After Low Numbers Observed, Status Of Spring Chinook Salmon Under Review

Apr 17, 2020

Federal wildlife managers say they’re considering endangered species status for coastal spring Chinook salmon in Oregon. 

A still from a video shot by the Bureau of Land Management of Oregon and Washington shows spring Chinook salmon spawning.
Credit BLM OR & WA / Flickr.com/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A petition submitted by several parties called for spring run salmon to be deemed an evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act, given genetic differences between this fish and fall run fish.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)  has deemed there is enough evidence to warrant further consideration. 

Stanley Petrowski is on the board for Umpqua Watershed, one of the petitioners:

“We’re especially concerned because over the last two years on the upper south Umpqua we had 28 adult spring chinook return," he tells KLCC.  "In 2018, 51 spring chinook returned in 2019.  And that was in a run that was estimated at one time to be 5,000 fish.”

Over the next year, NMFS will analyze spring chinook salmon, before determining if federal protections are warranted.  It could also designate critical habitat for the species.  

Copyright 2020, KLCC.