Salmon People in an Era of Ecological Colonialism

“When we call ourselves salmon people, that’s very literal in our purpose to take care of salmon. So that means the river and the forest, and all of these other things that create salmon habitat. So if the salmon aren’t here, I think that’s a very cosmological violence – like striping identity, striping purpose.” Scott … Read more

Will they go the way of the buffalo? Vanishing salmon could doom tribes’ culture.

Under a purple pre-dawn sky, a small group of Northern Californian Indians ventured out onto the wet sand where the mighty Klamath River meets the Pacific Ocean. They had come to honor and fight for the salmon that have sustained their ancient culture for generations. Parents with their children burned sacred sage in the chilly … Read more

The Eel River Could Save Wild Salmon – If We Can Save the River Itself

The Eel River is on the brink of disaster, its ocean-going fish species threatened with extinction, its nurturing estuary diked, drained and diminishing. At the same time, this massive watershed in California’s northwest corner offers the state’s best hope of ensuring a future abundance of wild anadromous fish. This paradox of the Eel, California’s third … Read more

California Tribes Fear Abysmal Salmon Run May Trigger Public Health Crisis

Native American communities are bracing for a public health crisis this year in California’s misty, rugged northwestern corner. In the Pacific Ocean off the mouth of the Klamath River, record-low numbers of fall-run adult Chinook salmon are ready to make their annual migration up the river and its primary tributary, the Trinity River, to spawn. … Read more

This Year’s Floods May Be Good for California’s Salmon

In the mid-1990s, a scientist named Ted Sommer commuted routinely by bicycle between Davis and Sacramento, on the causeway that passes over the vast floodplain called the Yolo Bypass. At the time, state biologists had observed that numbers of Sacramento River fish increased almost every year following a wet winter. “We wondered what it was … Read more

Court Supports Order to Divert Water to Support Salmon

The federal government can redirect water from a Northern California dam to prevent mass die-offs of salmon in drought years, water that otherwise would be shipped to Central Valley farmers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had authority under a 1955 federal law to release Trinity River water from the … Read more