Thursday, July 05, 2007

Native Fish Society

I talk a lot about conservation on this blog and hopefully it helps those who have questions about the status of wild fish runs.
Native Fish Society is on the cutting edge of what is going on in the Pacific Northwest as far as wild fish issues go.
I am a proud member of Native Fish Society and am thankful for their passion and activism here in the northwest.

Here is a list of Native Fish Society's accomplishments over the years.

We protect places where native fish live: The Native Fish Society has been eagerly protecting salmon, steelhead and trout habitat for over a decade. We have brought, with the help of our partners, over 10,000 acres into public-ownership protection in the Deschutes, John Day, Sandy, Clackamas rivers and Tenmile Creek.
Stopping destruction of rivers is our primary action: In cooperation with other fine groups, we have defeated gravel mines on the Molalla and East Fork Lewis rivers, and we are involved with reforming the Department of Forestry to get better rules to protect native fish streams.
Harvest must support recovery of salmon and steelhead to be legitimate: A primary purpose of NFS is to reform harvest management so that it delivers abundant spawners to their home rivers for spawning and nutrient enrichment. We stopped the proposal to triple the kill of wild steelhead in the lower Columbia in order to increase the catch of hatchery chinook in the gillnet fishery. We are in court to protect Puget Sound ESA-listed chinook from excessive harvest. And we are working with the agencies to improve harvest accountability and to assess risks to wild salmon and steelhead.
Making hatchery programs consistent with wild salmon and trout conservation is vital to recovery: We are advocating hatchery reform so that they do not impede the health and reproductive success of native, wild stocks. We insist that each hatchery conduct a risk assessment. We are raising funds to construct hatchery fish exclusion barriers on tributaries of the Deschutes River. We are in court to protect wild steelhead in the upper Columbia River to prevent hatchery fish from being counted the same as wild fish.
We have established the Native Fish Conservation Policy in Oregon: In 1978, members of NFS established the first wild fish protection policy on the West Coast. This was followed by adoption of the Native Fish Conservation Policy in 2003. This policy is the legal framework through which we can establish conservation plans for each wild, native fish population in each of the state's river basins. And we created the Native Fish and River Steward Program to see that it actually happens.
We have organized to give wild, native fish a voice: Recognizing that a policy like the Native Fish Conservation Policy is only as good as its application, NFS has established the Native Fish and River Stewardship Program to make sure fish have a voice and a future in Oregon watersheds. This program has already helped to protect wild steelhead, spring chinook, sea-run cutthroat trout, redband trout, and lamprey in Oregon and Washington Rivers.
Creating partnerships: Established Fish Cons, which bring a collation of groups together, including Trout Unlimited, Oregon Trout, Federation of Fly Fishers, Northwest Steelheaders, Sierra Club, Oregon Wild, among others, to coordinate on a monthly basis our respective work and assist in accomplishing the goals of fish and habitat conservation.
Making government address fish health and wastewater treatment: Formed a coalition of groups that for the first-time ever got a ballot measure placed before citizens that would have forced an Oregon municipality not to discharge its treated sewage into a river. Even though the city of Molalla ballot measure failed, the vote sent a message to the Department of Environmental Quality that they need to consider other benefits of rivers to communities rather than conduits for wastewater.
Informed action saves native fish and their home waters: The Native Fish Society has established the most extensive library on native salmonids found anywhere that is free to the public on our Web site. Information like this is locked away in obscure journals, but we have liberated it for public use. We believe people need facts to be successful advocates and that science should guide our actions.

Please consider joining and becoming involved with conservation groups like NFS. You will be doing the resource a favor not only now but in the future.

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