Salmon are declining. Fish policies are rigid and far-sided ideas continue to prove nothing.
What do salmon need? Are people who manage to blame? Declines seem so accepted. Salmon are genetically changed and capable of spawning but National Marine Fisheries Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife won’t allow it.
With its hatchery start, the salmon survives a perilous journey with little difference from its wild cousin. It is attracted back to its origin using an ancestral ability but deemed as an inferior fish and gets executed short of spawning.
Hatchery smolt will restart the Elwha River. Those returns will spawn naturally.
The hatchery will phase down as populations grow.
The White Salmon River and the Elwha River had fish-blocking dams removed in 2012. A wild fish management policy is planned by NMFS to restore White Salmon fish.
Our salmon prove that wild fish cannot stay pure. Nature has no boundary; returns have hatchery and wild fish spawning together. Already steelhead is above both old dam sites. Most will be found to be hatchery originated and will be part of what is most important: allowed to spawn.
Larry R. Carey