Saving Salmon

We work in solidarity with Tribes and river communities to advocate for salmon and the people, cultures, and creatures that rely on them

Preventing extinction of Columbia River salmon is necessary, but insufficient. It is not enough for salmon to persist in small numbers, in isolated places—living museums, so to speak. Our vision is a return to healthy, abundant, harvestable runs of salmon throughout the Columbia River and its many tributaries. 

Current Campaigns

a gathering of kayakers on the river, holding a large sign that reads, "Free the Snake"

Snake River Dam Removal

Now is the time to restore abundant salmon by removing the four Lower Snake River…

Lewis River Fish Passage

Helping Lewis River Salmon Come Home Hold PacifiCorp Accountable for its Promise to Restore Salmon…

Goldendale Pumped Storage Hydro Threat

A proposed pumped-storage hydroelectric development  would destroy an incredibly sacred site to multiple Tribes, known…

Restore Cold Water

Salmon rely on cold water. As our climate warms, so do rivers. On the Columbia…

Challenge Oregon Fish Passage Exemption

Columbia Riverkeeper believes healthy fisheries are vital to Tribes, river communities, and Oregon’s culture and…

The Problem

The Columbia once produced more salmon than any river on Earth. Indigenous people sustainably harvested these salmon since time immemorial. Today, Columbia River salmon populations are a fraction of their historic size. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers eradicated salmon from many parts of the Columbia basin by constructing Grand Coulee, Hells Canyon, and many other dams. Even dams that allow fish migration can take a heavy toll on salmon by damaging habitat and making the water too hot. Despite the dams and other threats, Columbia River salmon still survive, although many populations are close to extinction.

Why It Matters

The Columbia still supports important subsistence, commercial, and recreational salmon fisheries. Columbia River salmon are also food for critically endangered Southern Resident orcas and other wildlife. To ensure that future generations can catch Columbia River salmon, we need to remove four harmful dams on the Lower Snake River, fight climate change, and restore habitat throughout the Columbia basin.  

Take Action

Remove Snake River Dams

Un-dam the Snake River Speak up for salmon and Tribal rights! Tell Congress to help States and Tribes invest in clean energy and restore abundant salmon.

Take Action: Goldendale

Stop Goldendale Pumped Storage – protect sacred land, medicines, and traditions from destruction. Protect Pushpum.

How We Protect Salmon:

Fight for Cold Water

Water temperature over 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees F) is unsafe for salmon. As our climate warms, so do our rivers. On the Columbia and Snake rivers, hydroelectric dams make the heat pollution even worse. Large, shallow reservoirs absorb solar radiation and retain heat. Learn how Riverkeeper is fighting heat pollution.

Protect and Restore Habitat

Strong salmon runs require healthy habitat, from spawning streams to the ocean. Riverkeeper works to protect and restore salmon habitat. This includes protecting the Columbia River estuary from new dredging and industrialization, cleaning up contaminated sites, and working with volunteers to restore riparian habitat.

Advocate for Dam Removal and Fish Passage

As a region, we must unite around solutions to remove the four Lower Snake River Dams and re-invest in regional transportation, irrigation, and energy infrastructure. Working together, we can have a future that includes salmon, agriculture, and clean energy.