Guest post: Robert Lackey, Oregon State University
What are the top ten reasons wild salmon runs collapsed in Western North America? In a talk sponsored by Trout Unlimited (Corvallis Chapter), Dr. Robert T. Lackey, Oregon State University, summarized the 200-year history of salmon (and steelhead) decline and identified the ten overarching causes. The public policy goal of restoring runs (1) appears to enjoy widespread public support, and (2) billions of dollars already have been spent on achieving this goal, but, so far, it has failed. In fact, non-native American shad, not salmon, is regularly the dominant anadromous species in the Columbia Basin. American shad, along with other non-native species — walleye, crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, striped bass, pike, and others — are thriving. Most native fish species are not doing nearly as well. In his talk, Dr. Lackey summarizes in chronological order the top ten reasons the salmon decline started, the historical context, and why the decline will almost assuredly continue.