NOAA sets recovery goal for Snake River sockeye salmon

By on July 30, 2014
Wild sockeye salmon en route to spawning zone in Issaquah Creek, near the Issaquah Hatchery. (Credit: Ingrid Taylar, via Flickr)

NOAA Fisheries is proposing a recovery goal for Snake River sockeye salmon in the lakes of Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley, according to the Idaho Statesman. The agency is aiming to achieve 2,500 naturally spawning fish in the lakes within 10 years.

To reach that goal, a combined 1,000 sockeye will be needed in Redfish and Altura lakes, and populations of the fish will need to reach 500 in three other valley lakes. The effort may prove difficult, as breeding programs have struggled to produce 100 naturally spawning sockeye each year.

The recovery goal was revealed in a plan put out for public comment in mid-July. It lays out strategies for recovering the endangered Snake River sockeye, which is known as the southernmost sockeye population in the world.

“We know we have a long way to go, and this draft plan is an important road map to organize our collective efforts,” Will Stelle, regional administrator of NOAA Fisheries, told the Statesman.

Image: Wild sockeye salmon en route to spawning zone in Issaquah Creek, near the Issaquah Hatchery. (Credit: Ingrid Taylar, via Flickr)

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