. 1980 Fall chinook in the upper Columbia River decline 50% over the past ten years.
1980 Congress passes the N.W. Power Act and makes salmon protection and enhancement equal with power production in the Columbia Basin.
. 1980 Congress passes the Salmon and Steelhead Enhancement Act to create a coordinated management structure for the fisheries and to plan for enhancement. Planners met for several years and held public hearing on their plan but it was never funded.
. 1981 Prior to 1981 the investment of funds on salmon in the Columbia has been about $500 million with 43% going toward hatcheries, 37% to passage, less than 1% for habitat, and 20% for research.
. 1982 161 million salmon smolts are released annually into the Columbia River, yet the runs continue to decline.
1982 The first fish and wildlife program of the N.W. Power Council is adopted for the Columbia River. The fish agencies argue: “Mixed stock fisheries successfully operated for many years on upriver stocks without causing depletion, prior to full hydroelectric dam development on the mainstem Columbia and Snake rivers.” These agencies take
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exception to the Power Council’s emphasis on restoration of wild fish and take a stand for more hatcheries.
. 1982 No specific recommendations were received regarding the maintenance of wild stocks on the Columbia River by the fish management agencies on the Columbia River in the first regional fish and wildlife plan adopted by the Power Planning Council for the Columbia Basin.
. 1983 A very powerful El Nino event warms the ocean causing poor returns of salmon, but increased rain and snow fall through 1985 improve rearing conditions in the Columbia Basin and survival of fish increase. Salmon that migrate to ocean rearing areas off Alaska survive at a higher rate than stocks that have a more southern distribution during El Nino events.
1985 The Columbia River salmon resources have been harvested by non-Indians for 124 years and the management of the salmon resources have been in place for 90 years.
1985 The U.S. and Canada sign a salmon interception treaty after 20 years of negotiations. The runs are so depleted in both countries the treaty is needed. However, this treaty will not be renewed and remains unsigned in 1998.
1985 The current Columbia River salmon and steelhead run size is about 2.5 million fish of which about 80% are of hatchery origin. The new Fish and Wildlife Program seeks to double the runs.
1985 The estimated loss of anadromous salmonids in the Columbia is between 7 and 16 million fish. Wild salmon and steelhead represent just 3% of their historic abundance.
1985 In the Columbia Basin 31% of the stream miles that use to be available for salmon spawning and rearing have been blocked or degraded so they are no longer in production. This means that 55% of the total watershed has been removed from production, or 9,000 miles of stream.
. 1985 In Oregon over 4,000 miles of streams once available to anadromous fish have been removed from production.
. 1986 Coho salmon in the Snake River go extinct. Fish management agencies did not regulate the fisheries to meet spawner abundance goals to perpetuate this species.
1986 The Mitchell Act fish recovery funding spent 79% on hatcheries and 10% on habitat improvement and screening of irrigation diversion.
1988 The federal court approves an agreement between the states and tribes under U.S. v Oregon that creates the Columbia River Fish Management Plan. Fisheries management and hatchery production will be managed through this court ordered agreement. This plan also gives the tribes a certain allocation of the fish and the states must restrict their harvests before they can restrict the tribes.
1988 The NW Power Planning Council adopts the Protected Areas Program placing 44,000 miles of salmon and steelhead streams off limits to hydroelectric dam development. The
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Council found that hydro development and salmon health were incompatible. The protected areas rule advises the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
1990 Coho salmon in the lower Columbia River decline to less than one spawner per mile, and citizens prepare a petition to list the wild coho as an endangered species.
1990 The Shoshone-Bannock tribes petition to list sockeye salmon in the Snake River as an endangered species. In 1991 no adult sockeye returned to their natal waters of Redfish Lake in the Salmon River Basin. This sockeye run had not been managed to deliver enough adults to perpetuate the run.
. 1990 This year only 75 wild fall chinook, 135 wild summer chinook and 244 spring chinook pass above Lower Granite Dam. Extinction is at hand.
. 1991 Total expenditures for salmon protection on the Columbia River from 1981 to 1991, based on a GAO report, were $1,400,000 with 40% going toward more hatcheries, 34% for fish passage at dams, 7% for habitat protection, and 20% for research. The salmon runs continue to decline.
1991 Snake River sockeye salmon are listed as an endangered species. This is the only sockeye population in the world that migrates so far inland to spawn and at such a high elevation. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/socksnk.htm
1991 The first status assessment of west coast anadromous salmonids was published by the American Fisheries Society in the March-April edition of Fisheries. This study is called Pacific Salmon at the Crossroads, identified 214 native wild populations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California. Of these 101 are at high risk of extinction, 58 are at moderate risk of extinction and 54 are of special concern. There are 76 stocks in peril within the Columbia Basin.
1991 Senator Hatfield of Oregon organizes a formal meeting of all interest groups in the Columbia Basin in an effort to resolve the salmon decline and build a recovery program. It became known as the Salmon Summit. A few commitments were made, but it did not result in a recovery plan of salmon.
. 1991 The U.S. Forest Service re-evaluates the number and size of large pools in streams that were first evaluated in 1940. They looked at 204 stream miles in 15 watersheds. In all managed watersheds large pool habitats decreased 30 to 70% while in all wilderness watersheds, the number of large pools were either stable or grew in size.
. 1992 The Snake River spring, summer, and fall chinook are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This was in response to a petition from the public not the fish management agencies. The spring and summer chinook had escapement goals but they were never achieved and the fall chinook had no escapement goal and were managed, like the Snake River sockeye and coho, for extinction. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/chinsrs.htm (spring/summer chinook) http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/chinsrf.htm (fall chinook)
1992 The National Marine Fisheries Service finds that lower Columbia River coho salmon are not warranted for listing under the ESA because no distinct native wild populations can be found in the lower river. The conclusion is that lower Columbia River wild coho
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salmon are extinct and the fish that are found in spawning streams are stray hatchery stocks. The extinction of lower Columbia River coho is the result of Oregon and Washington fishery management that maximized harvest of hatchery coho and set no conservation standards for wild coho salmon. This official approach to fish management set the stage for coho salmon extinction.
1992 The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife revised its wild fish management policy setting out gene conservation goals for wild fish management for the first time. The agency also establishes a natural production program with five biologists for the first time in history. Public advocacy rather than agency initiative created this change.
. 1992 The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife complete the first status report for sea- run salmonids in the state called the SASSI (Salmon and Steelhead Stock Inventory) http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/sassi/sassi.htm
. 1993 The Washington legislature caused the Washington Department of Fisheries and the Department of Wildlife to merge into the department of fish and wildlife. The commissioners are appointed by the governor.
. 1993 U.S. District Judge Malcolm F. Marsh orders the federal government to improve dam operations on the Columbia to reduce their hazards to salmon.
. 1994 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a review of the national fish hatchery program and they found the program needed a fundamental redirection toward supporting ecosystem management that restores depleted populations and recovers ESA-listed stocks. A well defined national fish hatchery program with definite goals, objectives, and evaluation did not exist.
1994 Ocean salmon fishing is banned for first time off the northern Oregon and Washington coasts.
1994 Washington fish and game biologists file ESA petitions on behalf of 9 coho salmon runs in Puget Sound. This is the first time a fish management agency initiated action under the ESA to protect wild salmon.
. 1994 Native Fish Society requests independent scientific evaluation of harvest on ESA-listed salmonids in the Columbia River. This evaluation is not completed until 2005. A reason noted by the Power Planning Council is that this evaluation is resisted by the fish management agencies.
. 1995 The federal government dictates that more water in the Columbia and Snake rivers must be used for salmon instead of power production and irrigation.
. 1995 Nicholas (ODFW 1995) considered the Calapooia R spring chinook run extinct and Fall Cr spring chinook, tributary to the MF Willamette R to be extinct. (Willamette, L Col R TRT 2005).
. 1996 The second independent scientific review of Pacific salmon status is published by the National Research Council. The NRC states that management of hatcheries has adverse effects on natural salmon populations. The book, Upstream, makes recommendations for salmon management and recovery, but there is no institutional means by which they can be implemented in the Columbia Basin. This status review was secured by Senator
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Hatfield, following the Salmon Summit. The NRC concludes that current hatchery practices do not operate within a coherent strategy based on the genetic structure of salmon populations and lack genetic guidance from an explicit conservation policy.
1996 Senator Gorton, ® Washington, required the NW Power Planning Council to establish independent science advisory panels to review projects before funding approval by the Council and the Bonneville Power Administration. This required, for the first time, that salmon projects be submitted for scientific review. This requirement set in motion the use of independent scientific teams at the state level, resulting in the formation of the Oregon Independent Multidisciplinary Scientific Team and the Hatchery Scientific Review Group in Washington state.
. 1996 The Independent Scientific Group of the NW Power Council reviewed the hatchery program and said hatcheries can have adverse effects on wild fish and have failed to replace or mitigate for lost natural production of salmonids. All three evaluations agreed that hatcheries have failed to meet objectives, they created adverse effects on natural populations, and performance evaluation is lacking.
. 1997 The native steelhead of the upper Columbia River are listed endangered under the ESA by the NMFS. This includes all populations upstream from the Yakima River. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/stlhucr.htm
1997 Native steelhead in the Snake River Basin are listed threatened under the ESA by the NMFS. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/stlhsrb.htm
1997 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife adopt the Wild Salmonid Policy after years of debate. Director Bern Shanks advocated the policy and was removed from office. The goal of the policy is to protect, restore, and enhance the productivity, production, and diversity of wild salmonids and their ecosystems…
. 1997 The U.S. Congress directed the Northwest Power Planning Council, with the assistance of the Independent Scientific Advisory Board, to conduct a thorough review of all federally funded hatchery programs in the Columbia River Basin.
. 1998 Native steelhead in the lower Columbia River are listed as a threatened species by the NMFS. The ESU includes all naturally spawned populations of steelhead (and their progeny) in streams and tributaries to the Columbia River between the Cowlitz and Wind Rivers, Washington (inclusive) and the Willamette and Hood Rivers, Oregon (inclusive). Excluded are steelhead in the upper Willamette River Basin above Willamette Falls and steelhead from the Little and Big White Salmon Rivers in Washington. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/stlhlcr.htm
1998 Human development of the basin has reduced the area available to salmon and steelhead to just 73,000 square miles. Of all salmon and steelhead habitat in the basin, 55% of the area and 31% of the stream miles have been eliminated by dam construction.
1998 The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality completes a list of water quality limited streams. Excessive stream temperatures that do not support salmonids are found in 5,863 miles of streams in Oregon’s part of the Columbia Basin.
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1999 Chum salmon in the lower Columbia River are listed as a threatened species under the ESA. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/chumcr.htm
1999 Fall chinook in the lower Columbia River are listed as a threatened species under the ESA. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/chinlcr.htm
1999 Spring chinook in the Willamette River above the falls and the Clackamas River listed as threatened. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/chinuwr.htm
1999 Spring chinook in the upper Columbia River are listed as endangered. The ESU includes all naturally spawned populations of chinook salmon in all river reaches accessible to chinook salmon in Columbia River tributaries upstream of the Rock Island Dam and downstream of Chief Joseph Dam in Washington, excluding the Okanogan River. Chinook salmon (and their progeny) from the following hatchery stocks are considered part of the listed ESU: Chiwawa River (spring run); Methow River (spring run); Twisp River (spring run); Chewuch River (spring run); White River (spring run); and Nason Creek (spring run). http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/chinucrs.htm
1999 Winter steelhead in the Willamette River above the falls are listed as a threatened species under the ESA. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/stlhuwr.htm
1999 Winter and summer steelhead in the middle Columbia are listed as threatened under the ESA. The ESU includes all naturally spawned populations of steelhead in streams from above the Wind River, Washington, and the Hood River, Oregon (exclusive), upstream to, and including, the Yakima River, Washington. Excluded are steelhead from the Snake River Basin. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1salmon/salmesa/stlhmcr.htm
1999 The state of Oregon lists the lower Columbia River coho salmon as an endangered species. The National Marine Fisheries Service continues to refuse to list these salmon, continuing their status reviews following the initial petition from the public to list them in 1991.
. 1999 The NW Power Planning Council responds to direction from Congress to evaluate the Columbia River hatchery program and develop a coordinated policy for future operation of federal hatcheries. This resulted in the Artificial Production Review http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1hgmp/template/APR99-15.pdf
. 2000 For the first time in 125 years, the National Marine Fisheries Service requires Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans be written for each hatchery in the Columbia Basin. The primary purpose of the HGMP is to provide a single, comprehensive source of information regarding anadromous salmonid hatchery programs. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will use this information in its Endangered Species Act (ESA) processes to assess impacts on listed anadromous fish. An additional, important purpose of the plans is the creation of a source for comprehensive hatchery program information for use in regional fish production and management planning by federal, state, and tribal managers.