Slide background

Educator Fact Sheets and Scientific Data

Fact Sheets on Salmon and Orcas

For younger students


For older students and adults

Key Messages

The State of Salmon

  • 2021 returns of wild Snake River spring/summer chinook - just 7,062 fish - falls far short of the Endangerd Species Act (ESA) recovery goal of 127,000 Spring/Summer Chinook. Data tells us that these fish are teetering on the edge of extinction. (Trout Unlimited)
  • Spring/Summer Chinook returns to the Snake River Basin have been trending downward for years. Now,  it’s a code red for Columbia River Basin salmon runs. (Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resource Management)
  • Snake River sockeye, chinook and steelhead populations suffered some of their worst returns on record in 2021 - and bold, urgent action is needed or we will lose them forever. 
    • Specifically,  steelhead saw the lowest returns in history in 2021, forcing emergency fishing closures in Washington and Oregon. Only four wild Snake River sockeye salmon swam safely back to their home waters in Idaho, the same number of fish that returned in 1991, before the fish were listed under ESA. 
      • (OPB, Record Low Steelhead Returns on Columbia River Prompt Call for Fishing Shutdowns, by Bradley W. Parks)
      • (Field and Stream, Dismal Runs Force Oregon and Washington to Close World-Famous Steelhead Fisheries)
  • Snake river salmon and steelhead are highly vulnerable today; 1 or 2 bad years - low snowpack, high water temperatures, or poor ocean conditions- could cause them to blink out forever.

The Way Forward

  • Billions have been spent on inadequate and illegal federal plans, over more than three decades. Meanwhile, scientists - and the fish themselves - tell us urgency is needed - and the only viable long-term solution is to protect salmon and steelhead from the brink of extinction.

The Importance of Tribal Treaty Rights

  • We must uphold our nation’s promises to Northwest Tribes. We stand in solidarity with tribes to protect salmon from extinction, rebuild abundant populations and restore a resilient freely flowing Snake River.

For all audiences