Fishing for Clarity

OPB | July 29, 2008 midnight | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:43 p.m.

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What does the health of one salmon species have to do with another?

A few months back, we did a show about the sharp decline of chinook and coho salmon in the Sacramento River, which led to a cancellation of spring salmon fishing off the Oregon and California coasts. We talked about what the world would look like (and taste like) with fewer salmon in it. Now, we’re hearing that a good number of chinook returned to rivers this spring and one species of salmon — the sockeye — are traveling back from the ocean in record numbers.

What’s going on here? What does the health of one salmon species have to do with another? What does the record run of sockeye mean for dam management in Oregon’s rivers? How will this year’s numbers affect consumption and fishing in the future?

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Photo credit: 24hourmoon / Flickr / Creative Commons

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