Is Recovery Working?
Washington State is beginning to see the effects of a decade of salmon recovery funding.
The number of wild salmon returning to rivers to spawn appears to be increasing to be stable or increasing and moving closer to recovery goals for many salmon species.
Of the 12 Endangered Species Act listed salmon with available data, 8 are stable or increasing, 2 are declining, and 2 have insufficient data to determine status. One species, Hood Canal summer chum appears to be near its spawning goal. ("2010 State of Salmon in Watersheds" report)
At the same time, it's important to note that some populations continue to decline, and as a result, additional fish may be added to the Endangered Species List. For example, in 2009, Puget Sound steelhead were added to the federal government's list of at-risk species.
It's important to continue to monitor the status of salmon populations, and make decisions based on multiple years of data.