Page 1

Issue 3

January 2012

L e g ac y Something interesting for everyone from

Wild Game Fish Conservation International Š 2012 Wild Game Fish Conservation International

Legacy Wild Game Fish Conservation International Wild Game Fish Conservation International (WGFCI): Established in 2011 to advocate for wild game fish, their ecosystems and the cultures and economies that rely on their robust populations. LEGACY: The complimentary, no-nonsense, monthly publication by conservationists for conservationists LEGACY, the WGFCI Facebook page and the WGFCI website will be utilized to help educate fellow conservationists, elected officials, business owners and others regarding wild game fish and the varied issues impacting them and those who rely on their sustainability. LEGACY features 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 encouraged. Successful wild game fish conservation efforts around planet earth will ensure existence of these precious natural resources for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. This is our LEGACY.

Wild Game Fish Conservation International founders: Bruce Treichler

Co-editor “Legacy”

Jim Wilcox

Publisher and co-editor “Legacy”

Editorial Comment ...................................................................................................................................................... 4 Atlantic salmon feedlots - Collateral damage to ecosystems, cultures and economies ....................................... 5 Salmon feedlot articles from around planet earth .................................................................................................................. 6 Cantwell Salmon Virus Amendment Headed to President for Signature ............................................................................. 7 US Senator Patty Murray (Washington State) - President Obama signs HR2112 ............................................................... 8 A 'smoking salmon' report: Was deadly fish virus detected years ago? ............................................................................. 9 Longitudinal study of a natural outbreak of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation in Atlantic salmon ..................... 11 No virus in salmon: Canada's claim needs U.S. verification ............................................................................................... 12 Friends begin sampling for ISAV in Clayoquot Sound ........................................................................................................ 14 Government of Canada Helps Put More Seafood on International Menus ........................................................................ 15 That Salmon Sushi Roll Might Have a Big Hidden Price Tag: ............................................................................................. 16 B.C. salmon inquiry asked to weigh fish farms' risks on migrating stocks ...................................................................... 17 Cohen Commission Inquiry – Special hearings - ISA / ISAv impacts ............................................................................... 19 Public Reporting on Aquaculture in the Pacific Region - Incidental Catch ....................................................................... 20 5 Fish You Should Never Eat .................................................................................................................................................. 21 Close down B.C. salmon feedlots .......................................................................................................................................... 22 Still fishing for a different culprit ............................................................................................................................................... 23 7 Foods Experts Won‟t Eat...................................................................................................................................................... 24

January Masterpiece – “Freedom” by Diane Michelin ........................................................................................... 26 Bristol Bay Protection .............................................................................................................................................. 27 Poll: 81 percent of Bristol Bay shareholders oppose Pebble ............................................................................................. 27 New Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Construction of Alaskan Mega-Mine ............................................................... 28 Bristol Bay is vital to American economy ............................................................................................................................. 29 We need safe and responsible mining ................................................................................................................................... 30 The "No Pebble Mine" Message Is Getting Louder .............................................................................................................. 31

Keystone XL project aims to expand the TransCanada Corporation Keystone pipeline to the Gulf Coast ....... 32 Columbia River / Snake River restoration ............................................................................................................... 33 White sturgeon protection and restoration ........................................................................................................................... 33 What are white sturgeon? ............................................................................................................................................... 34 Anglers in the lower Columbia will see their sturgeon catch allocation reduced again in 2012. .................................... 35 4 threats to Columbia River sturgeon ............................................................................................................................. 36 Western Division of the American Fisheries Society ........................................................................................................... 37 President Obama: Convene Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Solutions Table ........................................................... 39 Agencies to remove Sandy River dike to improve habitat .................................................................................................. 42 Columbia salmon case assigned to new judge .................................................................................................................... 43

Klamath River restoration ........................................................................................................................................ 44 Editorial: Restoring the Klamath ............................................................................................................................................ 44 Tribes' claims to most water rights confirmed ..................................................................................................................... 45 A dam bit of difference: the Klamath debate......................................................................................................................... 46 West Coast lawmakers introduce bills to remove four Klamath hydro projects ............................................................... 47 Oregon dam removal may cost California ............................................................................................................................. 48

Chehalis River Basin ................................................................................................................................................ 49 Flood Damage Prevention ....................................................................................................................................................... 49 Flood Authority Gets First Glimpse of Fish Study........................................................................................................... 49 Draft Chehalis River Fish Study Report and supporting attachments ............................................................................ 53 Major I-5 Transportation Project Helps Traffic Flow, Increases Flood Protection .......................................................... 55 WGFCI response to Draft Chehalis River Fish Study ........................................................................................................... 56

Wild Game Fish on Planet Earth .............................................................................................................................. 58 Legacy distribution................................................................................................................................................... 59 Our Readers Write .................................................................................................................................................... 60 Recommended Videos ............................................................................................................................................. 61 Attention Conservation-minded Business Owners ................................................................................................ 62 WGFCI endorsed conservation organizations ........................................................................................................ 62

Legacy Editorial Comment As 2011 comes to a close Wild Game Fish Conservation International and our associates are deeply appreciative of, and encouraged by, the extraordinary work being done by conservationists around planet earth. In our first three months, Wild Game Fish Conservation International endorsed and participated in wild game fish conservation efforts in Alaska (Bristol Bay protection), British Columbia, Canada (Pacific salmon ecosystem protection), Washington State (Elwha River restoration), (Chehalis River flood damage prevention), (Columbia River / Snake River restoration) and in Oregon and California (Klamath River restoration). There is much important conservation work yet to be done everywhere wild game fish are present as they and their ecosystems are constantly at risk of exploitation for the benefit of a few at a high cost to many. Deadly salmon diseases such as Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) and Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) threaten wild Pacific and Atlantic salmon and their fragile ecosystems. Efforts to protect and restore wild Pacific salmon and steelhead trout as well as wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout will be required by those who care deeply about these magnificent fish that cultures and economies have relied on for thousands of years. Unsustainable practices around planet earth including steep slope clear cut logging, floodplain development, harvest, over-commitment of water, new hydropower projects, mining and many others adversely impact the natural resources that our very existence relies on. WGFCI will continue to utilize our complimentary monthly publication, “Legacy”, and the WGFCI website to inform others of ongoing challenges and progress being made to protect and restore wild game fish and their ecosystems wherever they occur. Each issue of “Legacy” also includes photos of wild game fish, wildlife art associated with the value of wild game fish and a section where comments from “Legacy” readers are published. In upcoming issues of “Legacy”, we’ll also feature fishing adventures, accommodations, fishing tackle and other information of interest to those who appreciate the contributions of wild game fish to our lives. As recreational fishermen, Wild Game Fish Conservation International is our passion. Publishing “Legacy” is our self-imposed responsibility to ensure the future of wild game fish.

Bruce Treichler James E. Wilcox

Atlantic salmon feedlots - Collateral damage to ecosystems, cultures and economies

Salmon feedlot articles from around planet earth Wild Game Fish Conservation International thanks Don Staniford (GAAIA) for his dedication to informing others around planet earth about the many and varied issues associated with open-pen, Atlantic salmon feedlots and other aquaculture practices harmful to fragile marine ecosystems along with the cultures and economies that rely on their health. Many of the links below and selected articles associated with salmon feedlots in this issue of “Legacy” were provided by Mr. Staniford.    

                               

Farmed Salmon Decimating Wild Salmon Worldwide (2/12/2008) ISAv: Threat, Fear, Mystery and Warning (10/11/2011) Wild, farm salmon don‘t mix (11/16/2011) Pleading Guilty: "By their deeds shall ye know them" (11/18/2011) Can we on the North Island help stop mismanagement? (11/18/2011) Deep Sea Salmon Farming To Meet Demand (11/18/2011) Current levels (2003-2004) of brominated flame retardants in feed and selected seafood Beauty-spot lochs contaminated by toxic chemicals (11/20/2011) New Zealand grant to expand global market for farm raised chinook salmon (11/21/2011) Occupy DFO - Salmon Farms Have to Go! (11/21/2011) Government agencies failing to protect wild salmon (11/22/2011) Government agencies failing to protect wild salmon (11/22/2011) Salmon advocates demand more tests (11/23/2011) ISA testing must be transparent, scientific (11/26/2011) Atlantic salmon debacle being repeated in the North Pacific (11/25/2011) Chronology of a cover up in Canada: ISA in British Columbia (11/25/2011) Simple evidence is that fish farms cause harm (11/26/ 2011) ISA testing must remain transparent, scientific (11/26/2011) Council work to expedite setting up fish farms 11/26/2011) US diners still wary of farmed fish (11/27/2011) Fish farms fined for pesticides compliance violations (11/29/2011) U.S.: Canada hid salmon virus for 10 years (11/30/2011) WDFW Hatchery Division Newsletter (December 2011) Did Canada cover up deadly salmon virus? Report suggests yes (12/1/2011) More salmon shenanigans in British Columbia Something fishy about Canada‘s salmon virus (12/ 4/2011) The hidden costs of farmed salmon Tensions mounting over truth behind salmon virus controversy (12/9/2011) Disagreement over salmon virus in Canada (12/11/2011) Warning as infectious salmon disease spreads from Europe's fish farms to Canada (12/15/2011) B.C. salmon tested positive for potentially deadly virus inquiry told (12/15/2011) Canada holds hearings on suspected virus in salmon (12/15/2011) CBC News: Interview with Dr. Alexandra Morton re: special ISAv Cohen hearings (12/15/2011) Cohen Commission reveals ISA found in Canadian Genetically Engineered Fish (12/16/2011) Government email makes waves at salmon inquiry (12/17/2011) Hardest work still to come as Cohen hearings conclude (12/19/2001)

Editorial Comment: The legislation below was included in HR2112 that was signed into law November 18, 2011 by President Obama.

Cantwell Salmon Virus Amendment Headed to President for Signature Bipartisan Amendment Directs Task Force to Monitor and Respond to Spread of Potential Salmon-Killing Virus Cantwell: „A Major Step Forward to Protect Thousands of Washington Jobs That Rely on a Healthy Salmon Populations‟

November 17,2011 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed legislation authored by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) that calls for an investigation and rapid response plan to prevent the spread of a potentially deadly salmon virus. The Cantwell salmon virus amendment passed both the Senate and House on Thursday as part of the minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2112). The legislation, backed by all eight U.S. Senators from the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska, now heads to President Obama for his signature. The virus, recently detected for the first time in Pacific wild salmon in Canada, may pose a threat to the Pacific Northwest salmon fishing industry and the coastal economies that rely on it. Cantwell has called, along with Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Mark Begich (D-AK), for the U.S. government to test the Canadian samples to independently confirm the presence of the salmon virus. “This is a major step forward to protect the thousands of Washington jobs that rely on healthy salmon,” said Cantwell. “This legislation will ensure that appropriate agencies prioritize detection, surveillance and response efforts. While infectious salmon anemia poses no threat to human health or seafood, we must stay ahead of the infection before it becomes a crisis.” Previous outbreaks of ISA in Chile and Norway did significant damage to their fishing industries. The virus may pose a threat to the Pacific Northwest salmon fishing industry and the coastal economies that rely on it. Thousands of Washington state jobs depend on healthy, sustainable salmon populations. A 2010 Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife Study found that commercial fisheries, after processing and distributing their stocks, contributed $1.6 billion to the local economy. The amendment, introduced October 19th to the pending appropriations bill (H.R. 2112), calls on the National Aquatic Animal Health Task Force to evaluate the risk the virus could have on wild salmon off West Coast and Alaskan waters. The legislation also calls on the Task Force to deliver a report to Congress within six months which outlines surveillance, susceptibility of species and populations, potential vectors, gaps in knowledge, and recommendations for management. The amendment does not have a cost but rather streamlines existing research goals and surveillance efforts, highlights research needs and forges important collaborations necessary to assess this potentially devastating risk to wild salmon and the coastal economies which rely on them. Cantwell spoke on the Senate floor about her amendment during the early morning hours of October 21st. Watch a video of her delivering her remarks here.

WGFCI Response to US Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington State) Senator Cantwell, Regarding your November 17, 2011 press release: Thank you and the other west coast senators from Alaska to California for taking the responsible action to ensure the health of our region‘s wild Pacific salmon, their ecosystems as well as the cultures and economies that rely on them. Your recommendation ―for the U.S. government to test the Canadian samples to independently confirm the presence of the salmon virus‖ is vitally important locally, nationally and internationally. Just as important is the need to test adult salmon returning to hatcheries in Washington state, salmon being reared in feedlots in Washington State‘s fragile marine environments as well as commercially harvested, wild Pacific salmon. To date, the concerns associated with the recent detection of seven cases of the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus in British Columbia have focused on the possible impacts to wild Pacific salmon and the salmon feedlot industry. Also important are the likely impacts to a whole host of other anadromous and resident salmonids that could be decimated if ISAv gets a foothold in our region. The ―report to Congress within six months which outlines surveillance, susceptibility of species and populations, potential vectors, gaps in knowledge, and recommendations for management‖ will play a very important role in the future of salmon management in our region for decades to come..

US Senator Patty Murray (Washington State) - President Obama signs HR2112 I co-sponsored an amendment to direct the National Aquatic Animal Health Task Force to assess the risk Infectious Salmon Anemia poses to wild Pacific salmon and the coastal economies which rely on them. This amendment was included in the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which was signed into law by President Obama on November 18, 2011. I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this matter.

A 'smoking salmon' report: Was deadly fish virus detected years ago? A 2004 draft manuscript, leaked out of Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, indicates that the deadly infectious salmon anemia virus was identified eight years ago in coho, pink and sockeye salmon taken from southern British Columbia, Southeast Alaska and Bering Sea waters. Testing done in 2002 and 2003 "lead us to conclude that an asymptomatic form of infectious salmon anemia occurs among some species of wild Pacific salmon in the north Pacific," said the manuscript. But a senior official at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans recently rejected a request to submit the manuscript for publication. Its lead author was Molly Kilbenge, a scientist working out of the Canadian government's Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, B.C. Three other authors were listed. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who received a copy of the manuscript on Tuesday, issued a strong call for cross-border cooperation and open access to fisheries research, saying: "These troubling reports reinforce the need for a coordinated, multi-national strategy to control the spread of this virus threat. American and Canadian scientists need to have access to all relevant research on this deadly virus. We can't afford to leave the Pacific Northwest's fisheries jobs at risk." The manuscript surfaced less than a month after disputed findings of the virus in fish taken from the Harrison River in B.C.'s lower Fraser Valley, not far from the Washington border, and juvenile sockeye collected at Rivers Inlet about 400 miles north on the British Columbia Coast. Infectious salmon anemia, or ISA, is a severe disease of marine-farmed Atlantic salmon, characterized by anemia and hemorrhaging livers as well as kidney damage. "The disease has affected marine farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway since 1984. ... More recently, the disease has been diagnosed in marine farmed Atlantic salmon in Eastern Canada, Scotland, eastern USA (Maine), the Faroe Islands," says the manuscript. The virus has also swept through salmon pens in Chile. The farming of Atlantic salmon is a big business in British Columbia. It has received strong support from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Canadian federal agency that also is charged with managing wild salmon stocks. As they return to spawn in the Fraser River -- one of the world's greatest salmon streams -- fish pass close to major salmon farming operations in waters between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland. Scientists worry that infected farmed fish are passing the virus on to wild salmon.


May you and yours have a Joyous Christmas and a Happy 2012!

Editorial comment: Dr. Kristi Miller (Head of the Molecular Genetics section at the Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada) shocked attendees during the December 15, 2011 Cohen Commission hearings associated with the confirmed detection of the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus when she indicated that her lab confirmed detection of another known, problematic salmon disease: Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI). As reported below, HSMI was first confirmed in 1999.

Dr. Kristi Miller

Longitudinal study of a natural outbreak of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation in Atlantic salmon April 29, 2006 Abstract

Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) is a transmissible disease of farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. It is characterized by significant epi-, endo- and myocarditis, as well as myositis, particularly involving red skeletal muscle. The aetiology of HSMI is currently unresolved, though a viral cause is suspected. Since its discovery in 1999, HSMI has become an increasing problem for the Norwegian farming industry, with some farms experiencing yearly outbreaks and subsequent economic losses. In the present study an Atlantic salmon farm was studied from December 2003 to April 2005. Samples from apparently healthy as well as clinically diseased fish were collected monthly and examined histopathologically. The first fish to be diagnosed with HSMI was sampled in May, 8 months after transfer to sea. A clinical outbreak of HSMI followed in June, when all fish in the sample had lesions consistent with HSMI. Subsequent samples revealed that cardiac lesions decreased in severity 2 months after the start of the outbreak, but that multiple foci of cellular infiltration and necrosis persisted throughout the year. There appeared to be a shift in lesion location from being most severe in the compact myocardium in early stages of disease to a greater involvement of the atrium and spongy layer of the ventricle in later samples. Late samples also showed increased fibrosis of cardiac tissue. In conclusion, HSMI appears to be a severe disease with elevated mortality, morbidity close to 100% and prolonged duration.

No virus in salmon: Canada's claim needs U.S. verification December 2, 2011

Canada claimed Friday that "no confirmed cases" of infectious salmon anemia virus have been found in wild or farmed salmon, but we-have-the-last-word statements from the Great White North bring to mind a famous motto used by Ronald Reagan on dealing with the Russians: "Trust but verify." The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's no-tests-positive came four days after revealed details of a 2004 draft report in which infectious salmon anemia, or ISA, was found in 117 fish taken from British Columbia, Southeast Alaska and Bering Sea waters. On Friday, Keith Ashfield, minister of Fisheries and Oceans, solemnly declared "case closed," saying: "After Canada's reputation has needlessly been put at risk over the past several weeks because of speculation and unfounded science, additional in-depth, conclusive tests, using proper and internationally recognized procedures, are now complete and we can confirm that there has never been a confirmed case of ISA in B.C. salmon." Marching in lockstep with the salmon-farming industry, the Canadian government has a record of acting, well, fishy. When President Obama meets Prime Minister Stephen Harper next Wednesday, the U.S. should ask for: a) immediate creation of an international evaluation board consisting of governments, fishers and Native groups; b) testing of salmon up and down the West Coast, in waters of both countries; and c) unrestricted testing by scientists of sample fish taken from salmon farms. U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich delivered the rationale bluntly in a statement last month: "We should not rely on another government -- particularly that may have a motive to misrepresent its findings -- to determine how we assess the risk ISAV may pose to American fishery jobs." Or, as aquatic specialist John Werring of the British Columbia-based David Suzuki Foundation said Friday: "Pooling of resources by the two countries is extremely important. We need a collaboration between the two countries to isolate this." Why not believe the friendly neighbor with whom we share a 4,000-mile border? A massive conflict of interest, that's why! The U.S. used to have an outfit, the Atomic Energy Commission, that was charged both with promoting the development of nuclear power and safeguarding the safety of reactors. It embraced the first task with stellar enthusiasm while neglecting the second. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, north of the border, is an aquatic carbon. "No agency can promote fish farming -- not regulate, promote -- and at the same time safeguard wild salmon.


Open Letter to Minister Ashfield

11/25/2011 Dear Minister Ashfield

Dr. Alexandra Morton: Published Marine Biologist, world renowned whale research scientist, author, conservationist

I would suggest you stop treating us like fools. Your attached letter is grossly inadequate. Download Initial Request for 2011-001-03100.pdf (440.4K) Show us your Moncton test results because your lab is the only one that cannot find ISA virus. I would also suggest you stop obsessing over the quality of the River Inlet samples and go out and get your own samples. You have an entire department at your disposal. Yesterday I received yet another set of positive ISAv results for salmon of the Fraser River. Download Report231111[13].pdf (15.9K) You can stop calling the 1st Norwegian tests a "negative" result. Be more accurate and call them what they are - a weak positive. Download Report 021111.pdf (22.0K) You can't wave a magic wand and make black white. I want to see Dr. Gary's Marty's PCR results. Don't just tell us he tested 5000 fish and got a negative, you need to tell us what segment and what probe, we need details because you are risking our fish with your actions. As for Dr. Laura Richards, she personally petitioned to waive the Canadian Fish Health Protection Regulations in 2004 so Atlantic salmon eggs could pour in from an unapproved hatchery. That is why her words are meaningless to me. Download 2004 Fish Health1[1].pdf (2176.3K) There is no reason BC would not have been contaminated by ISAv. Your department left the door wide open! You did not include ISAv on the hatchery import forms, likely because no one can actually sign a document saying there is no ISAv in Atlantic salmon eggs - the virus is that widespread. Your department did not even make ISAv a reportable disease in salmon farms, even as the same companies as use BC waters triggered a massive ISAv epidemic in Chile. This is unconscionable. Shame on you. As we face grave uncertainty over introduction of the most lethal salmon virus known, you give the salmon farming industry a million dollars to go to trade shows so they can peddle their wares while we pay for the consequences. In my opinion, Mr. Ashfield you, predecessors and key members of your department belong in court for reckless behaviour risking the most generous gift the people of British Columbia receive every year. You are not here to see communities of people, whales, eagles, bears come to life when the salmon come home. They are much too valuable to be risked by vacuous statements by the likes of you. Either stand up strong and fight for our fish or step down Mr. Ashfield. Hundreds of British Columbians go into the rivers every year to fight for the wild salmon. We work for the wild salmon because we understand their value and we are not going to let you take this away from us. As hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon died every year in the Fraser River, before spawning, your department would not give your own scientists the money to find out why and when they came up with a very strong theory you starved them further for funds and locked their voices away from the media. And yet you throw money to the foreign owned salmon feedlot industry. Please resign and take your senior Pacific Region staff with you. Remove the Pacific Biological Station from political clutches so that they can do the work that needs to be done. We need some people at the helm who want wild salmon to survive and you sir have shown no such ability. Step away from our fish. Dr. Alexandra Morton

Friends begin sampling for ISAV in Clayoquot Sound This fall 5 wild BC salmon tested positive for the deadly Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAV), previously unknown in BC. Justice Cohen is taking this seriously. In December he will reopen the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River to hear evidence regarding ISAV in BC. In the US, a salmon virus legislation calling for a rapid response to ISAV is headed for presidential approval. DFO, however, seems more concerned about media spin than about wild salmon. Answering a call from Alexandra Morton for citizen action, FOCS has put its own ISAV sampling crew together. Sampling here in Clayoquot Sound is challenging as there are many rivers which are not road accessible. The days are growing short and the weather adverse. However the volunteer crew is passionate. They realize that it is a historic occasion—time to pull wild salmon back from the brink, before they become only creatures of legend. Gael Duchene photo

More troubled waters for Clayoquot's wild salmon Records released at the Cohen Commission revealed that Mainstream's Clayoquot Sound salmon farms are riddled with disease. There are at least 3 diseases on the farms identified at Cohen as posing a high risk to sockeye salmon.

The Commission also revealed that Creative Salmon, the other company operating in Clayoquot, has had a seven-year problem with their farmed chinook salmon dying of an undiagnosed disease which causes severe jaundice. Kristi Miller, who gained notoriety through her genomic studies of the Fraser sockeye and her subsequent "muzzling" by DFO, has been funded by DFO to the tune of $95,000 to help Creative solve their fish jaundice problem.

Creative's farms are on the migratory route of Kennedy River sockeye. This run is in serious decline, as are all of Clayoquot Sound's sockeye and chinook runs.

Editorial comment: Wild Game Fish Conservation International officially supports the immediate and permanent moratorium on open-pen Atlantic salmon feedlots in British Columbia and Washington state marine environments in order to protect and restore the region’s extremely valuable wild Pacific salmon, their fragile ecosystems along with the cultures and economies that rely on robust populations of wild Pacific salmon. Government of Canada Helps Put More Seafood on International Menus

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Nov 16, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Canadian aquaculture producers can dive into new export opportunities abroad with a new investment from the Government of Canada. The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced an investment of more than $1 million for CAIA to generate awareness and new sales of Canada's high quality aquaculture products while speaking at the 2011 National Forum of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA). "From salmon and trout to oysters and mussels, Canada's aquaculture is second to none and plays a key role in keeping our economy strong," said Minister Ashfield on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "With fish and seafood harvested from some of the cleanest, most pristine waters in the world, Canada has a longstanding international reputation for providing top quality seafood and boasts one of the most valuable commercial fisheries in the world." This investment will enable CAIA to participate in trade shows and missions, brand Canadian farmed salmon, market Canadian farmed mussel and sablefish, and undertake international market development and market research for Canadian aquaculture products. In 2010, Canada exported $4 billion of fish and seafood to more than 130 countries, with aquaculture exports totalling almost $600 million. "Today's announcement is good news for the Canadian aquaculture industry," said Ruth Salmon, CAIA's Executive Director. "With this funding, our industry members can continue to deliver the powerful message to our major export markets that Canada is a world leader in the environmentally sustainable production of high quality farmed seafood products." CAIA is a national industry association that represents the interests of Canadian aquaculture operators, feed companies and suppliers, as well as provincial finfish and shellfish aquaculture associations. The aquaculture industry is truly nationwide, with established operations in every Canadian province, plus the Yukon. To read entire article:

That Salmon Sushi Roll Might Have a Big Hidden Price Tag:

Illustration by Bloomberg View By the Editors Nov 16, 2011 Nov 17, 2011 Salmon, once a pricey delicacy, is now an affordable staple at supermarkets and sushi restaurants everywhere. For that, we can thank fish farms. They produce 70 percent of the salmon eaten by consumers, who savor its subtle texture and rich flavor. Medical researchers say the fatty acids in salmon might help prevent cancer and heart disease. So it was troubling that researchers over the past few weeks may have found an infectious disease known as salmon anemia in wild fish in British Columbia. Lawmakers and fisheries managers in the U.S. and Canada see the illness as a threat to a $3 billion industry. Although Canadian officials said further tests seemed to be negative, the episode is a reminder of the need to make serious improvements in aquaculture practices. The virus that causes the disease originated in the mid-1980s in Atlantic salmon fish farms in Norway and spread to Scotland, Canada and the U.S. Farms in Chile also were infected, probably via imported eggs. A benign variant of the disorder existed in the wild, but it mutated in farms‘ netted pens, where hundreds of thousands of fish can be held in water fouled by waste and unconsumed feed. Fish, much like domesticated animals on commercial farms, often are fed a diet laced with drugs to ward off bacteria, fungi and parasites that can result from overcrowding. There is no cure for salmon anemia. Once it strikes, a farm‘s entire stock usually must be destroyed. Often the farm has to be shut. Humans aren‘t affected.


B.C. salmon inquiry asked to weigh fish farms' risks on migrating stocks By: Keven Drews, The Canadian Press Posted: 11/7/2011

VANCOUVER - The head of the inquiry into British Columbia's salmon fishery must decide whether salmon farms are incubators of disease that threaten wild stocks, or pose no threat to the environment and migrating species. Opponents and proponents of B.C.'s fish-farming industry asked the commissioner hearing evidence into the collapse of the 2009 Fraser River sockeye run to weigh the two drastically different viewpoints during closing submissions Monday. Commissioner Bruce Cohen heard testimony from 173 witnesses over 125 days and will soon write his report, which is due June 30, 2012. Gregory McDade, legal counsel for the Aquaculture Coalition, a group of industry critics that includes biologist Alexandra Morton, said the high-density environment of B.C.'s salmon farms are incubators of disease, and that it's only a matter of time before a devastating pathogen emerges. McDade said 30 of about 100 farms report fish-health events annually, and that some three million fish die each year from unexplained causes. He urged that salmon farms be moved away from the migratory routes of wild stocks. "The real issue here is proof versus risk," said McDade. "The risk here is real. Don't wait for 10 years until this is proven and we have no fish left." But Alan Blair, counsel for the BC Salmon Farmers Association, said experts have already told the commission that properly managed aquaculture sites can co-exist with the marine environment. He said there was no significant relationship between salmon farms and the decline of the Fraser River run, contending that experts had ruled out the impacts of waste, escaped Atlantic salmon and sea lice. Blair said critics have repeatedly raised concerns about sea lice, viruses and marine anemia, most recently infectious salmon anemia, with little success. "Each one of these risks is brought breathlessly to the public in a sensational way and each one so far has been demonstrated to be something less than advertised," he said.

WGFCI urges protection of wild Pacific salmon Wild Game Fish Conservation International Supports Salmon Disease Research Olympia, Washington (December 19, 2011) - Wild Game Fish Conservation International (WGFCI) supports the ongoing efforts by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen to determine the cause(s) responsible for the significant decline over the past twenty years of wild Fraser River sockeye salmon. Expert testimony provided during recent Cohen Commission special hearings associated with detections of the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAv) in wild Pacific salmon clearly indicates the need for additional research to better understand the correlation between ISAv and Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA), a salmon killing disease. Additionally, it was reported during these hearings that Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI), another salmon killing disease, was confirmed in open net, chinook salmon feedlots sited in British Columbia. US President Barak Obama recently signed into US Law legislation (HR2212) promoting the need for US and Canadian scientists to work transparently and expeditiously to identify potential implications of ISA to the multi-billion dollar wild Pacific salmon industry and to collaboratively develop a rapid response strategy to an ISA outbreak that could potentially impact wild Pacific salmon and their ecosystems. According to Bruce Treichler, WGFCI co-founder, ―Fraser River sockeye salmon and other wild Pacific salmon species along Canada‘s and America‘s west coasts are vitally important to their fragile ecosystems as well as to the cultures and multi-billion dollar industries they support.‖ Jim Wilcox, WGFCI co-founder, said, ―WGFCI, our affiliate organizations and associates around planet earth support the ongoing efforts by the United States to coordinate research between Canadian and American scientists in order to 1) confirm that ISAv is present in wild Pacific salmon, 2) determine the potential impacts of ISA to wild Pacific salmon and to farmed Atlantic salmon in Canada and in America and 3) develop a rapid response strategy to minimize adverse impacts of ISA, HSMI and other salmon diseases to wild Pacific salmon, their sensitive ecosystems and to the cultures and economies that rely on them‖. WGFCI urges Canada and America to:  collaborate transparently during increased research into known and unknown salmon diseases  collaborate transparently while developing strategies to respond effectively to ISA, HSMI and other disease detections and outbreaks in wild Pacific salmon  monitor salmon feedlots, salmon hatcheries, imported salmon eggs and commercially harvested salmon for ISA, HSMI and other potentially harmful salmon diseases .  inform world health organizations and government agencies in the event of an ISA, HSMI or other salmon disease outbreak.

Cohen Commission Inquiry – Special hearings - ISA / ISAv impacts Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – December 15, 16, 19, 2011

Cohen Commission Inquiry, December 16, 2011, Photo courtesy of Richard Mayer © 2011 | Flyfishers’ Arte & Publishing

British Columbia‘s Supreme Court Justice, Bruce Cohen, accepted the task to determine the cause(s) that led to the steep decline of wild, Fraser River sockeye salmon populations in the years since 1992. He has gathered hundreds of thousands of documents and has conducted several evidentiary hearings for him to base his eventual findings on in June 2012. During this process, Justice Cohen became aware (via vast amounts of evidence) that diseases such as Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) could be contributing to the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon. To his credit, he called for an additional three days of special hearings to learn more about ISA the disease and ISAv the virus and the potential impacts they might have on wild Pacific salmon; more specifically on wild, Fraser River sockeye salmon. US Senator Cantwell (Washington State) and the other west coast Senators recognized that there is an immediate need for scientists on both sides of our common borders to coordinate research and develop a response strategy to a possible ISA outbreak in wild Pacific salmon. Such an outbreak could be catastrophic to cultures and economies dependent on these salmon and their ecosystems. WGFCI‘s Bruce Treichler and Jim Wilcox attended these hearings to learn more about the ongoing ISA and ISAv investigations and the potential impacts to wild Pacific salmon and their fragile ecosystems along North America‘s west coast.

Public Reporting on Aquaculture in the Pacific Region - Incidental Catch

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is committed to ensuring that the aquaculture industry in B.C. operates in a way that minimizes the impact on wild fisheries and the coastal ecology. Wild fish naturally swim into net pens cages at aquaculture facilities, and co-exist with farmed fish. There is past and on-going research to determine if wild fish are being preyed upon within the net pens, but at this time predation appears to be minimal. In some cases, these wild fish may grow too large to swim back out of the cages net pens or remain resident in the aquaculture facility. When the time comes for the harvest or transfer of farmed fish, these wild fish are identified as ―incidental catch‖ if they are caught along with farmed fish, as the aquaculture facility is not licensed for their cultivation or sale of farmed fish. Incidental by-catch and discarding of non-targeted species also occurs in many fisheries. As the regulator of the aquaculture industry in B.C., DFO requires that finfish aquaculture licence holders take all reasonable measures to prevent the incidental catch of wild fish caught as a result ofduring the harvest of farmed fish from an aquaculture farm site, or during the transfer of farmed fish. These efforts include designing and using nets and equipment in a way that reduces the risk of incidental catch. If, despite these efforts incidental catch does occur, finfish licence holders must release, in the least harmful manner possible, any live fish captured in this way. When mortalities do occur, facility operators are required to make a reasonable effort to retain and account for dead incidental catch, and dispose of it in same manner as dead farmed stock. Conditions of License require facility operators to maintain an incidental catch log, and provide a report to DFO quarterly. The table below lists the reported incidental catch at B.C. marine finfish facilities. Data for this quarter may not be available for all farms. Sites that do not currently have fish on-site, that have nil reports or where harvesting or transfer activities did not occur during the reporting period, are not currently required by the Conditions of License to provide reports. Q1 Data, January-March, 2011

5 Fish You Should Never Eat By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding Nov 14, 2011 Health Experts Main If you‘re over the age of 12, you‘ve probably had more than a few dearly held beliefs ruined by reality. Like when you discovered it was Mom and Dad, not Santa, who were orchestrating the magic of Christmas. Or when you spent hours watching ―Kim‘s Fairytale Wedding‖ over and over again, only to learn that keeping up with this Kardashian was a waste of time. As they say, reality bites. Well, folks, I hate to do this to you, but . . Not all fish are good for you. Last year, the USDA increased its seafood recommendation to 8 ounces per week, and that has led many to believe that all fish are equally smart choices. But some are so high in contaminants like mercury that their health benefits are outweighed by their health risks. Others are flown in from halfway around the world, but given labels that make you think they were caught fresh earlier that morning. And still others are raised in filthy, overcrowed pools and loaded up with chemicals to keep them alive. So let me shed light on some very rough waters. Put these fish at the top of your don't-eat list and you'll avoid most of the troubles of the world's fishing industry. #1: ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA Why It's Bad: A recent analysis by The New York Times found that Atlantic bluefin tuna has the highest levels of mercury of any type of tuna. To top it off, bluefin tuna are severely overharvested, to the point of reaching near-extinction levels, and are considered "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Rather than trying to navigate the ever-changing recommendations for which tuna is best, consider giving it up altogether. But if you can't . . . Eat This Instead: Opt for American or Canadian (but not imported!) albacore tuna, which is caught while it's young and doesn't contain as high levels of mercury. YOUR NEW SHOPPING LIST! There are more than 45,000 options in the average supermarket. Some will wreck your waistline; some will shrink it. The easiest way to choose: Go ahead and put anything from our newly updated list of the 125 Best Supermarket Foods in your shopping cart—and watch the pounds melt away! (And check out Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals to save time and money!) #2: ATLANTIC SALMON (Both Wild-caught and Farmed) Why It's Bad: It's actually illegal to capture wild Atlantic salmon because the fish stocks are so low, and they're low, in part, because of farmed salmon. Salmon farming is very polluting: Thousands of fish are crammed into pens, which leads to the growth of diseases and parasites that require antibiotics and pesticides. Often, the fish escape and compete with native fish for food, leading to declines in native populations.


Editorial comment: The fewer Atlantic salmon consumed by Americans and others, the sooner this problematic industry will leave fragile, wild Pacific salmon ecosystems. Close down B.C. salmon feedlots By Don Staniford, The Windsor Star November 8, 2011

Don Staniford Global Coordinator Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture Re: B.C. wild-salmon advocates worried about European virus strain, by Judith Lavoie, Postmedia News, Nov. 1. B.C. should close the border to imports of Atlantic salmon eggs and close salmon feedlots immediately. A second positive test of ISA in coho in the Fraser River, 600 kilometres away from the first case, shows this deadly disease is spreading from Atlantic salmon farms to wild Pacific salmon. That the B.C. salmon farmers admit that they are "anxiously waiting for the results" should be enough to ring the alarm bells. But the science is already in and the positive results are from a reference laboratory certified by the World Organization for Animal Health. That the virus has been identified as the European strain places salmon farms squarely in the firing line - over 90 per cent of B.C.'s salmon farming production is Atlantic salmon. Norwegian companies - who control over 90 per cent of B.C.'s salmon farms - should take their disease-ridden feedlots back home to Norway and foul their own nest if they must. Salmon feedlots are a cancer on our coasts and need to be ripped out - now.

Still fishing for a different culprit November 22, 2011 Re: Salmon inquiry‟s debate targets farms, Nov. 17. Much appreciation to regional reporter Jeff Nagel for his well-documented article about B.C.‘s aquaculture industry, which, among other things, points out fish farming‘s alleged negative impact on the health and survival of B.C.‘s wild sockeye salmon. Also was glad to learn that the Cohen Inquiry will reconvene in mid-December to consider evidence surrounding Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) virus. Let‘s hope Justice Bruce Cohen will take into account the findings of the OIE, an independent international laboratory which has identified the presence of the European strain of the ISA virus in B.C. wild salmon. In spite of mounting evidence, it seems Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the province of B.C. are vigorously looking for other sources of the virus, rather than signaling out the fish farms, which are known to have destroyed the wild-fish industry in other countries, like Chile and Norway. Furthermore, shouldn‘t the DFO and B.C. Department of Fisheries be taking a hint from the State of Alaska, which took the initiative to ban fish farms in order to protect their wild-salmon stocks quite some time ago? I have written to Dr. Laura Richards, head of DFO, expressing my concern about whether it is safe to feed B.C. wild salmon to my family, however did not get any definitive answer, but was referred by Tanis Edwards on behalf of Dr. Richards to DFO‘s aquaculture division. A quotation from her email speaks volumes, keeping in mind my inquiry was about the security of eating B.C. wild salmon specifically, not farm fish: ―Monitoring of fish health records is the responsibility of DFO‘s aquaculture management division‘s fish health audit and surveillance program. This program conducts more than 100 assessments of (B.C.) salmon farms per year.‖ So now, the fate of B.C. wild salmon depends on whether the Cohen Inquiry is privy to all the independent evidence that‘s available, so that Cohen will rule on the side of caution. Surely, there should be little objection for imposing a moratorium on B.C. fish farms until such time as DFO‘s aquaculture management division can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is no conflict of interest over the issue of whether or not ISA virus or any other disease has been introduced into B.C. wild salmon stocks via the aquaculture industry. As it stands, the monitoring of health of wild salmon stocks is about as reliable as a fox guarding a hen house. E. Kearns, White Rock

7 Foods Experts Won’t Eat 5. Farmed Salmon

The Expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish. The Situation: Nature didn‘t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. ―You can only safely eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,‖ says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. ―It‘s that bad.‖ Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals. The Answer: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it‘s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.


January Masterpiece – “Freedom” by Diane Michelin

A professional watercolour artist for over 19 years, and the Trout Unlimited Canada 2009 Artist of the Year, Diane was born in Montreal and currently resides in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island, British Columbia Artist Statement: My watercolours describe the essence of fly fishing as told by exotic paraphernalia, rusty pick up trucks, fishin' dogs and snazzy tackle. The story is about optimism, bits of fur and feathers, solitude and companionship. Each day on the river is notable in the mist off the water or the misadventure of the moment. Consequently, I am inclined to depict the everyday aspect of our passion amid the complexity of the water, light and colour. For it is this that fuels us in our inordinate conservation commitments and the nonstop chatter in the fly shop.

Title: ―Freedom‖ Artist: Diane Michelin Studio: Fly Fishing Fine Art Website: Email:

Editorial Comment: ―Freedom‖ was selected from many originals and prints displayed on Ms. Michelin‘s website. The border was added by WGFCI prior to publication

Attention Artists (amateurs and professionals) LEGACY features a monthly ―masterpiece‖ selected 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 submit your photos and contact information to LEGACY PUBLISHER.

Bristol Bay Protection Bristol Bay Alliance

Poll: 81 percent of Bristol Bay shareholders oppose Pebble Alex DeMarban | Nov 22, 2011 Opposition to Pebble Mine continues to grow among Alaska Native shareholders enrolled with Bristol Bay Native Corp., the company announced in a written statement Tuesdays. The corporation has voted to oppose the Pebble Mine copper, gold and molybdenum prospect located in the Bristol Bay watershed, an important stance because the firm serves many of the region's residents. Eighty-one percent of the shareholders surveyed now oppose the mine, a 12 percent increase from the last survey done four years ago, the company said. As a regional Native corporation created by Congress in the early 1970s, a core Bristol Bay mission is economic development for its 9,000 shareholders and their descendents. Only a tentative development plan exists for Pebble. The companies involved in the Pebble Partnership -- Anglo American of the United Kingdom and Northern Dynasty Minerals of Canada -have not yet moved to the permitting stage. But the Native corporation believes the risk of poisoning Bristol Bay's mighty sockeye salmon fishery outweighs the local jobs a large-scale development could create. ―BBNC supports responsible resource development, but opposes the Pebble project due to the risks it poses to our fisheries and our Native way of life,‖ Jason Metrokin, Bristol Bay chief executive, said in a company press release. ―We believe there are other projects that could be developed in our region that would provide jobs and other economic benefits that would not present unacceptable environmental risks to our people and our land.‖ Most shareholders surveyed support developing other resources within the Bristol Bay region, the release said. "These include renewable resources like tidal or wind (88 percent), tourism and wildlife viewing (86 percent), sale of rock, sand and gravel (80 percent), sport fishing and hunting (78 percent), and onshore oil and gas (57 percent)," the company said. Bristol Bay hired Dittman Research and Communications, which surveyed 2,286 shareholders over two months this fall. A separate poll of 802 Alaskan voters conducted by Strategies 360 Polling and Market Research found that 54 percent of respondents held negative opinions of the proposed mine. Thirty-two percent held positive opinions, the release said.

New Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Construction of Alaskan Mega-Mine December 6, 2011 LOS ANGELES--(ENEWSPF)--December 6, 2011. Residents in Alaska and the lower 48 states solidly oppose the Pebble Mine project proposed in Bristol Bay, Alaska and would like to see the project abandoned, according to new polling results released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Nunamta Aulukestai, and Renewable Resources Coalition. This poll follows the recent release of a Bristol Bay Native Corporation poll conducted in Alaska which confirmed the overwhelming opposition within the Bristol Bay region to the proposal to open a vast pit and deep underground mine in the remote water-laden tundra between Lake Clark National Park and Lake Iliamna, the largest fresh water body in Alaska and source of the salmon-rich Kvichak River. ―As we approach the holiday season, we are thankful that our Lower 48 neighbors stand with us to oppose the Pebble project,‖ said Kimberly Williams, executive director of Nunamta Aulukestai, a nonprofit whose members represent nine Alaska Native Village Corporations from the Bristol Bay region. ―For the majority of people who live in Bristol Bay, this poll reflects that we, Americans, use common sense every day, and it is a no brainer to us that salmon habitat is more precious than gold or copper.‖ As reflected in a poll conducted by Belden Russonello Strategists, LLC, Americans throughout the Lower 48 states join the overwhelming majority of Bristol Bay residents, natives and commercial fishermen in opposing the Pebble Mine. Results reveal that Americans strongly support salmon protection and view the Bristol Bay ecosystem as warranting protection. Alaska residents are particularly concerned about the likely devastating effects any mining activity will have on the region‘s primary industry—its wild salmon fisheries. The poll also found solid support for EPA to stop Pebble Mine if studies show that it will pollute. ―These compelling results are extraordinary in the consistency and depth of opposition to the Pebble Mine,‖ said Joel Reynolds, senior attorney and director of NRDC‘s Save Bristol Bay Campaign. ―Pebble Mine is a devastating project widely opposed throughout the Bristol Bay region, but this is the first polling that has sought to determine how the project is seen nationally. And the opposition is overwhelming.‖ Some of the poll’s notable findings include: 

  

Opposition to Pebble Mine, both in Alaska and nation-wide, is consistently strong, and the level of opposition actually increases as people learn more about the mine. After hearing statements both for and against the mine, 77% of respondents in the lower 48 and 68% of Alaskans oppose Pebble Mine and 55% in both regions strongly oppose the mine. The opposition crosses ideological, political, gender, and age group lines. Support for EPA to stop the mine is strong. The majority in the lower 48 (59%) and in Alaska (54%) believe that EPA should stop Pebble Mine if studies show it will pollute the land and water. Salmon is a strong reason to oppose Pebble Mine, both in the lower 48 and in Alaska – but particularly in Alaska. Concerns regarding the 10 billion tons of waste the mine will produce were also significant reasons for opposition. The opposition is weighted heavily toward ―strongly opposed‖ as opposed to ―somewhat opposed.‖ This means that the opposition is highly unlikely to change their opinion.


Bristol Bay is vital to American economy Thank you for reporting Sen. Maria Cantwell‘s commitment to protect the Bristol Bay, Alaska watershed if the science says it‘s the right thing to do. I appreciate the senator‘s work to protect the very valuable Bristol Bay sockeye salmon and other species potentially in harm‘s way of the proposed Pebble Mine. Bristol Bay‘s resources – including up to 60 million salmon that return there every year – are of international importance, with economic, health, environmental, and cultural implications. Like many international fishery issues, including Norwegian-owned Atlantic salmon feedlots in British Columbia and restoring Pacific salmon and steelhead in Washington‘s rivers (Chehalis, Elwha, Snake and more), protecting Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is vitally important to many in Washington who value our natural resources-based lifestyle. I hope other politicians will follow Cantwell‘s leadership on this issue and recognize the vital role Bristol Bay plays in the American economy. Jim Wilcox

We need safe and responsible mining I beg to differ with Gov. Parnell‘s office stating that Bristol Bay is a ―local area.‖ It covers hundreds of square miles and thousands of people. This comment is in reference to Parnell‘s press aide, Sharon Leighow‘s response to a question from the Homer Tribune concerning your lawsuit against the Lake and Peninsula Borough initiative to stop further development of huge-scale mining. That initiative may have been voted on by residents of Bristol Bay, but it concerns everyone in this state. To trade a wonderful, life-giving food resource for precious metals is fool hardy, penny wise and pound foolish. Having lived in Egegik, Ekwok and New Stuyahok, I understand the necessity of salmon as opposed to metals. Take away salmon from the Bay area and it won‘t make any difference if there are a few jobs created — the residents will not thrive. Please also consider that the State of Alaska gets a pittance in resource tax revenue from any mining venture. The tax law (circa 1800s) drastically needs revision. I am not against mining. We need to develop resources, but it has to be done in responsible ways. Pebble Mine is not a responsible, safe proposal no matter what the owners are saying. There is too much risk of catastrophic damage. In closing, I implore you to withdraw this suit and do all your office can possible do to halt this particular mining development. Shirley Forquer Proposed Pebble Mine

The "No Pebble Mine" Message Is Getting Louder Opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska‘s famed Bristol Bay region continues to mount, with some major seafood processors now wading into the anti-Pebble waters. In late November, the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, a seafood industry trade association, issued a statement explaining its opposition to the proposed mine. Notably, since its formation in 1914, the Association has never ―taken a position in opposition to any specific development project or category of projects of other natural resource industries. Doing so now is not a decision our Association takes lightly.‖ In fact, just four years ago the Association released a position paper that was ―generally supportive of allowing the [Pebble Mine] project to proceed in the exploration, scientific research, and permit application processes.‖ But the paper went on to express ―deep concern that the project appeared to pose an unacceptably high risk of degrading important watersheds feeding the world‘s most productive sockeye salmon fishery,‖ and the Association stated that ―it would oppose the Pebble Mine project unless the developer can ensure that there will be no negative impacts to the region‘s water quality or to Alaska‘s fishery resources and their marketability.‖ Now, four years later, the Association has determined that it ―can see no way that [Pebble Mine] can be developed, operated, and concluded without – at some point – causing irreparable harm to the watersheds, ecosystems, fishery resources, businesses, people, and communities of the region.‖ Therefore, the Association ―concluded that the level of risk posed by the Pebble mine is simply too high . . . [and] after careful consideration, we are compelled to oppose development of the Pebble mine project due to its unique location, size, and potential harm.‖ This is huge news. The corporate members of the Association are major seafood processing companies with thousands of employees and hundreds of millions of dollars at stake (e.g., North Pacific Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, Trident Seafoods, Alaska General Seafoods, among others). Viewing the proposed Pebble Mine through a dispassionate business lens, they see that the risks posed by the proposed mine to Bristol Bay and its renowned wild salmon fishery are simply too great to ignore. A few months ago, I wrote about Pebble Mine, calling it The Worst Idea Ever, and my experience in the area where the developers of the mine want to build it. To recap, the proposed Pebble Mine would be one of the world‘s largest open-pit mines – a 2,000-foot-deep, 2-mile-long gold and copper mine with massive earthen dams built to hold back some 10 billion (billion with a ―b‖) tons of mining waste. Roads will be built in what is now a pristine roadless wilderness, and the whole damned nightmare would be smack dab in the middle of a known earthquake zone. As these major seafood processing companies realized, Pebble Mine poses an unavoidable risk of irreversible damage to Bristol Bay, including the permanent destruction of dozens of miles of wild salmon habitat.


Keystone XL project aims to expand the TransCanada Corporation Keystone pipeline to the Gulf Coast Thank you for contacting me about the Keystone XL project. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response. As you know, oil sands are a mixture of sand, bitumen (a heavy crude that does not flow naturally), and water. They can be mined or the oil can be extracted in-situ using thermal recovery techniques. Typically, oil sands contain about 75% inorganic matter, 10% bitumen, 10% silt and clay, and 5% water. Oil sand is sold in two forms – both as a raw bitumen that must be blended with a diluent for transport, and as a synthetic crude oil (SCO) after being upgraded to constitute a light crude. Bitumen is a thick tar-like substance that must be upgraded by adding hydrogen or removing some of the carbon. Many of the byproducts of oil-sands production are a serious hazard to the health, habitats, and welfare of both humans and wildlife if they are improperly handled and disposed of. The Keystone XL project aims to expand the TransCanada Corporation Keystone pipeline to the Gulf Coast. While I understand the appeal of importing oil from Canada instead of from countries in the Middle East, I think we would be better served by focusing on clean, renewable energy sources in our own country. That's why one of my top priorities as a U.S. Senator has been to fight for legislation to promote the production of renewable energy, incentivize energy efficiency, develop clean technology industries, and protect our environment. These initiatives will help shift our nation from an era of fossil fuels to a clean energy system based on domestically produced and environmentally friendly 21st century technologies. While relatively dirty, non-renewable fossil fuels were the best we could find to satisfy our needs in the last century, it is clear that our nation's continued economic, environmental, and national security depends on finding more sustainable sources of energy produced right here at home. As you know, more than 80 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. today come from fossil fuel combustion, which the world's leading scientists have determined is causing the Earth's climate to warm and could lead to drought, flooding, and other catastrophic natural disasters Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter, and please be assured that I will keep your comments on the importance of clean energy in mind as I vote on future legislation. Sincerely, Maria Cantwell United States Senator

Columbia River / Snake River restoration White sturgeon protection and restoration


Upper Columbia River white sturgeon

Columbia River white sturgeon

Acipenser transmontanus (White Sturgeon) - from Mexico‘s Baja Peninsula to SW Alaska‘s Aleutian Islands What are white sturgeon?

( The white sturgeon is North America‟s largest freshwater fish. They can grow to a length of 6 metres (19 feet) and a weight of 800 kg (1800 lbs.) during a lifetime that may span over 100 years. On average, they grow about 4 cm per year, slowing once they have reached 25 years of age. Growth is highly variable—a 150-cm (5 feet) sturgeon can range from 25 to 50 years old. Fossil records indicate that its shark-like appearance - torpedo-shaped body, large dorsal fin and a broad, flat head - has changed little over millions of years. It gets its name from the white along the sides and belly. Perhaps the most distinctive features of the sturgeon are its five rows of bony plates or scutes along its body, which give it a prehistoric armored appearance. The white sturgeon is omnivorous, eating live and dead fish, invertebrates, plants, and other organic material.

A sea lion feasts on a white sturgeon in the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam.

Anglers in the lower Columbia will see their sturgeon catch allocation reduced again in 2012.

By Allen Thomas Columbian Sports Reporter

Columbia River white sturgeon The sturgeon population in the lower Columbia River continues to dwindle and state officials have started talks on how to tweak back sport-fishing seasons for 2012. Brad James, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, told the bi-state Columbia River Recreational Advisers Group last week that the number of legal-size sturgeon is projected to drop from 77,000 in 2011 to 65,000 in 2012. Washington and Oregon use two methods to estimated legal-size sturgeon abundance.


4 threats to Columbia River sturgeon

February 4, 2011 By Cassandra Profita

The Columbia River sturgeon catch is being cut back for a fourth year in a row to protect a declining population. What's causing the deline? Probably not fishermen so much as sea lions and maybe a lack of food. The sturgeon count on the Columbia River has plummeted from 202,200 in 1995 to 77,000 this year. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is expected to cut sturgeon catch limits for the fourth year in a row. The fish aren‘t at risk of extinction, but something is wrong. As The Oregonian reports today, fishery managers don‘t know as much about sturgeon as they do salmon and steelhead. But they note five threats that could be contributing to their decline: Lack of food: Two of the fish sturgeon like to eat – Pacific smelt and lamprey eels – are down in the dumps. Smelt were listed under the Endangered Species Act last year, and lamprey populations have fallen from as high as 400,000 in the 70s to around 20,000 last year. Shad, another good eat, is also on the decline. Shad numbers have dropped 25 percent over the past five years. Sea lions: Biologists estimate sea lions killed 6,680 sturgeon last year and will kill 10,400 a year by 2014. Older, breeding sturgeon below Bonneville Dam may be especially vulnerable to sea lions because they can‘t move over the dam to safety like salmon and steelhead can. Poachers: And a lack of enforcement to catch them in the act. Fishermen catching them – and throwing them back: Sport and commercial fishermen on the Columbia catch sturgeon. Sometimes they can keep them, and sometimes they can‘t. When they‘re caught and thrown back, the way they‘re handled could affect their long-term survival.

June 27, 2011

Western Division of the American Fisheries Society Considers the Four Lower Snake River Dams a Threat to the Continued Existence of Salmon, Steelhead, Lamprey and Sturgeon Portland, Or. –The Western Division of American Fisheries Society (WDAFS) announced that it has passed a resolution acknowledging that based on the best available scientific information, the four lower Snake River dams and reservoirs present a significant threat to the continued existence of remaining wild fish populations. It goes on to say that if society wishes to save and restore these endangered species, ―then a significant portion of the lower Snake River must be returned to a freeflowing condition by breaching the four lower Snake River dams.‖ The resolution is a revision of one adopted in 1999, and passed with 86.4% approval of the independent group of scientists throughout the Western US. Full text of the resolution will soon be available on the WDAFS website ( The revisions addressed conditions that have occurred since 1999, indicating that although some salmon runs have experienced increases and even record returns, that these large pulses are dominated by hatchery fish instead of wild ones; and that more has been recently learned about the role of these dams and reservoirs in reducing populations of other native fish such as sturgeon and lamprey, as well as the listed salmon and steelhead. ―This resolution simply tells it like it is from the science perspective: if we want to save Snake River salmon as habitats warm, we have to remove the four lower Snake River dams. There is just no evading that reality,‖ said Don Chapman, fisheries biologist, former fisheries professor, and consultant to industry, Native Americans, and management agencies. Said Doug DeHart, former Fisheries Chief at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and fisheries biologist, ―WDAFS did a great job applying the best available science to a tough issue. Let‘s hope these scientists‘ call for a hard look at removal of the four lower Snake River dams is heeded by this Administration. The future of these fish depends on sound decisions informed by this kind of scientific perspective, but it is also crucial for the future of our salmon fisheries up and down the West Coast, and the jobs and the communities those fish support.‖ The resolution follows previous AFS assessments in 2004 and 2009 of the federal Biological Opinion regarding Columbia and Snake River salmon policy. Those assessments also indicated British Columbia islands and trust territories

that restoration of natural river conditions where the four lower Snake River dams occur has the highest likelihood of recovering wild salmon and steelhead. ―I‘m proud to be an AFS member today. To stand up against the political forces trying to silence the science on this issue isn‘t easy; this call for dam removal and the previous thorough WDAFS critiques of the current plan show that the members of AFS have strong principles and integrity,‖ said Chapman. Established in 1870, the American Fisheries Society is the world‘s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources. The Western Division represents about 3,500 fishery scientists from 13 states and 3 Canadian provinces and territories, encompassing the entire Columbia River basin. The resolution comes in advance of a Federal judges‘ ruling on the legality of the current federal government‘s Biological Opinion regarding wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake River system.

Steelhead Trout

President Obama: Convene Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Solutions Table

Judge Redden To Step Down Aaron Kunz | November 23, 2011 A federal judge in Portland is planning to step down, after shaping salmon and hydropower policy on the Columbia and Snake rivers for more than a decade. Judge James Redden said in a short email that he will step down soon to give his replacement time to review the history of this legal challenge. That should help the new judge prepare for a big job in 2014. That's when the federal government must present the court with a new plan to restore endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers. Doug Johnson is a spokesman for Bonneville Power Administration, which sells electricity from dams on the two rivers. He credited Judge Redden with insisting on cooperation. "It‘s collaboration that led to the Columbia River Basin accords that we've entered into with several Northwest tribes and states. And under those agreements we'll continue to work to restore habitat and collaborate on other projects," he said. Judge Redden struck down three management plans since 2000 proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also required dams to spill more water to help fish migrate.

Ice Harbor Dam from the west, north side of the Snake River

Agencies to remove Sandy River dike to improve habitat November 25, 2011 It seemed like a good idea 73 years ago. To help funnel smelt up the Sandy River each spring, the Oregon Game Commission in 1938 finished a huge rock and wood dike to close off one of two river channels. The result was a single channel to the west of a large delta of low-lying land where the Sandy flows into the Columbia River. And it appeared to work. Commercial and recreational fishing for smelt prospered for years.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to remove the 750 foot dike near the mouth of the east channel of Oregon‘s Sandy River next summer.

But now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with help from the Portland Water Bureau, wants to remove the dike and reopen more than 1.4 miles of the old channel through the delta to restore habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead. "The commission thought it was a good idea at the time," said Todd Alsbury, regional fish biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the commission's successor. "Now we've discovered that closing that channel was not so good." If the dike is removed next summer as planned, it would be the biggest yet of a dozen corps habitat projects planned for the lower Columbia River under special legislation passed by Congress 11 years ago and funded with $30 million. It would also move the main channel of the Sandy back to where it was before humans began messing with the river. "We've identified this as a very important project at the mouth of the Sandy River," said Steve Kucas, a Water Bureau environmental manager. "This is really valuable habitat for fish coming out of the Sandy and for fish in the Columbia River."

Columbia salmon case assigned to new judge November 28, 2011 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A recent appointee to the federal court bench in Portland has been assigned one of the Northwest's longest and most contentious issues — the Columbia River Basin salmon case. The U.S. District Court announced Monday that the case has been assigned to District Judge Michael Simon, confirmed last June by the U.S. Senate. Judge James Redden shepherded the case for years but the 82-year-old jurist said last week he had asked that the case be reassigned. Redden rejected three different federal government plans for balancing the needs of wild salmon against Columbia Basin hydroelectric dams. In addition to a long career in private practice, Simon has worked for the Justice Department. He has a law degree from Harvard.

Little Goose Dam, Snake River

Klamath River restoration Editorial: Restoring the Klamath Congress should approve Merkley‘s legislation Published: (Sunday, Nov 13, 2011 Nothing happens quickly in the Klamath Basin — or in Washington, D.C. It took years of negotiations among federal officials, state and local officials in Oregon and California, farmers, fishermen, tribal leaders, environmentalists and others to produce last year‘s historic agreement to restore the Klamath Basin. And it may take time and some heavy lifting in Congress to win approval of legislation to implement the agreement, which would breach four dams, restore salmon habitat and keep irrigation water flowing for the basin‘s long-suffering farmers. Sen. Jeff Merkely, D-Ore., has introduced legislation that would allow the Klamath agreement to take effect and provide the necessary half-billion dollars in new federal spending. The money will be needed over the next 15 years to restore habitat and fisheries, as well as pay for the administration and oversight of the river restoration project. Congress should swiftly approve this legislation, which has the potential to end the century-long battle over water in the basin and to restore what was once one of the nation‘s most productive salmon rivers. But that‘s unlikely to happen at a time when Congress is struggling to reduce the federal deficit and when Republicans, for whom dam removal is political anathema, control the House. GOP lawmakers already have rejected a proposal to pay for a federal study focusing on removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath. Their removal would open 300 miles of spawning habitat that has been blocked for a century, while also giving farmers better assurances of receiving irrigation water that was shut off during a drought in 2001 in a highly controversial move to protect threatened salmon. Republicans should think long and hard about rejecting the Klamath legislation and unraveling a compromise forged by long-time adversaries in a region that has endured too many devastating droughts, too much damage to salmon and too many water wars. Failure to approve the legislation could doom the basin to many more years of bitter conflicts over environmental, economic and energy issues. Many other challenges lie ahead before the Klamath agreement becomes reality. The deal also hinges on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar reviewing the detailed plan that federal agencies are preparing for the dams‘ removal and giving the plan the thumbs up — or down — by the end of next March.


Klamath River Basin

Tribes' claims to most water rights confirmed December 3, 2011. In a critical decision in the 36-year Klamath Basin adjudication process, an administrative law judge confirmed all of the Klamath Tribes' water claims for six of eight water bodies. The proposed order, delivered Friday, validates the tribes' claims for the Williamson River, Sprague River, Sycan River, Wood River, Klamath Marsh, and tributaries and springs on the former reservation with a time immemorial priority date - the most senior water right - and the quantities the tribes argued were necessary to provide for tribal resources, said Bud Ullman, attorney for the Klamath Tribes. Supporters of the controversial Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, including the tribes, say the decision reinforces the need for the agreement, in which the tribes make concessions on their water rights in favor of acquiring the Mazama Tree Farm. Some opponents to the KBRA have said adjudication is the best route to solving water disputes. Two other decisions on the most contested water bodies, Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River, are due in April 2012.

A dam bit of difference: the Klamath debate November 20, 2011 Not all dams are created equal. Each is endowed by its creators with certain abilities: Some provide flood control, some store irrigation water, some generate hydroelectricity, and many — like the one at Lost Creek Reservoir on the Rogue River — are engineering compromises that do a bit of all these things. If we're going to debate whether to remove a dam, we need to know precisely what it does. Right now the nation's hottest dam-removal debate centers on whether to dismantle four PacifiCorp dams on the Upper Klamath River. Yet many people don't understand what these dams can — and cannot — do. The fact that the dams are owned by PacifiCorp, an electric power company, should be a big clue. PacifiCorp is not in the business of providing flood control or storing irrigation water for farmers. PacifiCorp generates and sells electricity, and making electricity is the only thing their Upper Klamath dams were designed to do. This surprises most people. They assume that all dams reduce flooding in winter and boost the river's flow during the long dry summer. But to do those things, a dam must be able to store and release large amounts of water by raising and lowering the reservoir behind the dam. At Lost Creek Reservoir on the Rogue, the Army Corps of Engineers releases extra water every summer, lowering the reservoir dramatically, then uses that excess space to capture high flows during winter and spring, refilling the reservoir in time for the next summer dry season. Not so with PacifiCorp's Klamath dams. Seasonal raising and lowering is inefficient for generating hydropower, and PacifiCorp knows a thing or two about efficiency. The Upper Klamath reservoirs were designed to maintain a near-constant level, with no ability to store excess water in one season for release at a later time. These dams are what engineers call "run of river" facilities, designed to release essentially the same amount of water that flows into the reservoir. They can alter flows only very briefly — on a 24-hour cycle in the case of J.C. Boyle and Copco dams — storing up the river's flow overnight in order to release it in an oversized pulse the following day. This allows PacifiCorp to produce power when demand is highest in the middle of the day. But the dams simply cannot store enough water to reduce winter floods or release extra water in the summer. Let's look at the numbers. Lost Creek can be raised and lowered by 121 feet every year, allowing it to store — or release — 315,000 acre-feet of water. That's enough to cover an area the size of Medford in 23 feet of water. Iron Gate Reservoir, the biggest of the four PacifiCorp reservoirs, can be raised or lowered by a mere 4 feet, allowing it to store only 3,790 acre-feet — enough to cover Medford in just over three inches of water. So although the Rogue and Klamath are similar sized rivers, Lost Creek can store 80 times as much water. Iron Gate can store just over a day's worth of the Klamath's average flow, while Lost Creek can store a whopping 84 days' worth of the Rogue's average. That's the difference between a single-purpose hydro dam like Iron Gate, and a multi-purpose dam like Lost Creek.


West Coast lawmakers introduce bills to remove four Klamath hydro projects WASHINGTON 11/16/11 (PennWell) -- Seventeen West Coast Democrats have introduced bills in the House and Senate that would authorize the Interior Department to spend more than $1 billion to remove four privately owned hydroelectric projects and perform environmental restoration on the Klamath River in Oregon and California. Utility PacifiCorp had been seeking a relicense for the 161.338-MW Klamath hydroelectric project (No. 2082) when environmental and fishing groups and state and federal resources agencies launched a campaign to remove the project. A 2009 settlement agreement calls for removal of the utility's main Klamath River hydropower plants and dams, 90.338-MW J.C. Boyle, 20-MW Copco 1, 27-MW Copco 2, and 18-MW Iron Gate and transfer of the non-powered Keno Dam to the Interior Department. PacifiCorp was brought to the negotiating table when faced by mandatory fishway prescriptions by Interior and the Commerce Department that would render the hydro project no longer economical to operate. The full hydroelectric project also includes the 3.2-MW East Side and 600-kW West Side developments, which PacifiCorp proposed to decommission voluntarily, and the 2.2-MW Fall Creek development, on a Klamath River tributary. In September, a draft environmental impact statement by the Department of Interior and the state of California recommended removal of the four hydroelectric developments on the Klamath at an estimated cost of more than $291 million to ratepayers and taxpayers. However, lead sponsors of dam removal legislation -- Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif. -- said Nov. 10 that the total cost of removing the dams and "embarking on the environmental restoration called for in this legislation" is estimated at $1.086 billion: $536 million in federal funds and $550 million in non-federal funds. Dam removal pushed as jobs legislation Backers of the bills -- S.1851 in the Senate and H.R.3398 in the House -- represented the dam removal effort as economic development, labeling it the "Klamath Basin Economic Restoration Act." Interior Department studies said dam removal would support about 1,400 jobs during the one-year dam removal process, 4,600 jobs over 15 years of implementing restoration programs, and about 450 annual commercial fishing jobs. "This legislation will provide a brighter future for the Klamath Basin, putting people to work and improving the economy for farmers and fishermen alike," Merkley said. Under terms of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is to make a final decision on dam removal based on review of the draft environmental impact statement data and public input. That decision is expected in March. Framework agreements call for removing the dams by 2020 if Congress and Interior Department scientists approve.


Oregon dam removal may cost California The California Oregon Power Co. was founded in 1911 to supply electricity to the southernmost Oregon counties and the northernmost California counties. It built four hydroelectric power dams on the Klamath River. The Klamath cuts across California's northwestern corner and is incredibly remote. Until those dams were built, blocking spawning runs, it supported an immense salmon and steelhead fishery that sustained Indian tribes living along its banks. COPCO merged with Pacific Power and Light Co. in 1961. PP&L eventually changed its name to PacificCorp, and in 2005 was acquired by Warren Buffett. Those Klamath River dams have become very contentious factors in a controversy over how the river's waters should be managed, involving not only their effect on fish, but the water supplies of farmers in the Klamath Basin, the southern Oregon region where the river begins. While Indian tribes and commercial fishermen demand elimination of the dams to restore fish runs, farmers worry about irrigation water. The factions have worked out a deal to remove the four dams and restore fish habitat, while protecting water supplies for those farmers. California Rep. Mike Thompson, a Democrat who represents the North Coast, and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkeley, have introduced legislation to implement it. However, a big sticking point is its cost, about a billion dollars. Thompson and Merkeley want the federal government to pay half, which already is drawing opposition in a Republican-controlled Congress. PacificCorp would pay about 25%. The remaining $250 million? The two legislators say it would come from "non-federal sources." They don't say that it would come from California taxpayers, specifically a $250 million chunk of the $11.1 billion state water bond that is scheduled to go before voters next year. And why should California taxpayers be on the hook? The dams' removal would have no effect, positive or negative, on our water supply. The semi-official rationale -- weak at best -- is that improving fish runs on the Klamath would offset losses of habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.


Chehalis River Basin Flood Damage Prevention Flood Authority Gets First Glimpse of Fish Study

DRAFT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority (Flood Authority) has been evaluating the feasibility of reducing the frequency and severity of flooding on the Chehalis River by means of a flood retention structure on the upper mainstem Chehalis River at river mile (RM 108.3). The evaluation considers two types of facilities: 1) a flood storage only facility, which would impound water in a reservoir for a more gradual release into the lower watershed; and 2) a multi-purpose facility that would provide the same flood capacity as the flood storage only facility, but would maintain a reservoir behind the structure for hydropower and would be operated to release flows into the lower river over an extended time period. The Flood Authority hired Anchor QEA to conduct a fish study to evaluate the potential effects of the flood retention structure on fish populations in the mainstem Chehalis River between the upper watershed (approximately river mile [RM] 118) and the town of Porter at RM 33. The fish study focuses on three salmonid species, spring Chinook salmon, winter steelhead, and coho salmon, representing a diversity of anadromous life history strategies and habitat requirements. In order to assess the potential impacts on salmonid populations, the fish study includes evaluations of hydrology and hydraulics, water quality, sediment transport, large woody debris, and fish habitat. The information provided by each of these evaluations is used in a salmonid population simulation model to interpret potential impacts to fish populations from construction of either alternative. Flood Storage Reservoir Alternative The flood storage reservoir alternative is proposed to retain 80,000 acre-feet. The proposed reservoir will significantly reduce flood flows in the upper Chehalis River basin, by 50 to 60 percent for 10-year to 100-year recurrence interval floods. The resulting decrease in flow will reduce flood levels from the upper Chehalis River downstream to the study boundary, which is RM 33, the location of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gage at Porter (Porter gage). In the reach of the Chehalis River between the Newaukum River and the USGS gage at Grand Mound, which contains the cities of Chehalis and Centralia, the flood levels are predicted to decrease by 1.4 to 1.8 feet for a 100-year flood. With smaller floods, smaller reductions will occur. The estimated reduction during the 1996 flood is from 0.9 to 1.3 feet. Draft Executive Summary Chehalis River Fish Study November 2011 ES-2 10070501.01 Construction of a flood storage reservoir in the upper Chehalis River basin would alter peak flows and the input and transport rates of sediment and large woody debris (LWD) in the river downstream of the reservoir. The rate of change of each of these elements would determine the net effect of the flood structure on the geomorphology and bedload transport, which would in turn affect substrate and aquatic habitat characteristics. The flood storage alternative would reduce peak flows in the Chehalis River downstream from the reservoir. Because the reservoir would be filling or full during peak flows when the majority of coarse sediment (cobble, gravel, coarse sand) and wood is transported, it is assumed that large wood and coarse sediment from the upstream watershed would be trapped in the reservoir. The most pronounced effect from the change in peak flows, input and transport of sediment, would be between the proposed dam site to near the confluence of the South Fork Chehalis River (RM 93.5 to RM107.8). Bedload transport capacity is calculated to be reduced to 3 to 17 percent of existing capacity under either storage scenario while coarse sediment input is estimated to be reduced to 39 to 54 percent of existing. This may result in some aggradation in the channel if input rates exceed transport capacity. Large woody debris levels would be lower because the large episodic input of wood from the upper watershed would be greatly reduced. The effects decline downstream as additional flow and sediment are input to the river from downstream sources (e.g., tributaries). At RM 61.7, downstream of the City of Chehalis, a bedrock

control exists that resets upstream bedload input rates. The grade control is located downstream of most of the major tributaries (South Fork Chehalis, Newaukum, and Skookumchuck rivers). As a result, the effects of the flood storage alternative on peak flows, bedload transport, large wood, and river geomorphology would be much more muted than in upstream reaches. A slight decrease in bedload transport capacity compared to input rates is likely to occur; however the slight reduction in peak flows would likely also result in a reduction in bank erosion, so the input of gravel and cobble from the banks will also decrease. There would likely be a slight reduction in large wood inputs as bank erosion rates decrease, but it is likely that the majority of these changes will not be noticeable. An evaluation of water quality changes was undertaken to assess impacts from the proposed structure. Evaluations focused on assessing changes in water temperature and dissolved oxygen (DO) downstream of the proposed structure. The flood storage alternative does not propose to store water other than for a short time period after high flow events. No effect on water temperature or DO would occur in the summer time, when water quality conditions tend to be most harmful to fish. The fish population modeling included separate analyses for whether the flood storage dam provides fish passage or not. In the analysis, the model inputs with a flood storage facility included the following changes to habitat quantity and quality: 1) decreased frequency and magnitude of high-flow events, which is beneficial to salmonids; 2) decreased quantity of habitat available in the upper watershed related to the presence of the reservoir during and after high-flow events; 3) decreased habitat quantity to account for loss of sediment bedload and large wood from the upper river as well as channel maintenance flows; and 4) increased percent fine sediments in the area downstream of the dam. Whether fish passage is provided or not, the population modeling predicts declines to all three salmonid species analyzed. With fish passage provided, the predicted 50-year average annual spawner abundance decreases by 17 percent for winter steelhead, 34 percent for spring Chinook, and 38 percent for coho salmon. The declines are larger if fish passage is not provided. In such a scenario, the predicted 50-year average annual spawner abundance decreases by 37 percent for winter steelhead, 54 percent for spring Chinook, and 52 percent for coho salmon. Multi�purpose Reservoir The proposed multi-purpose (hydropower) reservoir will have the same storage volume allocated for flood reduction as the flood storage alternative (80,000 acre-feet), but will have an additional 65,000 acre-feet for storing high flows experienced in the winter and spring time and releasing the flows at a controlled rate throughout the year. The flood reduction benefits will be the same as the flood storage alternative. It is planned that the minimum release in most years will be 732 cubic feet per second (cfs) from November to March and 140 cfs from April to November. This alternative shows significant flow changes compared to existing conditions. As with the flood control alternative, the highest flows are decreased in magnitude due to flood events being stored at the reservoir. The controlled release of flows after high-flow events causes slightly higher median flows in the winter. Flow releases for hydropower operations will significantly increase instream flow in the upper Chehalis River in the May to October time period. For example, the median flow in September at the Doty gage for existing conditions is 30 cfs. With this alternative, the median flow is increased to 122 cfs. In general, the magnitude of flow changes along the Chehalis River proceeding in a downstream direction is similar to that in the upper Chehalis River, but the effects would be less noticeable as the percentage of flow changed would be much less at the Grand Mound and Porter gages. The effects of the multi-purpose reservoir on sediment and LWD would be very similar to the effects for the flood storage alternative, as peak flows will be controlled to the same level. The existing water temperature regime during the summer in the Chehalis River adversely impacts salmonids. The multi-purpose reservoir alternative, assuming withdrawal of cool water from the bottom of the reservoir, has a large

beneficial effect on water temperatures in the Chehalis River. The water quality model predicts that water temperatures in the upper Chehalis River, particularly upstream of confluence with South Fork Chehalis River, would have greater compliance with salmonid temperature criteria compared to existing conditions. The benefit from low-flow augmentation is predicted to diminish progressively downstream, particularly downstream of the Newaukum River confluence, as tributary inflows begin to dominate in-stream conditions. Similar results are simulated for DO. Augmenting summer low flow with cooler water, at a higher DO, enables higher concentrations of DO, particularly in the upper Chehalis River.As with temperature, these benefits diminish in a downstream direction as DO levels downstream of the Skookumchuck River confluence are predicted to be nearly identical between existing and with project conditions. The fish population modeling included separate analyses for whether the multi-purpose facility provides fish passage or not. The analysis also investigated the fish population effects if water from the reservoir was released from the bottom (cool water) or the surface (warmer water). In the analysis, the model inputs with a multi-purpose facility included the following changes to habitat quantity and quality: 1) decreased frequency and magnitude of high-flow events, which is beneficial to salmonids; 2) increased base flows in the lower river due to releases from the multi-purpose reservoir; 3) altered water temperatures downstream of dam depending on whether water is released from the bottom or surface of the reservoir; 4) decreased quantity of habitat available in the upper watershed related to the presence of the reservoir during and after high-flow events; 5) decreased habitat quantity to account for loss of sediment bedload and large wood from the upper river, as well as channel maintenance flows; and 6) increased percent fine sediments in the area downstream of the dam. In all scenarios, the fish population modeling predicts declines to all three salmonid species analyzed. Among all the flood storage and multi-purpose facility scenarios analyzed, the least effects were predicted for a multi-purpose facility that releases water from the bottom of the reservoir. For Chinook salmon, the predicted 50-year average annual spawner abundance with a multi-purpose facility that releases water from the bottom of the reservoir was predicted to decrease by 5 percent if passage is provided and 1 percent if passage is not provided. If water from the surface of the reservoir was released, the Chinook spawner abundance declines were predicted to be between 59 percent and 76 percent. For steelhead, the predicted 50-year average annual spawner abundance with a multipurpose facility that releases water from the bottom of the reservoir was predicted to decrease by 17 percent if passage is provided and 9 percent if passage is not provided. If water from the surface of the reservoir was released, the steelhead spawner abundance declines were predicted to be between 36 percent and 72 percent. For coho salmon, the predicted 50-year average annual spawner abundance with a multi-purpose facility that releases water from the bottom of the reservoir was predicted to decrease by 28 percent if passage is provided and by 53 percent if passage is not provided. If water from the surface of the reservoir was released, the steelhead spawner abundance declines were predicted to be between 31 percent and 64 percent. The counter-intuitive predictions of higher Chinook and steelhead spawner abundance if fish passage is not provided will require additional consideration of model inputs, but the percent differences are rather small and within the uncertainty of the model.

DRAFT RREPORT CONCLUSIONS The fish population modeling analyses based on the collection and modeling of future mainstem river habitat changes resulting from a dam predict declines in all three salmonid species analyzed with the construction and operation of either a flood storage only or multi-purpose facility. The smallest increase was predicted if the multi-purpose facility that releases water from the bottom of the reservoir is constructed. The flood storage only dam and the multi-purpose facility that releases water from the top of the reservoir were predicted to have larger impacts to salmonid abundance. These findings are based on the following changes to habitat that were input to the model based on modeled predictions conducted in this study (e.g., water quality) or assumptions of the type and magnitude of change based on interpretation of scientific literature: 

Decreased frequency and magnitude of high flow events. The flood reduction capabilities of the flood storage only dam or a multi-purpose facility would cause a decrease in peak flow events and benefit egg incubation survival.

Decreased habitat capacity in the upper watershed. The quantity of habitat available in the upper watershed above a dam would decrease due to the loss of habitat in the reservoir inundation areas predicted for the flood storage only dam or multi-purpose facility. For the purposes of this analysis, it was assumed for both dam structures and operation scenarios that habitat throughout the entire reservoir area will no longer be suitable.

Decreased habitat capacity downstream of the proposed dam site. The quantity of habitat available downstream of a flood storage only dam or multi-purpose facility would decrease due to the disconnection of upper watershed sediment (bedload) inputs, changes to sediment transport conditions, the disconnection of sources of LWD from the upper watershed, and the decrease in channel maintenance flows. The impacts of the sediment transport are expected to be most pronounced between the proposed dam site and the South Fork Chehalis River.

Increased amount of percent fine sediments downstream of the proposed dam site. The reduction in the frequency and magnitude of high flow events and the prolonged release of impounded water is expected to cause more fine sediments to be deposited

Increased base flows downstream of the proposed dam site 1 (multi-purpose facility only). The operation of a multi-purpose facility would include the release of flows throughout the year ranging between 140 cfs and 2,000 cfs. Such increases in base flows would affect the quantity of suitable habitat available in each reach downstream of a dam.

Altered water temperatures downstream of the proposed dam site (multi-purpose facility only). The operation of a multi-purpose facility would include the release of flows throughout the year which would affect downstream water temperatures. The magnitude of any temperature changes on depends on whether the water released is from the reservoir surface, bottom, or mid-elevation. In the summer months, the bottom of the reservoir is predicted to be several degrees cooler than the surface of the reservoir and the river water downstream. Thus, the release of water from the bottom of the reservoir during the summer is predicted to decrease the maximum temperatures in downstream river reaches, which would be beneficial to returning adult salmonids and rearing juvenile salmonids.

Draft Chehalis River Fish Study Report and supporting attachments For those following the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority-commissioned "Fish Study" to determine whether or not a 300' tall, 2,000' long dam will impact Chehalis River salmonids: Here's the draft report and supporting details as presented to the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority:

For those asked to login: Username: chehalisfish Password: upstream-4

Wild Game Fish Conservation International will submit formal comments regardfing this draft report. You and your organizations are encouraged to comment as well

Editorial comment: The preliminary results of the $1.3 million study indicate that a dam on the mainstem of the Chehalis River in Washington State will impact this river’s fish. Go figure! WGFCI continues to work for an immediate and permanent moratorium on steep slope logging and a moratorium on floodplain development; both in the Chehalis River basin as strategies to prevent flood related damage. Study: Chehalis River Dam Would Impact Fish December 13, 2011 The study looked at three fish populations - spring Chinook, winter steelhead and coho - and concluded that habitat changes brought on by a water retention facility would likely cause declines in all three species. The study's authors took into account the reduction of sustained high flows, lost habitat, increased sediment downstream of the structure and changes in water temperature, among other factors. "The smallest decrease was predicted if the multi-purpose facility that releases water from the bottom of the reservoir is constructed," according to the study. "The flood-storage only dam and the multipurpose facility that releases water from the top of the reservoir were predicted to have larger impacts on salmonid abundance." The proposed dam would be located two miles south of Pe Ell. Scientists and engineers looked at different types of structures, and determined that a "multi-purpose facility" - one that produces hydropower - that releases water from the bottom of the reservoir, would have the least impact. The proposed flood storage-only dam alternative would retain about 80,000 acre-feet of water. The proposed reservoir would significantly reduce flood flows in the upper Chehalis River Basin by 50 to 60 percent for 10-year to 100-year floods, according to previous studies. Lewis County Commissioner Ron Averill, who is also a member of the Flood Authority and a proponent of water retention, said the fisheries study is not necessarily a death knell for dams. "It would cause a (fish) decline without mitigation, but there are some species that fair better than others," he said. Averill noted that some aspects of a water retention facility would benefit fish populations. According to the study, the release of water from the bottom of a dam reservoir during the summer would decrease water temperatures which would be beneficial to returning adult salmon and juvenile salmonids. He said the next phase of the study will consider mitigation and enhancement efforts that could negate negative impacts to fish populations. Paul Schlenger, Managing Fisheries Scientist at Anchor QEA, said he expects adjustments in the final report, including the actual numbers of the projected decrease in the fish populations. Comments from the public will be accepted until January 2. Comments should be submitted to Schlenger at with CC to Greg Hueckel at

Major I-5 Transportation Project Helps Traffic Flow, Increases Flood Protection November 18, 2011 Driving in Centralia will be different once the dust of construction has settled and the last of the asphalt has been lain on the Mellen Street to Blakeslee Junction project on Interstate 5 In addition to how drivers will get around the Hub City, the project will offer flood protection to the Mellen neighborhood, if not for the interstate — that all-important commercial West Coast freeway arterial, at least for now. That protection will also offer more reliable hospital access during Chehalis River flood events And that oddly designed Mellen Street interchange? It may offer additional congestion relief for Centralia in later years if the city grows as expected. Hospital Access Mellen Street at I-5 was under four feet of water during the December 2007 flood, cutting off access to Providence Centralia Hospital. That blockage will be a relic of the past once the Mellen Street project is completed and protections provided by the Long Road dike are extended to the Mellen Street bridge at the Chehalis River. According to Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Engineer Bart Gernhart, short of floodwaters over-topping the dike, which is the same elevation as the Mellen Street bridge, the interchange area should remain dry once the freeway project is completed. The dike and improvements to the interchange will provide a ―significant amount of protection,‖ according to Gernhart. ―We can‘t have anymore protection than the top of the (Long Road) dike or the end of the bridge,‖ Gernhart said. Flood Protection Not so the freeway, whose surface will remain lower than the dike and thus left defenseless for now. But the raised freeway will actually help protect the Mellen Street neighborhood; its grade will serve to hydraulically deflect flood water away from the interchange area. Combined with the river‘s gradient as it flows downstream, floodwaters are unlikely to, for example, backflow up into the China Creek culverts as floodwaters rush past, according to Gernhart. But flood protections offered by the project are also dependent upon where floodwaters originate. The 1996, 2007 and 2009 storm events were each completely different storms and impacted the community and specific areas in different ways, Gernhart pointed out. The Mellen Street project will do nothing to prevent flooding if the Skookumchuck River or China Creek spill over their banks. Still, the Mellen Street project helps — a little. The project ―gives us an extra foot or two, somewhere in that range,‖ to accommodate access to the hospital, according to Gernhart.


WGFCI response to Draft Chehalis River Fish Study Bruce Treichler, WGFCI co-founder Elsewhere in this issue of the Legacy you will find the draft Executive Summary from the Chehalis River Fish Study. As a reminder, the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority commissioned this report. The purpose was to determine the impact of a ‗water retention structure‘ (a dam, in another words) on anadromous salmon in the Chehalis River

After reviewing the report and its appendices, Wild Game Fish Conservation International remains extremely concerned that supporters of building a dam in the headwaters of the Chehalis River basin will dismiss this report with its negative conclusions. There seems to be no understanding that from here on any studies on this topic will result in even more negative conclusions.

From our perspective there are a number of issues with this study. Among them are: 

Insufficient time to collect the necessary data, approximately a year. Water temperature data was collected for only two months;

Only three of the anadromous species; spring run Chinook salmon, winter run Steelhead trout, and Coho salmon were included in the study.

This resulted in several species such as

summer run and fall run Chinook salmon, summer run steelhead trout, Cutthroat Trout (both resident and anadromous), Sturgeon (both green and white), Rainbow trout, Bull trout, Chum salmon, Eulachon and Pacific Lamprey being excluded from the study. This means, again, that the impacts due to a water retention facility on fish in the Chehalis River basin are underestimated; 

The failure to include the 2007 and 2009 floods in the modeling of water flows, temperature, and impact on fish. These two floods are the reasons for the creation of the Flood Authority and this study;

The assumption that Coho salmon and Steelhead trout would change where they spawn from the headwaters and upstream tributaries downstream to an area in the main stem where they have never spawned. In effect, this meant that conclusion about the impacts of a dam on fish were understated;

The modeling makes clear that a dam will not protect I-5, the Chehalis-Centralia Airport or the cities of Chehalis and Centralia.

There is more, but the point is painfully clear.

The conclusions reached by the report authors are easily understood. Every scenario modeled predicted declines in the three species if a dam were to be built. This is regardless of the type of dam (hydroelectric or flood control) or whether fish passage is included in the construction of the dam or whether water is released from the top of the reservoir or the bottom.

The Flood Authority is reviewing possible mitigation and enhancement projects in the basin. The stated purpose is to lessen the impact of a dam on fish and to enhance or improve current conditions. So far there has been no discussion on how other mitigation efforts, necessary because of a dam, have fared regarding the impact on fish. A question we have asked is for the Flood Authority to give us one example of a dam being built where the outcome for anadromous species was the status quo or better. So far, no answer and we do not think there will be one.

Finally, we continue to ask about other factors that are nowhere considered in this study. These include irrigation withdrawals and its impact on aquatic plants and on animals such as deer or elk that live in the basin, forestry practices and floodplain development. Given the Chehalis River Fish Study‘s predicted negative impacts to anadromous salmon due to a proposed water retention facility in the headwaters of the Chehalis River, Wild Game Fish Conservation International respectfully recommends: 

Discontinue all further efforts and expenses associated with the proposed construction of a water retention facility in the headwaters of the Chehalis River

Immediate adoption and implementation of these actions: 

Immediate and permanent moratorium on steep slope logging

Immediate and permanent moratorium on floodplain development

Independent peer reviews of Flood Authority-commissioned studies and associated reports (review by UW or WSU)

Work collaboratively to prevent flood related damage throughout the Chehalis River basin

Wild Game Fish on Planet Earth

Juan Tremps Subias, and Pedro Luis Zornoza – Spain Caught while fishing with Mundo Siluro Foro Pesca With 2008 IGFA World Record catfish (106.3kg / 234lbs)

Please submit your photos of wild game fish to LEGACY PUBLISHER. Please include species, location and names of people in photo.

Legacy distribution

‖Legacy‖ is distributed around planet earth via Facebook ―groups‖ and it is shared with others via e-mail and other means. Facebook groups utilized to distribute “LEGACY”  Steelhead Salmon (3,100)  Salmon Are Sacred (3,000)  Save Our Rivers (4,500)  Save the Baltic Salmon (3,000)

Our Readers Write (re: December issue of Legacy) 

Thanks. I will dig in G. Rascon (California)

Thank you STS Freaks (Washington)

Thank you. Learned more including document distribution efficiencies. Good luck with this new venture R. Miller (Washington)

Thanks! S, Stridh (Sweden)

Congratulation my friend. I go to share! J. Faria (Brazil)

Thanks, I'll share with the followers of our program. Cia Do Pescador (Brazil)

Ótima publicação, um abraço (Google translation – Portuguese to English): Excellent publication, a hug E. Rossi (Brazil)

Very cool, had not seen the publication. Congratulations and good luck G. Papa (Brazil)

Grazie, mi occorrerà un po’ di tempo per tradurre tutto ma da quello che ho visto è una gran bella pubblicazione. (Google translation – Italian to English): Thanks, I need some time to translate everything but from what I saw is a very good publication L. Vincenzo (Italy)

Probably won’t be catch and release!

Recommended Videos

The End of the Line Sacred Headwaters - British Columbia, Canada Atlantic salmon feedlots - impacts to Pacific salmon Salmon: Running the Gauntlet - Snake River dams Farmed Salmon Exposed Salmon farm diseases and sockeye Shame Below the Waves Locals Oppose Proposed Pebble Mine Occupy Vancouver, BC - Dr. Alexandra Morton Farming the Seas (Steve Cowen) Farming the Seas (PBS) Cohen Commission – Introduction Deadly virus found in wild Pacific salmon A tribute by Dr. Alexandra Morton (turn up the volume) In our hands H2oil - A documentary about the Canadian tar sand oil

From: Locals Oppose Proposed Pebble Mine

Attention Conservation-minded Business Owners Many businesses around planet earth rely in part on sustained 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 offer complimentary space in each issue of ―LEGACY‖ for business owners who rely on sustained wild game fish populations to sustain 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 PUBLISHER. Please include your business website and contact information to be published with your business article. Selected submissions will be published each month. Sustained wild game fish populations provide family wage jobs and balanced ecosystems while ensuring cultural values. They also provide a unique, natural resourcesbased 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.

WGFCI endorsed conservation organizations

 American Rivers  Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (Facebook)  Salmon Are Sacred  Save Our Salmon  Sierra Club – Cascade Chapter  Sportsman‘s Alliance For Alaska  Trout Unlimited

LEGACY - January 2012  
LEGACY - January 2012  

Features salmon and steelhead protection and restoration (Alaska, British Columbia, Washington State, Idaho, Oregon, California)