Richard Jordana, Public Domain,

All eyes are the Klamath River, as a plan to remove four major hydroelectric dams moves forward.  But another stream much further south is getting continued attention, also to restore habitat and welcome fish back to areas long closed to the. 

Battle Creek in Shasta County had several hydro facilities, and those are being removed and modified to allow fish passage. 

Recently the Coleman National Fish Hatchery on lower Battle Creek took a truckload of young salmon to the upper reaches of the north fork of the creek, in the hope that the fish will now consider that area "home." 


The federal Environmental Protection Agency was preparing to order the pesticide chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) off the market a couple of years ago.  Then Donald Trump became president, and the EPA changed its approach. 

Now a recent report indicates chlorpyrifos and two other commonly-used pesticides present a clear threat to sensitive fish species in the Northwest and California--salmon and steelhead and the like. 

It took court action by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and allied groups just to get the report released. 

Oregon Fish & Wildlife

Many people and organizations are working hard to bring back Pacific salmon.  Fishing and habitat loss depressed salmon populations; some are on the endangered species list. 

But some of the impacts do not come from people.  Marine mammals are voracious eaters of salmon, and the mammals have been protected by law for nearly 50 years. 

Recent research shows that while human harvest of chinook salmon dropped, killer whales and harbor seals ate more of the fish. 

Riccardo Rossi,

The salmon runs in the Pacific have been miserable this year, prompting the agency that regulates fishing to ban it for several species in the Klamath Management Zone. 

That is the backdrop for the 9th Spring-run Chinook Symposium, scheduled for later this month in Forks of Salmon in Siskiyou County. 

Salmon experts and people involved in fish restoration meet to compare notes and even dive in search of fish. 

Riccardo Rossi,

There is no commercial salmon fishing season in the Pacific along much of the coast this year, because of the need to protect sensitive species from overfishing. 

This is not the first time fishery managers shut down the take, and will not be the last.  And a recent report from California Trout and researchers at UC-Davis indicate fish are in serious trouble despite the efforts. 

"SOS II: Fish in Hot Water" predicts extinction for 74% of California's native salmon, steelhead, and trout in 100 years. 

Riccardo Rossi,

Salmon runs into the region's rivers fluctuate quite a bit from year to year. 

But the forecast for the chinook salmon run returning to the Klamath River this year is just plain awful.  If the forecast proves true, it will be the smallest chinook run in recorded history. 

Which presents the Pacific Fishery Management Council with few options, none of them attractive for people who want to catch the fish. 

Ken Morrish/Wild Salmon Center

The fishing is world-class along the North Umpqua River. 

And it might be even better, if Congress acts to create the Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary.  Moore was the longtime operator of the Steamboat Inn along the river, and a member of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

A bill to create the sanctuary in his name is working its way ever so slowly through Congress. 

Commercial Salmon Season Could Be Short

Mar 23, 2016
John R. McMillan/NOAA Fisheries

Precipitation returned to the region this year, but that does not mean everything returned to normal.

Some salmon species are turning up in the ocean in small numbers, small enough to concern the people at the Pacific Fisheries Management Council

The council is due to make a decision on commercial fishing seasons for the ocean in early April; the possibility looms that the season could be short or interrupted, or both. 

There are fish stories, and then there are fish stories!  It’s hard to beat this whopper published with tongue-in-cheek by the New York Times on March 8, 1885.  The story goes like this:

Providing An OASIS For Threatened Salmon

Dec 11, 2014
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Bringing sensitive wildlife back from the brink is no easy task. 

Slow and steady is the approach for the people working to help coho salmon populations recover in Oregon. 

The people of the OASIS program (Oregon Adult Salmonid Inventory and Sampling) cover a lot of distance and endure some tough conditions just to get accurate fish counts. 

Un-Damming The Salmon

Nov 20, 2014

EXTRA: Watch the dam demolition.

Before we fully understood anadromous fish, the kind that swim upstream to spawn, we put a lot of obstacles between them and their spawning grounds. 

Dams big and small went up on creeks and rivers, preventing fish passage. 

Now many dams are coming down, including one on Cottonwood Creek in Tehama County. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife oversaw the project, which returns five miles of stream to spawning habitat. 


It's a mouthful to say or spell "ichthyophthirius multifiliis," so most people just pronounce it "ick." 

Long or short, it's the name for a disease capable of killing fish by the thousands in the drought-stressed Klamath River

And there's evidence of a significant ich infestation in the river again this year. 

Public Domain

Rains finally came to the region recently. 

And now they're leaving. 

Which means we're essentially back to where we were a few weeks ago: looking at a drought, likely a severe one. 

The Earth Law Center and other groups warn of stream flows too low for salmon and other fish to survive this year. 

Trinity Restoration Hits Rough Water

Feb 4, 2014

There is general agreement that the region's streams need a bit more help to be truly friendly places for fish. 

But there's plenty of disagreement over HOW to provide that help. 

Take the Trinity River in California. 

University of Oregon

For years, museum conservators and paleontologists have yearned for a way to duplicate fragile fossils without damaging them. Now scientists with the University of Oregon say they have found a way to do just that, with the help of a relatively inexpensive 3-D printer.

Pot Versus Fish In California Waters

Jan 21, 2014
H. Zell/Wikimedia

Marijuana versus the environment: who ever would have seen that coming? 

But the first hurts the second, at least when illegal growing operations trash the landscape and nearby waterways.