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Herring Gets No Respect. This Man Wants To Change That.

May 3, 2017

Small oily fish get no respect—but as climate change reshapes the food landscape and sustainable foods gain currency, it may be time to change the way we eat.

Driven by respect for the sea, Warner Lew is on a crusade to bring herring back to your dinner table.

Ecologists and volunteers are busy in Bainbridge making “shell posts:” Oyster shells with holes drilled in them, stacked on each other on a wooden dowel. The Puget Sound Restoration Fund makes the posts and gives them away to be placed in the Sound at the beginning of summer and picked up at the end.

Nisqually tribe biologist Chris Ellings holds up a sample of plankton from Puget Sound.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The Trump administration has proposed cutting federal funding for restoring Puget Sound by 93 percent.


Most of us don't spend a lot of time thinking about what the farmed seafood we eat might itself be eating. The answer is usually an opaque diet that includes some kind of fishmeal and fish oil. Fishmeal is usually made from ground-up, bony trash fish and forage fish — like anchovy, menhaden or herring — that nobody is clamoring for, anyway.

Except researchers now say these are the very types of fish that may be more valuable to humans who eat them directly, rather than being diverted toward aquaculture and other uses.

Robin Everett, a Sierra Club organizer, says that Trump sees that workers and the environment are not being protected through these trade deals.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Last month in Everett, Donald Trump called the Trans-Pacific Partnership a “disaster.”

Hillary Clinton opposes it, too. So what does the rise in anti-trade politics mean for Washington – the most trade-dependent state?

The condition of watersheds in Washington state continues to decline. That’s according to the the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. The organization delivered the news to the National Congress of American Indians Wednesday.

"Vegan" rainbow trout will be the hot topic at this year’s International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Fishermen Look Ahead To Slow Ocean Salmon Season

Apr 15, 2016

Fishing groups saw it coming: the counts were looking low for this year’s runs of chinook - and abysmal for coho. And now commercial and recreational fishermen are coming to terms with lower ocean salmon catch limits set Thursday by fishery managers.

The new recommended catch limits put forth by the Pacific Fishery Management Council cut the non-tribal quotas by more than half in most areas.

Bob Rees is with Northwest Steelheaders, a sport fishing group. He says low number of fish make anglers less excited to spend the money and effort to get out on the ocean.

Fishermen's Terminal, Seattle, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with UW Fisheries professor Ray Hillborn about a plan he says would create more fish in the ocean, more catch for fishermen and more profitable fisheries. It might make some fishermen very rich and others very angry.

Sardines, herring and other small fish species are the foundation of the marine food web — they're essential food for birds, marine mammals and other fish. But globally, demand for these so-called forage species has exploded, with many going to feed the livestock and fish farming industries.

March 11 marks the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Visitors to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon, can now feast their eyes on a living legacy of that quake and tsunami.

The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish.

Deschutes Fish Die-Offs Tied To Water Management

Oct 16, 2015

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates that 500-1,000 fish died recently because of low water in the Upper Deschutes River. The fish kills are a recent annual occurrence tied to water management in the basin.

The Upper Deschutes is fed from the Wickiup Reservoir. A few weeks ago, river flows were about 2,000 cubic feet per second. But once irrigators were done with water for the season, dam operators cut back water releases by at least 75 percent.

Something unusual is happening in America's wilderness — some animals and plants are moving away from their native habitats. The reason is a warming climate. It's getting too hot where they live.

Species that can't migrate may perish, so some biologists say we need to move them. But they admit that's a roll of the dice that violates a basic rule of conservation: If you want to keep the natural world "natural," you don't want to move plants and animals around willy-nilly.

New Plan For Recovering Bull Trout Takes Effect

Oct 1, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a new plan for bringing back the declining bull trout in Oregon, Washington and three other Western states. But conservationists say it won't actually restore the fish's population to a healthy level.

Bull trout are predators native to streams across the Northwest. In some places, bull trout were purposely over-fished to keep them from eating precious salmon.

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