A Subspecies Fish(y) Story

Thanks to the Skagit Republicans for sharing this article from their September Newsletter. This monthly Newsletter can be seen here: http://skagitrepublicans.com/newsletter/skagit-county-republican-party-newsletter The Great Central Washington Chinook Salmon Massacre The following is from Mike Newman, Mt Vernon realtor and former SCRP Chairman. Mike is a local expert on water issues. His expertise extends to the other side of the Cascades as well. He owns land in Okanagan County and keeps informed of county and dike district affairs in that locale. One of the more inexplicable events that our state government was responsible for was the mass slaughter of endangered Chinook salmon, starting in the late 1980’s or 1990’s and continuing to this year when the program ended. Supposedly, the problem that so vexed our Fish & Wildlife officials was that the Chinook salmon that made their way up the Methow River were a different subspecies than its proper Chinook residents. They mounted an attack on the innocent fish with the same aggressiveness as the Nazis did for non-Aryans. This program was carried out for two decades, despite the 2 billion dollars that are spent in Washington State in salmon enhancement every year. However, the government may have had ulterior motives. . . COINCIDENCE OR….IT’S A MIRACLE!! For well over a decade the employees of the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery have been slaughtering endangered Chinook Salmon, claiming the fish were in the wrong River, and supporting their claims with very expensive DNA testing. These fish were not spawned for hatchery purposes, nor were they allowed to spawn naturally in the river. They were killed and hauled to the landfill. The protest depicted in the picture [Ed. comment – Not depicted here] (I have photo’s of the complete article, and several others, or they are available for viewing at the Newspaper), went farther than just sign waving, as someone (rumored to be a group consisting of Tribal members and/or local farmers), blocked off the entrance to the hatchery and allowed the fish to move upstream, into the various tributaries to spawn naturally. As soon as those fish began moving into the river the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife opened the River and all tributaries to Salmon fishing. Snagging was legal. They just wanted those Salmon out of the river before they had an opportunity to spawn. There were electronic reader signs along hi-way 20 announcing that fishing was open and that snagging the fish was legal. WDFW was motivated to get those fish out of the river…..and they didn’t care how it was done. Could it be that government agencies could not easily control populations if the fish were allowed to spawn naturally? Were government agencies working to keep the salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act? The slaughtering of the salmon is over! Hatchery workers have ended the process, they blocked off the entrance to the hatchery themselves, once they reached their quota to meet the needs of the hatchery, and the rest of the fish will be allowed to spawn naturally in the river and its tributaries. Hatchery employees have predicted a managed sport fishing season for Chinook Salmon in 3 to 4 years. It’s a miracle! Or is it part of a plan? Coincidentally (?), this action coincides with the Methow Valley Irrigation District selling what I believe to be the last privately held water rights in the watershed to the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE). Could it be that the government agencies, including the US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, WDFW, DOE, Department of Natural Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, Bureau of Reclamation and possibly others, don’t have a need to keep these fish on the endangered list now that government has control of the water? The efforts of these agencies to prevent natural spawning were herculean. Now that they control the water they don’t care? Coincidence, part of a plan, or maybe we just had a “miracle recovery” of Chinook Salmon in this particular river? Motives in the Methow Valley are very apparent by the actions that were taken by both state and federal agencies. Are the motives different in other watersheds? The Department of Ecology does not make the claim that what they are doing in numerous watersheds around the state is scientifically sound, or that it will provide benefits to either the salmon or the river. Are Salmon being “maintained” in endangered or threatened status by government agencies to allow the bureaucracies to increase their control over the people? By controlling water these bureaucracies can control land use, growth and development, agriculture….when you control the water you control life. Do these actions benefit anybody other than the governmental bureaucracies? Why are our local elected officials standing by and watching state and federal agencies take the authority that should be held at the local level? The miraculous recovery of Methow River salmon and the timing coincidence (?) of the sale of farmers’ water rights to the Department of Ecology is something that needs to be looked at by our legislators, local elected officials, and Washington State residents. Appointed bureaucrats don’t do anything that isn’t authorized by legislative bodies.

August 29, 2014