WSSNWild Salmon & Steelhead News is published monthly by the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition. Read on to learn about the Columbia-Snake River Basin’s endangered wild salmon and steelhead, the many benefits they deliver to people and ecosystems, and the extinction crisis they face today - unless we act! Find out how SOS is helping lead efforts to restore health, connectivity, and resilience to the rivers and streams these fish depend upon in the Columbia-Snake Basin and how you can get involved to help restore healthy, abundant, and harvestable populations and sustain more just and prosperous communities. To learn more and/or get involved, contact Martha Campos.


1. Endangered Southern Resident calf J60 is missing. 
2. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Boldt Decision.
3. YOU’RE INVITED! Upcoming events near you! 
4. 'Building Relationships–that run as deep as a river', an interview with Kate Crump, NWAAE artist.
5. Inspire change through art! Enter NWAAE and SOS' 2024 poster competition. 
6. Announcing new Lower Snake River myth busting resources.
7. Snake River and salmon media roundup.

1. Endangered Southern Resident calf J60 is missing. 

J60 swims with his orca pod in the Salish Sea after being born in December 2023. (Courtesy of Maya Sears / NMFS Permit #27052)

J60 was first observed as the newest calf born to the endangered Southern Resident orcas in Puget Sound at the end of December 2023. The mother was difficult to determine as he was seen swimming closely with multiple females, but it is believed his probable mother was J42 (Echo), a first-time mom. Since this initial spotting, J60 has been missing from scientists’ recent encounters with other pod members. Given his young age, it is extremely unlikely that J60 was off on his own and orca scientists now believe that J60 is likely deceased.

The mortality rate for young calves, especially those born to first time mothers, is very high for the Southern Residents. Scientists believe this is due to (1) the generally poor nutritional status of Southern Residents and (2) the transfer of high concentrations of toxins from mother to calf during gestation and lactation. The survival and reproduction of the Southern Residents depends heavily upon abundant numbers of large Chinook salmon.

Regardless of whether you have followed the Southern Resident killer whales for many years or are just learning about this incredible and fragile population, learning about the death of a young calf is heart-breaking. The hope and light that a new life brings to people who care and advocate for the whales is difficult to describe.

HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP: Contact your member of Congress today and encourage them to support lower Snake River restoration to recover endangered salmon and the communities, wildlife and ecosystems that depend on them.

And here's some scientific resources with further information on the health and reproductive challenges facing the Southern Resident orcas today:

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2. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Boldt Decision. 

"Billy Frank Jr., left, a Nisqually Tribal Elder who was arrested dozens of times while trying to assert his Native fishing rights during the Fish Wars of the 1960s and ’70s, poses for a photo Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, with Ed Johnstone, of the Quinault tribe, at Frank’s Landing on the Nisqually River in Nisqually, Wash. They are holding a photo from the late 1960s of Frank and Don McCloud fishing on the river." (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

February 12th marked the 50th anniversary of the Boldt Decision of 1974, an historic ruling that affirmed Tribal Nations’ fishing rights that were promised in treaties throughout Washington State, recognized Tribes as sovereign nations, and made tribes equal partners with the state to manage salmon and ecosystem resources. 

Despite the establishment of treaties between Northwest Tribes and the United States more than 150 years ago, the Treaties' explicitly reserved right of Tribal people to 'fish at usual and accustomed places' was routinely violated by settlers who weren't interested in sharing the fisheries. Tribes were often restricted or altogether prevented from fishing. State agencies would stop tribal members from exercising their fishing rights often by harassing, assaulting and incarcerating them. However, hundreds of tribal members, like Nisqually fishing rights activists Billy Frank Jr. and Janet and Don McCloud protested this injustice and continued fishing despite the violence they faced, prompting a resistance and the beginning of the Fish Wars.

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) recently reported on an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Boldt Decision hosted by Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC). The two-day event provided a historical context of treaty fishing, pre-Boldt, discussed the Fish Wars, and honored the life of dedicated fishing rights activist Billy Frank, Jr. Attendees heard first-hand from Elders, who experienced the Fish Wars. Wilbur Slockish, Jr., a commissioner of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Commission (CRITFC) representing the Yakama Nation, recounted the “three-year federal prison sentence he served after being arrested for ‘illegal’ fishing on the Columbia River before the Boldt decision and the horrors of the federal system.”

“They asked me if I fished illegally. I told them I am only doing what my Creator said to do. He placed our foods here for our use and benefit if we take care of them, and that’s what we try to do to the best of our ability,” said Slockish. “I want people to be mindful and be careful so their children don’t face the same harsh prison conditions. But I would do it again, to protect my foods, our foods. Salmon belongs to all the people on the river. Our foods provide us with clothes, with food and with shelter. Our people were managing these fish and there were millions of fish. I hope we will unite to stop the decimation of our food,” said Wilbur Slockish, Jr.

We encourage you to read the full article from Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission to learn more about the Boldt Decision and hear from tribal members. Below, we have additional articles, videos, and book recommendations to learn more about this historical ruling and its impact on Northwest Tribal Nations.



  • Message from Frank’s Landing by Charles Wilkinson, a book that explores the broad historical, legal, and social context of Native American fishing rights in the Pacific Northwest, providing an account of the people and issues involved, and a focus on Billy Frank Jr and his father and the river flowing past Frank’s Landing.
  • Treaty Justice: The Northwest Tribes, the Boldt Decision, and the Recognition of Fishing Rights by Charles Wilkinson, a newly published book tells the story of the Boldt Decision against the backdrop of salmon’s central place in the cultures and economies of the Pacific Northwest and weaves definitive accounts of one of the twentieth century’s most important civil rights cases.


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3. YOU’RE INVITED! Upcoming events near you! 

We invite you to join these upcoming events (in-person and virtual) as we educate, advocate, inspire - and build momentum for restoring the Snake River and its endangered salmon and steelhead. Check out the details below!

Meaningful Movies: Covenant of the Salmon People film screening (Seattle, WA)
When: Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7 - 9 pm.
Where: 6038 South Pilgrim Street Seattle, in Rainier Beach
What: Meaningful Movies will host a Covenant of the Salmon People film screening on Feb. 17. Covenant of the Salmon People is a 60-minute documentary portrait of the Nez Perce Tribe as they continue to carry out their ancient promise to protect Chinook salmon, cornerstone species and first food their people have subsisted on for tens of thousands of years.

Nakia Williamson, the Nez Perce Tribe's Director of Cultural Resources will be featured as a special guest. SOS' executive director Joseph Bogaard will also attend to answer questions about the campaign to restore the river and current state of play.

Questions? Email

'Sacred Salmon Town Hall' At Seattle University (in-person)
When: Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10-11:30 am
Where: Seattle U. Student Center 160, LeRoux Conference Room
What: Stand in solidarity with our community as we raise our collective voices to elected officials to advocate for the respect and upholding or tribal treaties, the preservation and restoration of salmon and our common home, and for the removal of the four lower Snake River dams!

This event is free and open to the public; it is organized by the Inter-community Peace and Justice Council (IPJC). Register here!

'Snake River Dinner Hour' Webinar Series (Virtual!)
When: February, March, April, May 2024, 6:00-7:00 pm PST on the second Tuesday of each month
Where: Virtual via Zoom
What: The 'Snake River Dinner Hour' provides a space for folks to learn more about saving salmon, honoring treaty obligations, and creating solutions for a prosperous Northwest. Join us to participate in civil dialogue as we each bring different opinions and perspectives to the table:

  • March 12: How to restore a river Register here!
  • April 9: Clean energy + a restored lower Snake River = a more vibrant Northwest
  • May 14: Getting grain to ocean ports by rail

Click here for more information on the 'Snake River Dinner Hour' webinar series.

'Snake River Dinner Hour' is brought to you by American Rivers, Washington Conservation Action, Idaho Conservation League, Sierra Club, and the Save Our wild Salmon Coalition.

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4. 'Building relationships that run as deep as a river', an interview with Kate Crump, NWAAE artist.

 Kate Crump NWAAE PCJeremyKoreski

In addition to being a Northwest Artists Against Extinction collaborative artist, Kate Crump is a fishing guide and lodge owner in Alaska and Oregon. In her continuous fight to protect wild places and wild species, Kate serves on the board of Pacific Rivers and is a member of the North Coast Citizens for Watershed Protection, promoting and protecting healthy watersheds. Her writing has been featured in the Fly Fish Journal, Trout Magazine, Patagonia Fly Fishing catalog, and the Salmon Steelhead Journal.

Britt Freda, creative director of Northwest Artists Against Extinction, a project of SOS, recently interviewed Kate Crump. They had a conversation about her devotion to building deep relationships, not only with rivers and people, but also with the fish and other beings that rely on those healthy ecosystems.

© Kate Crump, From Dream to Hand to Memory, 2023, Acrylic, 18" x 36"

BRITT FREDA: Kate Crump, I wish you and I were wading in Alaska waters, fly rods in hand, and you were giving me tips on my cast. That would be my preferred way to talk through an interview with you! Though the fly fishing version isn’t in the cards today, let's dive into a conversation about your profession, passions and art.

Can we start with profession, passion, and art? Will you tell us about your work, your ongoing relationship with salmon, and how that informs your art practice?

KATE CRUMP: I have been a fly fishing guide in Alaska since 2008 and have been guiding winter steelhead on the north coast of Oregon for many years as well. My husband and I started a small lodge business in Oregon in 2010 based upon wanting to truly share the wildness of the north coast with the guests we fished with in Alaska. We host four guests at a time and have a private chef artfully creating meals from locally purchased ingredients. This has created an extremely fulfilling experience for us and our guests, building relationships that run as deep as a river. In 2021, we bought a lodge in Alaska at our dream location and proceeded to completely remodel all the guest cabins and build a very hip main lodge. We opened The Lodge at 58* North in June 2022 and are getting geared up for our third season this summer. Our chef travels with us to Alaska and helped us build a greenhouse there to provide the freshest ingredients in a harsh climate.

I first came to fishing through Salmon. It was my experience on an Olympic National Park stream watching coho salmon return to their homewaters that lit something inside me. I instinctively knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life pursuing them, being where they are, seeing them up close and personal. At that time, I didn't know that I would ultimately find my life dedicated to helping others with their pursuit of salmon and steelhead.

Kate Crump fishing in Alaska's Bristol Bay. © Jeremy Koreski

I recently read about "eco-anxiety" and kind of eye-rolled at the drama of the term. But after fishing the other day I realized that every day I go out as an angler, I see first hand the trouble our freshwater ecosystems are experiencing and the effects of those troubles upon salmon and steelhead who influence my life like a tide. And so every day I think about how I can affect positive change and all the possibilities to make significant improvements. I often feel discouraged by the lack of connection people have to salmon these days and the lack of action from our legislators.

I really reconnected with art through a friend Peggy Ludington, who specializes in oil painting animals. She encouraged me to paint and using her technique felt very attainable. Of course, the first thing I painted was a fish. And then I kept painting fish. I started to dabble in birds as they are so interconnected with my daily experience on the water and while that has been challenging, it has also very inspiring. It's easy to forget how affected birds are by watershed health.

Most Northwest people are so disconnected from salmon these days they don't even realize how big they are or what they look like or that they change physically after entering their natal stream. These days, pursuing salmon requires a lot of faith and optimism. Reaching into the water and pulling a creature fresh from the ocean whether to eat or just to know it is there is a spiritual endeavor whether one acknowledges that or not. So creating art of salmon and steelhead is such a beautiful way for me to merge the conscious with the spiritual.

Read the full interview on Northwest Artists Against Extinction website  

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5. Inspire change through art! Enter NWAAE and SOS' 2024 poster competition.  

Inspire change through art! Northwest Artists Against Extinction and Save Our wild Salmon Coalition are thrilled to announce the opening of our 2024 Poster Competition. Open to all artists and all mediums (digital image submission).

Create something stunning and get it to us before Earth Day (April 22), 2024!

For more details, check us out at and on Instagram @nwartistsagainstextinction. Share the opportunity widely.

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6. Announcing new lower Snake River myth busting resources.

Have you heard the flurry of misinformation and disinformation about the Snake River recently? Our team has been working behind the scenes to develop resources to debunk misinformation and myths associated with restoring the lower Snake River, removing its four dams and replacing their services.

We tracked down credible information and statements from experts to help us set the record straight. If you are curious about energy, transportation, and irrigation services provided by the lower Snake River dams (LSRDs), greenhouse gas emissions produced by the reservoirs, the big picture of Snake River Basin salmon returns (not cherry-picked data!), flood control (or the lack thereof), check out our myth busting resources here. 

Please share these factsheets broadly, including with your elected officials!

And be on the lookout for social media to share with your network and help us combat misinformation spread by defenders of the failing status quo in the Columbia-Snake River Basin.

Questions? Reach out to Abby Dalke at

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7. Snake River and salmon media roundup.

Here are some recent stories about the urgency and opportunity today for salmon recovery and river restoration: 

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