alaska. However, long-term risks may be substantial if fish continue to escape from marine rearing pens or freshwater hatcheries. The two greatest threats appear to be that Atlantic salmon could transmit a serious disease or parasite to native fishes, and that escaped salmon could eventually adapt to local conditions, leading to self-sustaining populations. If Atlantic salmon populations are eventually established, this species’ preference for swiftly flowing stream habitats could facilitate competition with currently at-risk species such as steelhead. “Farm-raised salmon now outnumber wild fish nearly 85 to one. As wild stocks dwindle, this legendary sport fish has become the veritable chicken of the sea.” —Fen Montaigne, National Geographic Throughout the world, salmon is increasingly what‘s for dinner. In the past 15 years, consumption of salmon has doubled, and nearly all of the increase has come from the culture of Atlantic salmon. Salmon farming is now a $2 billion-a-year industry annually serving up 2.6 billion pounds of fish. Clusters of open-net aquaculture pens churning with salmon can be found in cold marine bays from Norway to Chile, and several countries in between. There are now approximately 130 salmon farms along the Pacific Northwest coast. Most produce Atlantic salmon, although a few farms also raise native Chinook or coho. Atlantic salmon dominate the industry, even in the Pacific, because the most productive stocks for farming were originally developed in Norway, where marine net-pen aquaculture evolved during the 1960s. And, like most agricultural commodities, Atlantic salmon have been optimized for fast, consistent production.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


Dr. Alexandra Morton‘s paper regarding pre-spawn mortality of Fraser River sockeye salmon has been entered as evidence for the Cohen Commission Inquiry to help understand the cause(s) associated with prespawn mortality of Fraser River sockeye salmon.

Below are the first several paragraphs from Dr. Morton‘s blog:

10/11/2011 My Report to Cohen - There is a serious issue with disease Last Friday, October 7, Justice Cohen ruled, against the objection by the lawyers for Canada and the Province of BC, to allow my report to become an Exhibit of the Cohen Commission. So I can now share it with you. You can download it at bottom of this text. In this report I pulled together what people in government have been saying about the Fraser sockeye and the pattern is incredibly clear. The Fraser began dying when Chinook salmon farms with Salmon Leukemia virus were put on their migration route in 1992. When these Chinook farms were removed in June 2007, the next generation of Fraser sockeye that went to sea came back in 2010 - this was the first reversal in the decline since the farms appeared. DFO did experiments in the 1990s to see if sockeye could catch this disease from the farmed Chinook. 100% became infected and DFO did nothing to protect them. When DFO research scientist, Kristi Miller, recently found the Fraser sockeye are dying of a virus that resembles Salmon Leukemia, DFO prevented her from attending meetings on the sockeye crash, would not let her speak to the media and we learned in her testimony at the Inquiry that DFO has not given her any funds for further sockeye research. Also in my report is the extremely disturbing records from the Province of BC of over 1,000 reports of the symptoms of the exotic Atlantic salmon virus Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA)! The provincial vets never reacted to their own reports with proper testing, even though they report farm salmon dying of the lesions associated with this disease. This Atlantic salmon virus has spread around the world in salmon farms, but Canada does not require imported eggs to be disinfected and has no place on the import certificate for foreign hatcheries to report this virus. I have written to the Minister of Fisheries repeatedly about the extreme risk this virus poses to BC wild salmon. Many other scientists joined me in signing one of these letters, but ex-Minister Gail Shea refused to close the border to eggs, or test all the salmon farms according to DFO's own Manual of Compliance or even accept the virus can travel in the eggs. The DFO Director General of Science waived the Canadian Fish Health Protection Regulations so Atlantic salmon eggs could be imported from a foreign hatchery that does not meet Canada's regulations. In the summer of 2009 Marine Harvest began requesting repeated tests for the Atlantic salmon virus (ISA) from the Province of BC. In April 2010, the fish farms refused the Province of BC further access to their fish for disease testing and BC went along with this. At the same time the Norwegian companies in BC signed a Memorandum of Understanding between themselves to limit viruses from spreading from one company to the next. The governments of Canada and BC are not part of this agreement, nor are the wild salmon migrating past.

READ ENTIRE BLOG ENTRY and DR MORTON’S REPORT


First quarter marine mammal deaths posted by DFO VANCOUVER--Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has posted the counts of marine mammals shot or drowned at active salmon farms in B.C. during the first quarter (Jan.-Mar.) of 2011. The numbers are shocking.

Catherine Stewart, Salmon Farming Campaign Manager

A total of 141 California sea lions were deliberately shot by the fish farms in three months. Thirty-seven harbour seals were reported shot or drowned in the nets. Perhaps most worrisome, two Steller sea lions, a species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) as ‗of special concern‘, were shot by Mainstream at their West Side farm in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve.

Goo gle ―Once again, the open net-cage industry in B.C. proves to be environmentally destructive,‖ said Eart Catherine Stewart, Living Oceans Society‘s Salmon Farming Campaign Manager. ―Species at risk are beingh shot, dozens of California sea lions are dying and this is just what is self-reported by the farms in ma three months of this year. The death toll over the years may be worse than we imagined.‖ the first p

Thewith DFO web page acknowledges these data may be ‗incomplete‘, meaning that some farms may not havedet reported all deaths at the time the numbers were compiled. ails on eac h rep orte d site, ent ang lem

The ent world‘s largest salmon farming corporation, Marine Harvest, was the worst offender. At the corporation‘s Mahatta West farm in Quatsino Sound, 46 California sea lions were shot between January dea and ths March of this year while 19 were killed at their Mahatta East net-pen site and 15 at the Cleagh Creek farm. andEleven harbour seals were shot at the Phillips Arm farm in the Discovery Islands, near the Wild Salmon kills Narrows. .

Mainstream killed 47 California sea lions and also shot the two SARA-listed Steller sea lions at the company‘s West Side farm in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Clayoquot Sound. ―The case for moving these net-cage farms into closed containment just keeps getting stronger,‖ Stewart said. ―How long can our marine ecosystems keep paying the price for industry and government‘s unwillingness to adopt innovative solutions?‖ For more information contact: Catherine Stewart, Salmon Farming Campaign Manager Phone: 604-696-5044 ext. 104 | Cell: 604-916-6722


Reported Marine Mammal “Predator Control� BC Salmon Farm Sites: First Quarter - 2011 (Google Earth map with details on each reported site, entanglement deaths and kills.)


ISA in B.C.: European strain of exotic disease detected in wild sockeye salmon! October 17, 2011 by Anonymous Breaking News!

The European strain of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) is reported for the first time in Pacific salmon - in wild sockeye caught in Rivers Inlet on the Central Coast.

[Photo: Chief Bob Chamberlin with Alexandra Morton – pictured at a press conference at Simon Fraser University] Lethal Atlantic Virus found in Pacific Salmon European Strain of ISA virus threatens North Pacific salmon and herring The highly contagious marine influenza virus, Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) has for the first time been officially reported after being found in the Pacific on B.C.‘s central coast. Now it threatens both wild salmon and herring, say biologist Alexandra Morton and Simon Fraser University professor Rick Routledge, whose laboratory led to the discovery of ISA in B.C. salmon smolts. Morton is calling for removal of Atlantic salmon from B.C. salmon farms. ―Loosing a virus as lethal and contagious as ISA into the North Pacific is a cataclysmic biological threat to life,‖ said Morton. ―The European strain of ISA virus can only have come from the Atlantic salmon farms. European strain ISA infected Chile via Atlantic salmon eggs in 2007.‖ Morton says ISA was first found in Norway in 1984. ―Since then, there have been lethal outbreaks in every important salmon-farming region around the globe, with the exception – or so we thought – of B.C. Now we know for sure that it has hit B.C. ―The Cohen Inquiry revealed ISA symptoms have been reported in farm salmon in B.C. since 2006. The Fisheries Ministers have written me repeatedly that B.C. is safe from ISA. Clearly they are not in control of the situation.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


Deadly salmon virus raises concerns in Wash. PHUONG LE, Associated Press, Seattle PI

SEATTLE (AP) — Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly, contagious virus recently detected in wild salmon in British Columbia. Researchers in British Columbia announced Monday they had found the influenza virus in two juvenile sockeye salmon on B.C.'s central coast, the first time in the Pacific Northwest. The virus has caused devastating losses at fish farms in Chile. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's John Kerwin on Tuesday said his agency wants to refine its testing methods to improve detection of the virus. The state tested about 56,000 fish last year and so far has not found signs of infectious salmon anemia. U.S. Geological Survey scientist James Winton calls the news a disease emergency. He says officials on both side of the border should step up research, surveillance and testing.

Rivers Inlet


Thompson Fisheries Blog Photos

Angler with prized Thompson River steelhead

CHIEFS CONCERNED ABOUT INFECTIOUS SOCKEYE VIRUS: ShuswapNation TribalCouncil PRESS RELEASE October 17, 2011 Kamloops, BC — The Shuswap Nation Tribal Council is very concerned about the conclusive finding of the European Strain of Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISA) in sockeye in Rivers Inlet. The Secwepemc, like most BC First Nations, have relied on salmon as the life blood of our people. Between 50-90% of our people’s diet consisted of salmon at the time of contact. We welcome the salmon returning each year with first fish ceremonies and our elders maintain a special cultural connection with the spirit of the salmon people. Like our ancestors before us, our communities located in the headwaters of the Thompson River watershed continue to be the proud, local stewards and protectors of the resource. ISA is a very real and potentially devastating disease if left without fisheries management intervention, it could not only destroy our fish stocks but equally damage our traditional cultural practices. We urge government scientists and regulators to take the threat and consequences of ISA very seriously. Specific testing must be done at once on all BC salmon farms and the results must be made public. The sampling program for ISA should be expanded to other wild salmon and herring stocks. Any salmon farm found with ISA must be quarantined and the fish eradicated. Infected farm sites should remain fallow pending further testing. No further importation of Atlantic salmon eggs or fry into BC should be allowed. The Secwepemc communities have worked closely with government to rebuild and manage our remaining salmon stocks. We have actively participated in numerous inquiries and panels, including the ongoing Cohen Inquiry into the decline of the sockeye salmon. Though there are likely numerous factors contributing to the decline, infectious viruses originating from Atlantic salmon farming practices have not been widely examined and reported. This may be the elusive smoking gun. We urge government to act immediately to counteract the threat of ISA with strict new regulations, salmon farm inspections and transparent research studies. For more information contact: SNTC Chief W. Christian, Spokesperson 250-503-7072 250-503-7072


Lethal virus discovered in Pacific salmon As reported on Q13 Fox News (Seattle)

Virus, which is not a threat to humans, has never before been found in the Pacific

Salmon spawning (Courtesy of National Geographic/Paul Nicklen)

A deadly and highly contagious virus has been discovered for the first time in Pacific salmon off the coast of British Columbia. The European strain of the Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) virus is believed to have arrived in the Pacific through salmon farming, Simon Fraser University (SFU) biologist Alexandra Morton said. The virus, which is not a threat to humans, is viewed as a serious danger to the herring and salmon populations and biologists like Morton are calling for the removal of Atlantic salmon from B.C. salmon farms. "Loosing a virus as lethal and contagious as ISA into the North Pacific is a cataclysmic biological threat to life," Morton said. Morton has been an outspoken critic of transporting fish eggs from the Atlantic to the Pacific and believes the virus, which was first discovered in Norway in 1984, has likely been loose in British Columbian waters for years. SFU Professor of Statistics Dr. Rick Routledge discovered the virus in two of 48 sockeye salmon he collected while studying the population decline in British Columbia rivers inlet sockeye populations. He believes the implications to the Pacific fish population could be devastating. A decline in the salmon population is seen as a threat to the entire food chain, especially for animals that eat salmon as a major portion of their diet like grizzly bears and Orca whales. "The potential impact of ISA cannot be taken lightly," Routledge said. "There must be an immediate response to assess the extent of the outbreak, determine its source, and to eliminate all controllable sources of the virus — even though no country has ever eradicated it once it has arrived."

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KOMO 4 (SEATTLE) ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KING 5 (SEATTLE) ADDITIONAL REPORTING and VIDEO KIRO 7 (SEATTLE)


U.S. senators seek new study of deadly salmon virus Posted by Craig Welch State and federal scientists concerned about news that two wild sockeye smolts have been found carrying a highly contagious virus related to one that killed millions of farmed salmon in Chile agree on this: they need more information. Three Northwest senators want them to get it. Late Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich asked Congress to require federal agencies to research the risks and threats from the discovery and report back on their findings within six months. The senators are proposing an amendment to an agricultural appropriations bill that would kick off an emergency research effort to figure out how much of a threat the virus may pose to wild, hatchery and farmed salmon in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California. ―We need to act now to protect the Pacific Northwest‘s coastal economy and jobs," Cantwell said in a statement. "Infectious salmon anemia could pose a serious threat to Pacific Northwest wild salmon and the thousands of Washington state jobs that rely on them. We have to get a coordinated game plan in place to protect our salmon and stop the spread of this deadly virus.‖ The proposed amendment comes just two days after researchers at Simon Fraser University announced the results of laboratory testing that revealed two of 48 sockeye smolts tested from Rivers Inlet in northern British Columbia were carrying infectious salmon anemia, also known as ISA. It's the first time the virus -- which in its virulent form has been found to be deadly to Atlantic salmon, but harmless to humans -- has been documented along the Pacific Coast. Fish-virus experts from the U.S. Geological Survey to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife called the discovery alarming even while they acknowledged the tests results don't make clear how wide-ranging the virus is. The results also have not yet been confirmed by additional testing. "We found sequences of this virus in two samples of wild sockeye -- that's all," said Fred Kibenge, the highly regarded scientist who performed the tests. "There was no link to disease, no indication of a massive outbreak, and we don't know if it's virulent or not. But anytime it's present you have the potential for an outbreak. "This is probably the single most-feared virus in the fish industry," he said. "ISA is a very dangerous disease." The virus first surfaced in farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway in the early 1980s and since has ranged as far as Scotland and Chile and northeastern North America. So far, there's no evidence this virus has ever harmed wild salmon populations, even wild Atlantic salmon populations. James Winton, a fish virologist at USGS in Seattle, found several years ago that several species of Pacific salmon exposed to the virus in a lab were resistant to disease.

READ ENTIRE SEATTLE TIMES ARTICLE HERE


Salmon-Killing Virus Seen for First Time in the Wild on the Pacific Coast By CORNELIA DEAN and RACHEL NUWER Published: October 17, 2011

A lethal and highly contagious marine virus has been detected for the first time in wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest, researchers in British Columbia said on Monday, stirring concern that it could spread there, as it has in Chile, Scotland and elsewhere. Farms hit by the virus, infectious salmon anemia, have lost 70 percent or more of their fish in recent decades. But until now, the virus, which does not affect humans, had never been confirmed on the West Coast of North America.

A farm-raised salmon, the type hit hardest by infectious salmon anemia. The spread to the wild in the Pacific Northwest was reported by researchers in British Columbia

The researchers, from Simon Fraser University and elsewhere, said at a news conference in Vancouver that the virus had been found in 2 of 48 juvenile fish collected as part of a study of sockeye salmon in Rivers Inlet, on the central coast of British Columbia. The study was undertaken after scientists observed a decline in the number of young sockeye. Richard Routledge, an environmental scientist at the university who leads the sockeye study, suggested that the virus had spread from the province’s aquaculture industry, which has imported millions of Atlantic salmon eggs over the last 25 years, primarily from Iceland and Scandinavia. He acknowledged that no direct evidence of that link existed, but noted that the two fish had tested positive for the European strain of infectious salmon anemia. The virus could have “a devastating impact” not just on the region’s farmed and wild salmon but on the many species that depend on them in the food web, like grizzly bears, killer whales and wolves, Dr. Routledge said. “No country has ever gotten rid of it once it arrives,” he said in a statement. The only barrier between the salmon farms and wild fish is a net, he noted at the news conference, opening the way for “pathogens sweeping in and out.” No vaccine or treatment exists for infectious salmon anemia.

READ ENTIRE NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE HERE


The Sockeye Murder Mystery (www.Canada.com)

The Sockeye Salmon Murder Mystery By Ray Grigg, Special to Courier-Islander September 16, 2011

The puzzle of British Columbia's disappearing Fraser River sockeye is unfolding like a classical murder mystery. Suspects abound. Suspicion has fallen on such culprits as atypical ocean predators, unusual algae blooms, overfishing, inadequate food supplies, and threatening high temperatures in both marine and river ecologies. Each suspect has been carefully investigated and each may have inflicted some injury on the hapless sockeye. But the prime suspect is the salmon farming industry, the Norwegian corporations that have located multitudes of open net-pens in BC's West Coast waters - many crucially situated along the migration routes of the victimized sockeye. The salmon farming industry possesses the three primary characteristics that make it the prime suspect in this murder investigation: motive, opportunity and means.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Dr. Craig Orr, Executive Director, Watershed Watch, being interviewed by Fanny Kiefer (Studio 4, ShawTV) regarding impact of Norwegian-owned salmon feedlots in British Columbia to Fraser River sockeye salmon.

CLICK HERE FOR INTERVIEW.


Norwegian-owned Atlantic salmon feedlots located in Norway’s marine waterways

Ocean of trouble: Report warns of by Clare Leschin-Hoar (Grist)

Wild Norwegian seatroutdangers covered with offshore fish farming sea lice from Atlantic salmon feedlots


 Columbia and Snake River Restoration Wind & Salmon Connection Wild salmon and wind energy work together well in the Northwest, as sustainable resources and job creators. But the Obama administration's present management of the Columbia and Snake Rivers doesn't reflect this natural partnership, thus needlessly pitting wind energy and salmon recovery against each other. We're working to change that. Federal policy should keep the salmon swimming, the wind turbines turning, and the jobs from both growing. Here are up-to-date reports on our work and progress. You can also take action here. Projects - Wind & Salmon Connection Friday, 12 August 2011 20:39

Wind farm set to power 100,000 homes taking shape in Washington

Power utility Puget Sound Energy has now installed 119 turbines out of 149 due to be set up for its Lower Snake River wind farm in western Garfield County, Washington State The transportation of big wind turbine components to the site 13 miles west of Pomeroy should come to an end this week. Nearly 1,200 oversized truck-trailers have already rolled along US 12 on their way to the project‘s Phase 1, with daily deliveries carrying components up to 160 feet long and weighing up to 82 tons. Some of the components for the Siemens wind turbines have been manufactured at the Siemens Energy factories in Iowa and Kansas, arriving into Pasco by train for transfer onto trucks to the wind farm site. Read more over at Brighter Energy News.

Projects - Wind & Salmon Connection Thursday, 28 July 2011 19:44

New challenges emerge in wind vs. water debate

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


Columbia River Basin


TOM STUART: Lessons from Elwha: Working together, we all win READER’S VIEW: DAM REMOVAL BY TOM STUART - Idaho Statesman Published: 10/09/11 The people of Washington state showed what a dam removal celebration ought to look like when 400 gathered on Sept. 17 beside the 108-foot-tall Elwha Dam to celebrate its impending removal. Along with removal of 210-foot-tall Glines Canyon Dam just upstream, these dam removals constitute the largest river restoration project ever undertaken. They promise to restore biological, cultural and economic vitality to the Olympic Peninsula by restoring the river’s once-potent salmon runs. Sitting among guests during the two-hour ceremony, I imagined how easily the words spoken would transport in time and space to a future event along the banks of the lower Snake River, where four dams also impede salmon migration to and from a huge preserve of ideal salmon habitat in Idaho. “Some people will say that you can’t do river restoration and job creation, that the agenda of conservation is somehow antithetical to the job creation crisis which we face in America,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “I can tell you (Washington) Gov. Gregoire, and the congressional leadership up here on this podium, disagree. Because we can do conservation and environmental restoration and have good economics.” A strong undercurrent of the Elwha celebration was heartfelt emotion from the native Lower Elwha Klallam people. Ben Charles Sr., in his powerful invocation, read from the book of Hebrews of being “compassed by a great cloud of witnesses,” as he envisioned generations of his people watching the event. “You may not be able to see them, but I can,” he said. Speeches from others spoke of persistence, collaboration, the values of salmon recovery and river restoration. There was a palpable sense among those attending that more dams will be removed as years pass. I believe the lower Snake River dams will be among them, and the lessons learned on the Elwha can be applied on the Snake. Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell called the Elwha restoration project “a proud victory for the culture and heritage of the Klallam people,” but she also stressed the project’s economic benefits, including more than 5,000 jobs. “This is so important to healthy salmon runs and environmental sustainability and part of our economy, part of our culture, part of our identity, and healthy salmon ecosystems support thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic revenue and activity for our state,” Cantwell said. Here in Idaho, we can learn from the Elwha, and we must. It teaches us about the science, engineering, economic and community-related lessons that can be applied to other rivers. As many dignitaries pointed out, removing the Elwha dams was the result of a collaborative process. That is exactly what’s needed in the Snake River Basin now, where salmon have been on the edge of extinction for decades, while government recovery proposals fail to do enough. For Idaho’s salmon the science is clear: Four lower Snake River dams are the most significant impediment to survival. Following a strong ruling on Aug. 2 from federal District Judge James Redden that called for the federal government to closely examine dam removal as an option for Snake River basin salmon, it’s time to begin settlement talks that benefit our salmon, culture, traditions and our economy.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE


 Chehalis River Basin Flood Damage Prevention Wild Game Fish Conservation International endorses the two bold resolutions submitted to the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority by the Northwest Steelhead and Salmon Conservation Society. Implementation of the strategies presented in these resolutions is necessary for any basinwide flood damage prevention program to be effective. The key points included in each of these resolutions are listed below:

NWSSCS Resolution 51810: 

Immediate and permanent moratorium on commercial and residential development within Chehalis River Basin floodplains as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) floodplain maps of 2010

Immediate and permanent moratorium on steep slope logging and associated road construction within the Chehalis River Basin

Natural processes associated with Chehalis River Basin floodplains be restored

Chehalis River Basin fish and wildlife be protected and restored;

NWSSCS Resolution 11011: 

There shall be unbiased, science based evaluations of strengths, limitations, benefits and costs of all strategies (non-structural and structural) to prevent catastrophic damage from Chehalis River basin floods.

These studies should be overseen (supervised, managed) by the University of Washington or Washington State University. The oversight, etc. must include a peer review of all studies.

Chehalis River near the site of the proposed hydropower dam and resulting reservoir (upstream from Pe Ell, Washington) – photo by Jim Wilcox (WGFCI)


Our Views: Chehalis Tribe’s Letter from Chairman Most Welcome By The Chronicle Editorial BoardThe Chronicle | 0 comments Last week the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation‘s Chairman David Burnett sent a letter to the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority. Burnett wrote, ―We will engage in constructive and timely consultation at any point the authority would wish to or is required to engage in government to government consultation.‖ It was a response from the Flood Authority asking for consultations with the Chehalis Tribe over efforts to create basinwide flood protection. It was only this past spring that the Chehalis Tribe and the Flood Authority split ways. As the skies gray and the leaves turn their brilliant yellows, reds and oranges, flood protection again rises to the fore of our thoughts as we recount past fall and winter extreme flood events. We all pray those living and working along the Chehalis As the skies gray and the leaves turn their brilliant yellows, reds and oranges, flood protection again rises to the fore of our thoughts as we recount past fall and winter extreme flood events. We all pray those living and working along the Chehalis River escape such tragedy as occurred most recently in late 2007 and early 2009 when the rivers rose above their banks. We find this effort for mutual respect and coordination between the Chehalis Tribe and the Flood Authority most welcome. All recognized tribes in the United States have unique legal status. Their leaders and members are part of their tribes, but also citizens of the United States. Tribes and their members own property and self-determined rights that existed before the creation of the United States, and before the establishment of the state of Washington. Tribes have an appropriate stake in decisions such as the proper route in finding flood control for not only the tribe‘s lands, but also the river basins that flow into and through their reservations, and affect their historic fishing and hunting grounds.Without coordination with the Chehalis Tribe, basinwide solutions along the Chehalis River will not and should not occur. In his letter to the Flood Authority, Burnett wrote the tribe will support proposed projects that ―decrease negative impacts from flooding, have no negative impact to fish habitat, increase minimum flows in the river during the late summer months.‖ We agree with Burnett‘s list. At issue is the proposal to build water retention in the headwaters of the Chehalis River, above the town of Pe Ell. While we withhold any final approval of water retention until ongoing studies are concluded, we do hold out solid hope that those structures could fulfill all of Burnett‘s requests. Certainly they would hold back waters during flood events, and allow for more cool water to flow during the stagnant summer months. Those two changes to the river would likely increase fish survivability.


We support the scientific investigation into fish enhancement projects throughout the Chehalis River Basin (the largest river basin inside Washington state borders). This effort is already underway by the Flood Authority, as a $1 million study into fish enhancement started earlier this year. If the study reveals a way to both hold back floodwaters and improve the strength of fish runs, perhaps we‘ll enter into the flood season in coming years without the trepidation we have today.

Forests, and Fish Law Explained (WFPA)

Good fish habitat has all the "Four C's": cold, clean, complex, and connected

Proposed Chehalis River Dam


A Letter to the Editor in response to the article on the following page: Editor, As a Chehalis River basin resident for more than forty years, I continue to be amazed by the processes (and their costs) associated with Chehalis River Basin flood damage prevention. The October 7, Chehalis River basin field trip was another example of policymakers and elected officials not recognizing the powers of western Washington rivers as these leaders continue to attempt sell the notion of a flood ―control‖ dam in the headwaters of the Chehalis River. Not knowing the ultimate design and function of the proposed dam, it is impossible to estimate its cost, effectiveness and impacts to residents and to the ecosystem. Also, not knowing the patterns, duration and severity of future Pacific Ocean storms, it is impossible to estimate the damages associated with the storms and the possible benefits of the proposed dam (and its resulting reservoir). In addition, as reported in The Chronicle, the proposed Chehalis River dam (upstream from Pe Ell) would not keep Interstate 5 from flooding. To date, there has been no recognition by those working on Chehalis River flood control regarding the August 2010 9th Circuit Court ruling stating that logging road runoff entering streams and rivers is point source pollution. Enforcement of this ruling would have significant impacts in the Chehalis River basin that would result in reduced flood damage. Similarly, unenforced steep slope clear cut logging is a contributing factor to the impacts of seasonal flooding throughout the Chehalis River basin. The notion that floodplain / floodway development does not increase flooding is not realistic given the required fill and increased impervious surfaces (roofs, parking lots, sidewalks, roads, etc.) associated with developing within the historic Chehalis River basin floodplain / floodways. Certainly floodplain / floodway development increases flood related damage given that these structures and their inhabitants / contents will be heavily damaged during floods; it‘s simply unavoidable. Last, but not least, the proposed Chehalis River dam which is opposed by the Chehalis Tribe and the Quinault Indian Nation (NWIFC) would be placed in prime spawning and rearing habitat for several anadromous and resident salmonids and other species, some of which are listed via the federal Endangered Species Act. Given the above, it would be irresponsible and immoral to construct a costly, ineffective, problematic dam in the headwaters of the precious Chehalis River.


Chehalis Flood Control: A Tale of Two Solutions Chris Geier / cgeier@chronline.com

Chris Geier / cgeier@chronline.com Flood Authority officials pointed out this site west of Pe Ell to legislators as a potential earthen dam site

Tour: State Legislators Take a Closer Look at Chehalis Basin Flooding By Lee Hughes Legislators from as far away as Moses Lake state arrived in the Chehalis Basin Friday for an up-close and personal look at flooding and flood mitigation measures during two tours Friday along the upper and middle Chehalis River basin. It was a contrast of messages and solutions that left legislators wondering which solution was better and where the money to pay for them would come from. From the Twin Cities the first bus tour drove up into the tight, forested canyons above Pe Ell to view the potential location of a water retention dam. Along the way tour participants listened to flood stories from various local officials who had lived through the devastating 2007 flood. From Pe Ell the tour weaved back through the Boistfort valley, stopping at the Curtis Store where Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, chair of the House Capital Budget Committee, joined the tour. There Don Koidahl, who has owned the store since 1984, held forth with his own flood story. Standing on the stores steps he pointed to the curb. ―In 1996 the water came up to the curb here and never came in the store,‖ Koidahl said, then pointed to the door jamb above his head. ―In ‗07 the water came up to about here.‖ Had a water retention dam been in-place, Koidahl said, such a catastrophic flood might have been prevented. According to Flood Authority consulting hydrologist Larry Karpack, the 80,000 acre/feet of water a retention dam could hold back would have prevented the devastation of the 2007 flood. And that was essentially the message the first tour presented to legislators in the form of personal narratives and data-laden hand-outs: we need a retention dam combined with other projects — such as levees — to offset or prevent flooding. But as heart-rending as some of the stories were, and as convincing as the data may have been, legislators were still up against an unavoidable obstacle: money, or more precisely, the lack of it. Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, also a member of the House Capital Budget Committee, came away from the tour unsure of the benefits of water retention as described to him during the tour. Sympathetic to Chehalis Basin residents impacted by flooding, his primary concern was protecting I5. ―My question was if we build those projects, is that going to stop the flooding?‖ he said. ―From what I heard (the answer) was we think it might help.‖


Yet he said he did came away from the tour with better understanding of the situation on the ground. Building in the flood plain has been going on for generations, he noted, but flooding had been happening longer. And although continuing to build in the flood plain didn‘t help, it wasn‘t the basis of the problem. But the solutions he was presented with were expensive. ―We don‘t have any money,‖ he said. ―As far as capital budget is concerned, we have about $78 million wrapped up in the Public Works Trust Fund, and that‘s going to pay for, maybe, their broken sewage systems.‖ Current estimates for a retention dam on the upper Chehalis River run between $165 million and $245 million. After the Chehalis tour, Dunshee and Warnik joined budget committee staffers, Grays Harbor Commissioner Terry Willis and others for a tour of the wide, flat middle Chehalis Basin hosted by the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation. Like the upper basin, Tribal Chairman David Burnett acknowledged that the 2007 flood was ―kind of a new one,‖ based on tribal lore. And like flooding in the Twin Cities area, which has various flood effects due to the confluence of several rivers in one geographic location, the Chehalis River and the Black River have different effects on the middle basin — one backs up the other, depending on the flood event. The tribe‘s solution: Simply acknowledge there is little they can do about flooding and to do what they can to let the water go its way. Willis said they are trying to do the same thing in Grays Harbor County, including restrictive codes that limit building in the flood plain. In terms of zoning, Grays Harbor County has ―one of the toughest in the state,‖ Willis said. The tribe has been buying back property in the river basin, Mark White, natural resources director for the Chehalis Tribe said, and returning it to its natural state. He pointed out several efforts the tribe had been making to live with the river, during the second tour of the day through the Chehalis Reservation and rich Chehalis river bottom areas around Oakville, Those efforts included removing structures or raising homes to two-feet above the 2007 flood level. ―We are not going to control the river,‖ White said as the tour bus rolled across the Sickman-Ford bridge that spans the Chehalis River near Oakville. ―But you can get the water out.‖ Small projects, including opening up smaller culverts and replacing them with pipe-arches or box culverts that provide fish both passage and allows flood waters to a place to recede are part of that strategy. ―Part of our issue ... is to get it to evacuate,‖ Willis said of flood waters in the flatter, wider middle and lower Chehalis Basin. ―You don‘t control flooding, you live with flooding.‖ And that was the essential message the tribe presented to legislators. Restricting building in the flood plain and using smaller, coordinated projects that recognize the futility of controlling flooding is their preferred method of dealing with the inevitable. Considering the lack of money available to deal with flooding issues across the state, Dunshee seemed to agree.


―The information I did get (on the upper Chehalis) is it seemed like the dam was the preferred option,‖ Dunshee said, noting that other rivers in Washington have flood issues as well. ―If the state had $350 million to put in a dam, those other places would want their share too. It‘s almost impossible.‖ Dunshee expressed appreciation for the tribes method of dealing with flooding — accepting it rather than trying to control it, noting the tribe ―seems to be making things better.‖ ―They are taking down buildings,‖ Dunshee said. ―Chehalis seems to be building.‖ Yet, Dunshee admitted he missed much of the tour in the upper basin, and felt he still needed to get a ―concrete pitch‖ from the Flood Authority and proponents of water retention. Although he felt the two different meetings demonstrated that ―things aren‘t really together yet‖ between the tribe and the Flood Authority, and the Flood Authority needed to meet with the tribe and define how they can work together, he also felt things were moving forward. ―I think there is good progress,‖ he said. But money is tight, and that will effect which flood solutions can be realistically funded. ―We‘ve got to do things as cheaply as possible because we have to spread money across the state,‖ Dunshee said.

Steep slope, clear-cut logging in Willapa Hills at the headwaters of the Chehalis River (SW Washington state – photograph by Natural Settings)


Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority Update by Pat Anderson (Lewis County) Chehalis Basin Flood Authority, Update #4, Oct. 5, 2011 ―This is a short update on the various moving pieces related to flood mitigation in the Chehalis Basin. Recent Flood Authority meeting On Thursday, September 15th, the Flood Authority had a good morning work session to review technical reports and efforts, followed by a tour of the Montesano area and an afternoon work session on a work plan and a stakeholder outreach plan. The next Flood Authority meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 20th in Chehalis. Upcoming Legislative Tour This Friday, October 7th, the Flood Authority is hosting members of the Washington State Legislature, including members of the House Capital Budget Committee, for a tour of the Chehalis Basin. People will meeting at 8:30 AM at the Centralia Police Training Center (Exit 81 off I-5 southbound; the former treatment facility for the City of Centralia). Parking right on site is apparently limited, but there is a park and ride directly across the street. The tour will leave from the training facility at about 9:15 and then go to the upper watershed near Pe Ell, then work its way back down the basin. An overview of flood issues throughout the basin will be provided while on the tour; however, given time limitations, the tour will end at Oakville by 12:30 PM. A bus and driver will be taking people on the tour (space permitting), and can bring people back to the Mellen Street area after the official tour ends. For questions before the tour, please contact Lara Fowler at 206-595-9727 or lfowler@gth-law.com. On the day of the tour, please contact Greg Hueckel at 360-888-5667. Subcommittee Meetings/Discussions: The Education and Outreach Subcommittee met on Monday, September 26th to plan for the tour and figure out how to implement the recently adopted stakeholder outreach plan, including updating the existing website to make it more user friendly while also developing a new site with a more robust repository of information. The subcommittee will be meeting again via phone at 1 PM on Thursday, October 13th ; if you are interested in participating, please contact Lara. The Project Subcommittee met on Wednesday, October 4th to review a list of potential projects and discuss the further development of criteria to review projects. Recognizing that project lists have been developed before, the goal of this effort is to further refine what is known about the various projects and get them reviewed as part of the alternative measures report. We expect this to be an iterative process over the next several months. Also discussed at the meeting was the preliminary work play of the hydraulics modeling study as presented by Larry Karpack. Larry received input from the subcommittee on 10 different questions he had regarding his work. The next project subcommittee is scheduled for Oct. 20th in the morning before the monthly Flood Authority meeting. more information, please contact Greg Hueckel. Studies/ Flood Authority projects: The Fisheries technical team met on September 8th for a final technical work session, and Bob Montgomery from Anchor QEA gave a brief report at the September Flood Authority meeting. A draft of the Fisheries Study is due out in November for review. In the meantime, Anchor QEA is starting to examine potential enhancement opportunities; they have scheduled a workshop on this for Wednesday, October 19th from 1-4 pm at the Veteran‘s Memorial Museum in Chehalis.


Larry Karpack from Watershed Science & Engineering and Ray Walton from West Consultants provided an update on the hydraulic and hydrologic modeling effort to the Flood Authority on September 15th. Larry is currently leading the effort to refine an overall work plan for the Flood Authority that complements and builds on the technical work that West Consultants is conducting on behalf of the Corps (as part of the basinwide general investigation).


Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Clean Water Act & Logging Roads By Ralph Bloemers August 17, 2010 Appeals Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Stormwater and Logging Roads in the Tillamook State Forest

Muddy Discharge from Logging Roads Fouls Salmon Spawning Grounds on Oregon's Trask River Tillamook State Forest The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a long-awaited decision on the Oregon Department of Forestry‘s management of logging roads and stormwater in the Tillamook State Forest. In the western United States, logging roads are one of the worst sources of sediment pollution, which smothers salmon spawning beds and harms water quality. On the Tillamook State Forest, ODF has for years designed their roads to channel and discharge polluted stormwater from logging roads into coastal rivers and streams in the Tillamook State Forest, often times directly on top of or close to salmon spawning grounds. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the timber industry have for years argued that its logging activities are exempt from the Clean Water Act‘s permit program. Today, the Ninth Circuit firmly rejected that argument and held that ODF must have a permit before it discharges polluted stormwater into Oregon‘s rivers and streams. Chris Winter, Staff Attorney and Co-Executive Director of the Crag Law Center, hailed the decision. ―Logging roads kill salmon, plain and simple. The timber industry and ODF have tried to evade the Clean Water Act for years, and this decision will hopefully bring an end to the ‗stick your head in the sand‘ approach to management.‖ The decision comes at a particularly inopportune time for ODF. The Oregon Board of Forestry, upon ODF‘s recommendation, recently decided to increase the level of clearcutting on the Tillamook State Forest. Winter said the revised plan is misguided. ―ODF first needs to get its house in order before dramatically increasing the level of clearcutting. ODF doesn‘t even have permits for its existing road network. Increasing harvest should be the last priority at this point. This is not how Oregonians expect the State to manage one of their natural treasures.‖

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE READ ENTIRE 9th CIRCUIT COURT RULING HERE


Attention Conservation-minded Business Owners Many businesses around planet earth rely in part on sustainable populations of wild game fish. This is true for fishing guide/charter services, resort and hotel owners, fishing tackle and boat retail stores, clothing stores, eco/photo tours, grocery stores, gas stations and many more. In fact, wild game fish are the backbone of a multi-billion dollar per year industry on a global scale. This why we at Wild Game Fish Conservation International are offering complimentary space in each issue of ―LEGACY‖ for business owners who rely on sustainable wild game fish populations to promote your business. An article with one or more photos about your business and how it relies on wild game fish may be submitted for publication to LEGACY EDITOR. Please include your business website and contact information to be published with your business article. Selected submissions will be published each month. Sustainable wild game fish populations provide family wage jobs and balanced ecosystems while ensuring cultural values. They also provide a unique, natural resources based lifestyle for those fortunate to have these magnificent creatures in our lives. Conservationists working together with the business community can effectively protect and restore planet earth‘s wild game fish for this and future generations to enjoy and appreciate. This will be our LEGACY.


LEGACY - NOVEMBER 2011  

Legacy - November 2011 Debut issue Wild Game Fish Conservation International

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