There are very few who have every heard the tale of Lonesome Larry the Sockeye Salmon, a miraculous fish who single handedly salvaged the Idaho stream communities sockeye salmon population.
In 1992, Larry, a salmon born in the Sawtooth valley, swam 900 miles and journeyed over eight federal dams, because of construction and other environmental features, this determined little fish was the only one able to make it to the Columbia and eventually the Pacific Ocean, and back to Idaho to help bolster the salmon population
While most Americans at this point have heard the cries from beekeepers everywhere in regards to this dying population, many have not acknowledged or are familiar with the salmon crisis that is plague this nation, and more specifically the Pacific Northwest’s streams and rivers.
As of now, there are 15 species of native Salmon around this community that are in danger of extinction. The communications director of the CCA, or the Coastal Conservation Association, explains that this is a result of a myriad of factors, including decades of unchecked over-harvesting, habitat destruction through urban development, and the Columbia’s hydropower system, which is altering the migration abilities and spawning rivers into reservoirs that are practically unusable for reproduction. This provides a Catch 22 of sorts, as hydro power is seen as a universally friendly source of renewable energy.
Because of all of these compounding issues, it is very difficult to determine a correct or most effective route, that will allow a compromise between both human use and the needs of the salmon. Bringing attention and awareness to this issue is the first step, as well as promoting non-profits such as the CCA, which work to save these salmon, is crucial, as these fish are an intrical aspect of the river ecosystem here in the PNW.
The de-funding of the EPA, as led by the Trump Administration, is happening at a horrific time in history for all of these species whose populations are beginning to dwindle, such as the salmon. Hopefully local legislature will work to promote the rights of these species despite the lack of empathy that the federal government is choosing to display.
If you are interesting is supporting an environmental group, such as the CCA, which promotes coastal habitats, you are encouraged to reach out, they can always use volunteers, or monetary donations!