Washington’s salmon populations are still in trouble.
The state of Washington has been having some issues with salmon populations in recent years, and it appears they are still not recovering.
The Associated Press reports many species in the Evergreen State are simply not recovering as expected. It’s likely a frustrating blow considering the state has used $880 million in funds to help the fish between 1997 and 2015.
The report actually shows seven of 15 different steelhead and salmon species are either not improving, or in some cases, actually getting worse.
Washington salmon have been in the headlines a lot in recent years. A couple years ago, federal courts mandated Washington to either replace or fix some 800 barrier grates and other obstacles that were blocking the migration of the fish through culverts.
While many of these obstacles have been removed, many more still remain. Now bulkheads and beach walls are also being removed to help restore salmon habitat.
As if those problems weren’t enough, roughly a year ago, salmon in some areas were found to be contaminated with drugs like cocaine and over-the-counter types of drugs due to the drugs getting through wastewater treatment processes.
It seems it will be a lengthy process to help fishing harvests get better in Washington, but the Associated Press reports Governor Jay Inslee wants to continue investing in projects to help save the fish.