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Endangered Coho Salmon Dying in SW Oregon While Agencies Diddle

The US Fish & Wildlife (USF&W) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODF&W) as well as all other federal agencies (BLM, US Forest Service) are allowing thousands of young endangered Coho salmon, prhaps one of the largest hatches in decades, to die off in drying-up streams in SW Oregon.
The Coho salmon runs in the Rogue, Applegate, and Illinois River watersheds are rated by the
USF&W as having a " High Risk of Extinction"  link to swr.nmfs.noaa.gov
yet the agencies seem content with diddling in their air conditioned offices or driving around air conditioned vehicles while thousands of young salmon are dying.

In the face of this, some Oregon citizens are covertly saving landlocked wild Coho from imminent death by literally catching and relocating the baby salmon to areas upstream where stream pools remain year around while agencies do nothing. ODF&W personnel could be orchestrating volunteers to do these tasks but that might require actually working to save the salmon runs from extinction.

The USF&W released a draft recovery plan for the Rogue and Klamath Basin runs of Coho salmon in January 2012 but this is 15 years after the Coho salmon was listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997. The Coho are likely in worst shape now 15 years later and should be listed endangered.

ODF & W has not even done a fish count of adult Coho runs since 2008. I suppose the thinking there is ODF&W has granted all State and Federal agencies the excuse "we just didn't know how dire things are for the Coho because we stopped counting them 5 years ago therefore we didn't know that we actually had to work to protect the Coho runs". ( Excuse me: WTF! No Coho salmon run counts for 5 years!)

During these last 15 years, we had 8 years of the eco/ war criminal Bush-Cheney cabal and Federal Judge Michael Hogan of Eugene ruling that hatchery Coho were the same as wild Coho which was eventually over turned. However, we have had 6 years of virtually the same policies under Obama. So the blame surely can be splayed out to both corrupt parties. It seems the agencies in charge of saving the salmon, as well as the timber, mining and commercial agriculture industries are OK with the Coho salmon and all other salmonid runs going extinct. Perhaps their covert thinking is once all the wild salmon runs go extinct then the water and environmental problems are solved right?

The Kitzhaber Coho Salmon Plan was enacted back in 1997 but I have not heard Oregon's Governor talk about saving endangered Coho runs in the last 3 years, have you? What is DeFazio going to do about the endangered salmon runs now that he is the Chair of the powerful Natural Resources Committee? What is Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley proposing to save Oregon's endangered salmon runs? I hear proposals of increasing logging on all public lands from these politicians but nothing about saving one of the Northwest's greatest legacies, the salmon.

homepage: homepage: http://www.eco-advocates.org

Picture of Coho to be moved to safe upstream pools 25.Jul.2013 14:44


Coho that are no longer in harms way for this summer anyway.

Just the facts, please 26.Sep.2013 06:27


I appreciate your emotions. I have some, too. But my feelings have little to do with what I know about what is happening in SW Oregon rivers.
But you seem to blur the line between what you feel is going on with what you actually know. Maybe SW Oregon has slipped into the Pacific, I don't know, I haven't been there.
I think you have been there, transplanting salmon (good job! by the way) but while there couldn't you ask about how the Coho runs are actually doing instead of assuming that lack of info can only mean certain disaster?

Certainly things could be done if those things need to be done, but what does anger at the ODFW and their air conditioners have to do with it?