The Chinook salmon is an important keystone species of the Pacific Northwest. It is a vital food source for a diversity of wildlife, including orca whales, bears, seals and large birds of prey. Chinook salmon are big fish! They are the largest Pacific salmon species. On average, Chinook salmon are 3 feet long and approximately 30 pounds. Many years ago the Chinook salmon would grow to over 5 feet long and 110 pounds. That is no longer the case.
Throughout the Pacific Northwest, and the Columbia Basin portion of British Columbia, many wild salmon stocks have declined and some have disappeared. Substantial efforts have been made to restore some runs of wild salmon, but few have shown much success.
Restoring most wild salmon runs in the Pacific…show more content… By the 1850s, excessive harvest and the impacts of mining activities were decimating salmon in streams surrounding the California Central Valley. By the 1880s the Columbia salmon runs were also in real trouble. In 1894 the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service proclaimed to Congress that the Columbia’s runs were much reduced and still declining. By 1933, the year the first main-stem dam on the Columbia was finished, the total Columbia salmon run had already been reduced to a fifth or less of the pre 1850 level. Some argue that the most severe Columbia River salmon decline took place in the 19thcentury not the 20th century , though that is not to imply that the 20th century was favorable one for salmon since the runs are still diminishing at a higher rate than any other species. Salmon once occupied nearly 13,000 miles of Columbia River Basin streams and rivers. According to conservative estimates, the Columbia River Basin, both above and below Bonneville Dam, once produced between 10 and 16 million salmon annually. Historically, salmon runs in the Columbia River Basin…show more content… Aquaculture, growing fish in captivity, is well developed for salmon. For over a century salmon hatcheries along the Pacific coast have produced annually millions of salmon to supplement the number of wild, naturally produced salmon , the overall status of salmon stocks is mixed . Use of fish hatcheries has been blamed for causing major problems for wild salmon, but the full extent of the effects are difficult to assess. Pacific salmon can be spawned and easily raised under artificial