Predators prevent salmon, southern resident orca recovery
I disagree with Tribal spokesperson Lorraine Loomis’ Sequim Gazette guest opinion on Jan. 31 (“Ecosystem out of Balance,”page A-9). Ms. Loomis claims the solution to reversing our declining salmon populations is to build more habitat. Not surprising, since the tribes have been primary beneficiaries of the $200 million already spent on building fish habitat (with another $1.2 billion sought).
With fish stocks continuing to decline, it is time to change priorities. Ms. Loomis finally acknowledges a predator problem but the recently released Tribal/WDFW 10-year plan addressing Puget Sound Chinook continues to ignore predators.
Ms. Loomis’ belief that, “increasing hatchery production provides no solution” couldn’t be farther from the truth. With terminal hatchery programs, salmon can provide food for orcas and fishing opportunities without even returning to a river!
Seal and sea lion population explosions along the West Coast and particularly in our Salish Sea region have corresponded with the declines of salmon and steelhead runs. Per recent reports from the Puget Sound Institute, these mammals take six times as many Chinook as tribal, recreational and commercial fishers combined in Puget Sound alone. That doesn’t even include predation by birds, fish, whales and other animals.
Thanks to Oregon, predator control measures have begun on sea lions and cormorants in the Columbia River region.
H.R. 2083 (the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Act) seeks further control of California sea lion populations in the Columbia River. That bill needs to be expanded to include Stellar sea lions, harbor seals and cover the entire state of Washington.
Will we continue to pursue the huge money associated with habitat restoration (while watching our fish runs die) or will we shift focus to include predator control and hatchery production for a chance of saving our fish (and orcas)?
Another hit at the OTA
The current production of Olympic Theater Arts, “Time Stands Still,” is a play that pulls strongly on those deep human emotions that only come out in very stressful and trying conditions.
This outstanding four member cast accentuates these emotions as the story of conflict and intertwining relationships is played out on stage mirroring real life today.
This is a play for the mature audience, and some attendees may have felt on the very edge of their respective comfort zones. I am not just talking about the occasional swear words. There are scenes that portray adversity and challenge what have tested us too by the time we have reached later adulthood.
Each member of the viewing audience has made decisions that have shaped who they are today. Some of those decisions are with regret and some with perhaps, relief.
Thank you Jennifer, Edwin, Emma, Ron and Josh (director) for this hard-hitting rollercoaster of a ride.
Thank you for the insight
The last few weeks, Cal Scott, a resident and school bus driver for the Sequim District, has brought to our attention some very important facts. Thank you, Cal, for reminding us of the many functions the bus driver must perform while delivering our most precious cargo, our children. Thank you for reminding the community of the professions our drivers have come out of.
I’m sure many, as I, were surprised at the numerous professional people who have retired or semi-retired and moved into this occupation, which is an immense contribution to our community.
A huge thank you to all our Sequim school bus drivers!