Report: Faster Response Needed to Mitigate Salmon Die-Offs
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A draft report taking a hard look at last summer's massive die-off of sockeye salmon in the Columbia River Basin says Northwest fisheries managers must respond faster to mitigate future fish kills if similar warm-water conditions return. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released last month describes conditions and assesses actions of fisheries managers in a year when 90 percent of the 510,000 sockeye salmon that entered the Columbia died. Endangered Snake River sockeye perished at an even greater rate.
About 1 percent of the 4,000 fish returning from the Pacific Ocean survived the 900-mile journey to central Idaho. The report recommends real-time monitoring of fish ladder temperatures at dams to provide early warning signals. Another suggestion is having plans in place to trigger fisheries managers into action.