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

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Read more...

Fly Zone

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

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

The clean fuels opportunity

News
Monday, November 10, 2014
111014-dirtyfuel-thumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...

Healthcare Perspective

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


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