Legislation recently reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would identify, restore and protect important salmon rivers and watersheds nationwide and ensure funds needed to sustain thriving salmon populations.
The proposed legislation, the Salmon Focused Investments in Sustainable Habitats (FISH) Act, was reintroduced Jan. 25. It would identify the core centers of salmon abundance, productivity and diversity as salmon conservation areas and identify areas of particularly pristine quality as salmon strongholds.
The legislation would also ensure actions of the federal government do not undermine the abundance of these areas and authorize funds for a grant program focused on restoration and conservation of salmon conservation areas and salmon strongholds.
“The ecological, cultural and economic importance of salmon is hard to overstate,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat who chairs the House Subcommittee on Water Oceans and Wildlife, and co-chairs the Congressional Wild Salmon Caucus. “They also hold immense cultural significance for tribes, like many in my district, who have fished for salmon since time immemorial.”
“But this important species is facing numerous threats, and their populations are declining across the country,” he continued. “The Salmon FISH Act will identify critical centers of salmon abundance to ensure these areas receive the protection, support and funding they need to continue to sustain the healthiest remaining salmon populations.”
Huffman said that habitat degradation, pollution, dams, overharvesting, climate change and other factors have caused salmon populations to decline nationwide, severely impacting tribes, fishermen and communities that depend on them.