Home Back Issues August 2010 Big salmon runs benefit tribes

Big salmon runs benefit tribes

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010

 

0810_ATS05
Strong salmon returns in the Columbia River, including a huge comeback for a species nearly written off two decades ago, have given tribal fishermen an estimated $3.5 million economic boost over the past few months.

About 315,000 spring Chinook salmon migrated up the river this year, nearly doubling last year’s total, and tribal fishermen caught 42,000 of them. The fish average about 15 pounds each and sell for at least $5 per pound (much more for specialty markets), adding up to a catch worth at minimum $3.15 million.

Add to that total the surprising return of the Columbia River sockeye, all but given up for dead several decades ago. Sockeye have recovered powerfully as a result of good ocean conditions, more water spilling over dams to help young fish migrate downstream and habitat restoration in the tributaries of the Columbia River.

This year’s run of 375,000 Columbia River sockeye is by far the largest since the federal government built the fish-blocking Bonneville Dam in 1937. Tribal fishermen this year caught about 25,000 sockeye, selling them for prices of $5 per pound and up.

Sockeye are much smaller than Chinook, but even at an average of two-and-a-half pounds a fish, that’s another $312,500.

It adds up to a sizable boost for the 400 or so fishers from the four tribes with treaty fishing rights to the Columbia: the Yakama, the Nez Perce, the Warm Springs and the Umatilla. Mike Matylewich, a fish manager for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, expects the full value of all of the 2010 tribal fisheries to approach $7 million. That’s a huge improvement from just seven years ago, when the fisheries combined for less than $1 million per year in sales.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is also predicting better than average summer and fall Chinook runs on the Columbia.

BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS