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Another Disappointing Salmon Fishing Season for Oregon

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 By Dondrea Warner/David Law, Contact
August 21, 2007

The spring and summer salmon fishing seasons are officially over, and the bottom line is not good for Oregon. The numbers of spring and summer Chinook returning to the Columbia-Snake basin fell below recovery levels for the eighth straight year. Rhett Lawrence with Save Our Wild Salmon in Portland says that’s another year of economic hardship for fishermen and Northwest communities.

"When we’re just having to deal with this year after year, it’s hard for the commercial fishermen especially to be able to continue to make a living at this. And it certainly trickles down to economies up and down the Columbia and Snake Rivers when there are no fish in the river."

Cutbacks and closures in 2007 meant fishing seasons were cut to half of what they were the previous year for recreational, commercial and tribal fishermen in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Lawrence notes that this year’s salmon returns at Bonneville Dam were a third lower than last year, which was also a bad year for salmon numbers.

"When we continue to get these diminishing returns year after year, it sends a signal that there’s something wrong with the system."

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