Condit Dam removal in 2011 was historic, opening a cold-water river just one major dam from the ocean. Pre-dam stocks of Steelhead (rainbow trout if they don’t go to the ocean) were trapped behind the dam. Are they now returning to anadromy? Are other stocks of Steelhead, Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon establishing and increasing natural spawning populations in the White Salmon River?

The answers appear to be “yes,” but that’s about all we know because there is insufficient money for research and monitoring.

Dr. Pat Connolly, now retired from USGS and a member of the FWSR Board of Directors, was heavily involved in pre-dam removal research. He and his collaborators wrote a plan for post-removal research, and this research has still not been funded! Dr. Connolly estimates that about 10% of the needed research is being done. Ten percent. Think about that.

There is a clock ticking on research on wild salmon and steelhead. The countdown is to the start-up of commercial tribal fishing, which may bring the introduction of hatchery stocks. Can the wild fish produce sufficient harvest to forestall a move to hatchery fish which compete with wild stock? We need answers, and answers require multi-year research.

Existing research funds are limited and are committed to worthy projects elsewhere. The normal sources for funding are tapped out.

Seven spawning seasons have now passed since dam removal. Climate change is upon us. The situation is urgent.

There is a research plan. There are researchers available. There are funding mechanisms through the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group. We can gear up quickly. All we need is money.

Clark Skamania Flyfishers, bless them, are funding one juvenile salmon and steelhead annual count in the mainstem of the river, below Husum. The Yakama Nation are doing some monitoring of steelhead spawning in Rattlesnake Creek. Much more is needed.

How much money is needed? Optimal funding would be $300,000 for the first year of research, including equipment purchase, and about $175,000 per year for five additional years. Any amount of money raised will be used for fish research. Even small amounts can be useful as matching funds for other grants, or in other ways.

Maybe it’s silly for a volunteer organization with an annual budget under $10,000 to try to raise this money. However, it is our mission, and so we must put our hearts into this.

Each person’s efforts matter significantly, immensely, tremendously to the restoration and protection of the White Salmon River. Join us in this effort. Together we can make history.

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Friends of the White Salmon River
Friends of the White Salmon River1 week ago
Beavers - amaqing engineers, even if they don't have degrees, who can help to mitigate water quality and temperature effects of climate change. And even without taking a utilitarian approach, beavers are just plain cool. One thing on my bucket list is to have a beaver colony on the creek at the bottom of the field behind my house.
Friends of the White Salmon River
Friends of the White Salmon River2 weeks ago
A showing of the film "Elemental" - this is a longer version than the one shown in Bingen a couple of months ago. Very pertinent to the Climate Change conference this weekend. Thought provoking.
Friends of the White Salmon River
Friends of the White Salmon River4 weeks ago
FYI, here's the letter we submitted to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding their proposal to uplist Western Gray Squirrel to endangered status. We absolutely support this, WGS may not be high profile or glamorous, but we love them.
Friends of the White Salmon River
Friends of the White Salmon River1 month ago
This rare, local hearing held by FERC is an important opportunity to testify. We will be at the evening session, ready to speak. Join us and Riverkeeper then or in the morning. This project should not go forward.
Friends of the White Salmon River
Friends of the White Salmon River1 month ago
The Public Comment period on the Klickitat County Shoreline Management Plan opens tomorrow, closes May 26. Helpful to attend the public information session on April 26. Register here.
Friends of the White Salmon River
Friends of the White Salmon River1 month ago
As of today, there are 31 spaces left for the Climate Conference on May 30. They are going steadily, so register now if you want to come.