Letter: WDFW salmon program is flawed
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Thanks to the June 13 story “Dead salmon spawn lively battle: Conservationists, state agency differ on best use of surplus hatchery fish” for shining light on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s flawed policy of selling the majority of hatchery salmon carcasses to a monopoly fish buyer, American-Canadian Fisheries Inc., for “pennies on the dollar of actual value.” None of these valuable marine derived nutrients should leave the basin of origin. The best use of that valuable biomass is to place it in our area streams (that are starved of nutrients) to promote salmon recovery.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent every year by Bonneville Power Administration on salmon recovery, which raises our power rates by a significant amount. Many rural landowners have lost the right to use 50 percent or more of their land in the name of salmon recovery, while a far more-effective path to recovery is short changed to line the pockets of the fish buyer. This is another way that WDFW is failing to responsibly manage our state’s salmon resource.