Chapter Meeting

October 26 (Thursday), 7pm – Yakima Area Arboretum Office, 1401 Arboretum Dr., Yakima, WA

We are lucky this month to have Dave Fast as our speaker. Dave has a PhD in Fisheries from the University of Washington and is the senior research scientist for the Yakama Nation. Dave will be able to give us an overview on salmon and habitat recovery programs in our area.

Adult sockeye transported from Priest Rapids Dam in July are spawning above Lake Cle Elum. Sockeye change from ocean rearing colors of blue back to a bright green head and red body when they are spawning. The vibrant color of the sockeye and large number have biologists enthusiastic to share the success of the innovative program. The Yakama Nation is in its fourth year of reintroduction work that includes trans- porting sockeye into the lake, monitoring populations, spawn- ing surveys, and developing strategies to maintain the Yakima Basin stock. The number that spawns has increased each year as the tribe negotiated an agreement to take up to three percent of overall run size.

Yakama tribal elders describe the value of sockeye to the people as a winter sustenance food to carry people until new spring food arrives. Sockeye also had a high trade value. Tribal members prize the sockeye for its rich flavor. "We hope to one day have a sockeye season in the Yakima Basin," said Virgil Lewis of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council.

Come join us at 7:00 pm at the Arboretum on October 26. All are welcome.

-Bill Drenguis

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