21-09-29 salmon courtesy.jpg

Only 6.7% of sockeye salmon that had been tagged as juveniles were able to make the final leg of their journey from Lower Granite Dam near Lewiston to the Sawtooth Basin in the fall of 2021, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported on Friday. About 50% reach the Sawtooth Basin from Lower Granite in a normal year.

Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead are on the brink of extinction, including the Sawtooth sockeye, which travel 900 miles from the Pacific Ocean to spawn at the nearby headwaters of the Salmon River.

This endangered species has so far miraculously survived despite running a gauntlet of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. But with climate change and invasive species exacerbating impacts on the resilient species, which is sacred and fundamental to Native American cultures in the region, many advocates are calling for removal of four dams on the lower Snake River to ensure salmon survival.

A panel discussion during the 7th Annual Sun Valley Forum on Wednesday, June 8, at 11:45 at the Argyros Performing Arts Center will address the connection between electricity generation and salmon recovery. The talk is titled “Constructing Resilient Energy Systems: Salmon and Electricity in the Pacific Northwest.

Sun Valley Forum to explore connection between endangered salmon and energy generation

Mitch Cutter, Salmon and Steelhead Associate for the Idaho Conservation League, will participate in a panel discussion on Wednesday at The Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum.

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