"Northwest’s Salmon Population May Be Running Out of Time"

"A Washington State report put it bluntly: Because of the devastating effects of climate change and deteriorating habitats, several species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest are “on the brink of extinction.”

Of the 14 species of salmon and steelhead trout in Washington State that have been deemed endangered and are protected under the Endangered Species Act, 10 are lagging recovery goals and five of those are considered “in crisis,” according to the 2020 State of Salmon in Watersheds report, which was released last week.

“Time is running out,” said the report, which is produced every other year by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. “The climate is changing, rivers are warming, habitat is diminishing, and the natural systems that support salmon in the Pacific Northwest need help now more than ever.”

Researchers say recovery efforts — involving state and federal agencies, Native American tribes, local conservation groups and others — have helped slow the decline of some salmon populations. The report found that two species — the Hood Canal summer chum and Snake River fall chinook — were approaching their recovery goals. It also noted that no new salmon species had been added to the endangered list since 2007."

Marie Fazio reports for the New York Times January 20, 2021.

Source: NYTimes, 01/21/2021