According to the Endagered Species Act, as of January 2011 there were 14 populations of endangered salmon. On July 7th the ESA stated that “overfishing had been a major cause of decline. More recently the major cause is loss of freshwater habitat.” They remain a threatened species.
Yes, there are still salmon species listed as endangered or threatened.
In Washington state, endangered salmon species are the Upper Columbia River spring run Chinook salmon and the Snake River Sockeye salmon.
Threatened salmon species in Washington state are the Columbia River Bull Trout salmon, Coastal-Puget Sound Bull Trout salmon, Snake River Bull Trout salmon, Lower Columbia River Chinook salmon, Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Snake River spring/summer run Chinook salmon, Snake River fall run Chinook salmon, Hood Canal summer run Chum salmon, Lower Columbia Chum salmon, Lower Columbia River Coho salmon, Lake Ozette Sockeye salmon, Lower Columbia Steelhead salmon, Middle Columbia Steelhead salmon, Puget Sound Steelhead salmon, Snake River Steelhead salmon, and Upper Columbia River salmon.
For more on recovery efforts in Washington State you can check out the following link: http://www.rco.wa.gov/salmon_recovery/is_recovery_working.shtml
Wild salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers are existing at less than 1% of their previous population (url 1).
Federal plans to recover the salmon population have been called “inadequate” by Judge James Redden of the US District Court. There have been three such plans from the Clinton administration, the Bush administration and now from the Obama administration. This most recent plan was turned down because it does not extend past 2013, and requires appropriations from Congress which may not be approved.
One suggested option for restoring the salmon population is removing dams from the Columbia river. Dams have a negative impact on salmon populations because they can change the natural river pattern, inundate spawning areas or raise the temperature of the water. Removing as few as four dams from the Columbia river could have a significant, positive effect on salmon populations.
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