OUTDOOR IDAHO’s newest episode examines the rise and fall of Idaho’s salmon. Once known for their abundance, the state’s salmon species today balance on the edge of extinction.
Producer Aaron Kunz traces the history of salmon runs into Idaho, examines the present, and looks to the future for this fish that travels more than 800 miles from the ocean to spawn in the Gem State. “Idaho’s Salmon,” which premiered Thursday (July 19) at 8:00/7:00 p.m. MT/PT, captures the beauty, drama and science of this amazing migration. The episode repeats Sunday, July 22, at 7:00 p.m. MT/PT.
The program can be viewed on-line after the initial premier at:
“We explore the decline of Idaho’s remarkable salmon that once flooded Idaho’s rivers and stream by the millions, an army of migrating fish,” Kunz says. “And we look at what is being done to bring them back from the brink of extinction.”
Cameras capture members of the Nez Perce tribe fishing for salmon at Riggins, scientists at Redfish Lake working to save the sockeye, and salmon themselves navigating Dagger Falls in the heart of Idaho during the 2012 run. The show looks at the increase in salmon numbers reaching Idaho during the last few years, the science of projects that seem to be working and those that don’t achieve their goals, and ideas for the immediate future.
“There’s nobody who is anti-salmon. It’s just about how much can you do about them and how much do you want to balance salmon against other interests,” says Rocky Barker, environmental writer for The Idaho Statesman in Boise.
Sportsman Tom Stuart points out that salmon also play a vital role in the Northwest ecosystem.
“Salmon provide the fundamental building block for the food chain that feeds hundreds of other critters. So its a big deal for Idaho,” says Stuart, who also is a board member of Idaho Rivers United. “Idaho has the most to gain and the most to lose in this debate, and I hope we seek the balance that is possible and achieve it.”
This OUTDOOR IDAHO episode is being produced in association with EarthFix, a collaborative journalism initiative among Northwest public media.
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