Salmon are migrating fish. They are born in fresh water and swim out to the ocean and return to spawn generation after generation. This cycle of life has gone on for millions of years. In terms of the northwest Salmon there are, Chinook, Coho, Chum, Sockeye and Pink. There are also Steelhead a close cousin to the Salmon. As for reports from scientists, the fresh water fish populations of the world have taken a major hit due to human interactions, their populations are in vast decline, and 30% have been decimated. As for the ocean fish populations, they also have seen a decline in numbers and size, and the large fish have declined. This has become a global problem, because humans have time and time again became opportunistic on resources. So here's the deal, Salmon have been a flourishing manifestation of earthʼs current creation. Salmon have lived for millions of years doing their part of the macro-diversity of our dear mother earth. Interesting point to make, the end of the pleistocene era 11,700 years ago the northwest was in a rebirthing of flora and fauna, as the last ice age had covered much of North America with glaciers. It is mindfully enjoyable to wonder what life was like during that million years in the northwest of the continent we call North America. So just from 11,000 years ago we have come to this, Indigenous people lived off the Salmon runs. Then in 1804 Lewis and Clark made it to the mouth of the Columbia. Captain Clark was a favorite of the natives, and he used a tincture of mercury in their eyes, due to the parasites that caused blindness from eating raw air dried Salmon. They lined up for days as he applied the drops to bring sight back to them. By the end of the 1800s , there was so many fisheries and canneries at the mouth of the Columbia, that the Salmon populations declined drastically. These opportunists then moved to Alaska to continue their work of not a care for the Salmon, but only the money they could make. Interesting fact, back in the day only the King/ Chinook were processed and canned, while millions of other Salmon were left to rot and die at those shores. In 1910 more opportunists built a dam at Sunbeam on the Salmon River, the spawning river to the Redfish Lake. After the dam was built, the Coho and Chinook were backed up trying to jump the dam. Once again man had prevailed to turn blinders to understanding the bigger issue, the Salmon. Well, some good people blew up that dam and for a short amount of time Redfish Lake was red yet again. Then more and more dams were built all the way up the Columbia. If you drew a timeline, 1910 to the present, the picture is blaringly clear. Salmon had a great chance up to Lewis and Clark and then the opportunists came and moved the goalposts from over fishing to impeding the spawning of the Salmon. The lonesome Larry story is a sad epithet for the Salmon, along with so many other of the creations of planet earthʼs manifestation. There have been oh so many negative studies on Salmon as to manʼs lack of understanding of how all this is human caused. Because we need more industry, more recreation, more studies? Here's the deal, Salmon can come back to thrive, only if humans do the right things for the planet. Hard facts say dams are for humans period! Sadly dams are extinction devices for the Salmon. Hear, hear to Representative Mike Simpson trying one more time, to save the Salmon, against all odds.

John Knapp,
Pocatello