9/13/2000 -- -- Contact:
Bill Robinson, Executive Director, Washington Council of Trout Unlimited: (360) 754-213
Alan Moore, Western Communications Coordinator, Trout Unlimited: (503) 827-5700
Scott Yates, Western Legal and Policy Coordinator, Trout Unlimited: (503) 827-5700
September 13, 2000. Haskell Slough, Wash…Trout Unlimited appreciates the opportunity today to join with private landowners, conservation partners, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA), and others to celebrate the success of the Haskell Slough Project, widely viewed as a model of Northwest salmon recovery projects driven by the cooperative spirit of a broad base of stakeholders.
Breaking ground in 1998, project partners, including private landowners, Northwest Chinook Recovery, the Washington Council of Trout Unlimited, Northwest Marine Trade Association, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, began reconnecting 3.5 miles of previously isolated Haskell Slough with the mainstem Skykomish River, one of Washington state's most celebrated salmon producers.
The historic channel was cleared of reeds and canary grass, which crowded out the native vegetation and impeded the flow of water and hindered juvenile salmon migration. Installation of a fish weir and a fish ladder has enabled constant monitoring of the project's success, and results have been overwhelmingly positive. Juvenile salmon migrating into the project from the Skykomish River are consistently being observed in significant numbers.
Trout Unlimited thanks all the partners in the Haskell Slough Project for their commitment to Northwest salmon recovery, and gives its sincere thanks to the recognition being paid today by Gov. Bush, Sen. Gorton and others. Indeed, TU's support of fish recovery efforts at the local level across the nation remain central to its mission to conserve, protect and restore trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. Nowhere else is the cooperative spirit required to make on-the-ground recovery projects better illustrated than in what we see today in the success of the Haskell Slough Project.
In light of the demonstration of just what can be accomplished by a dedicated group of local groups and individuals such as those being commemorated here today, Trout Unlimited calls upon other stakeholders to join in the fight and do their part to save the Pacific Northwest's salmon and steelhead heritage. Just as cooperation, sacrifice and taking on tough decisions are necessary ingredients in the success of a project such as Haskell Slough, those same elements are required toward the success of broader, regional struggles to save Northwest salmon. Trout Unlimited respectfully asks that decision makers at the national level use today's demonstration as an inspiration to do what is right for the Northwest, its salmon, and the people who depend on them.
Trout Unlimited supports a comprehensive recovery plan for imperiled and Endangered Species Act-listed Columbia-Snake river basin salmon and steelhead stocks. In keeping with the overwhelming majority of scientific opinion in the region, TU maintains that any comprehensive recovery strategy must include bypass of the four lower Snake River dams in order to save the wild Snake River stocks threatened with extinction.
Trout Unlimited, the nation's leading coldwater conservation organization, celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 1999. TU's 500 chapters and more than 125,000 members nationwide are committed to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.