by Shoren Brown
Dan Rather broadcast a live Dan Rather Reports from King Salmon in Bristol Bay on July 10, featuring interviews with Pebble head John Shively, taped segments, and Chef Rick Moonen discussing sustainable wild salmon while grilling Bristol Bay sockeye. A post by Rather on Yahoo! News generated more than 1600 comments, many of them expressing skepticism about the mine project’s claims that it will not harm waters or fish.
The New York Times featured Bristol Bay sockeye in its food pages, calling the fish rich, lush and distinctively deep vermilion in color. The Bristol Bay sockeye harvest numbers are promising, with 17.3 million harvested by July 9.
New research shows that copper leaching into salmon streams and habitat decrease salmon’s ability to detect predators. The copper interferes with the salmon's sense of smell, preventing it from sniffing a warning chemical released by other fish. "A copper-exposed fish is not getting the information it needs to make good decisions," said scientist Jennifer McIntyre of Washington State University.
Four Fish author Paul Greenberg adds a fifth dispatch from Bristol Bay, writing in The Atlantic about the “waterworld” of salmon. Greenberg writes: “Water is forever moving under the spongy tundra, coursing through it, bursting out in one little lake here, another small stream there. And throughout, these underwater currents interconnect.” He concludes: Everything here is floating delicately above a coursing, living circulatory system. Everything here can slip away at a moment's notice.”
Hal Herring of Field&Stream makes an eloquent plea to comment on the EPA’s watershed assessment. He writes: “If you are a Field & Stream reader, you know what is at stake here, north of Bristol Bay, in the heart of the burgeoning wilds, in the headwaters of our souls…Now is the time for those of us who know what is there, and for those of us who would one day like to see it as it is, in the perfection of its creation, to be heard.”
Shoren Brown is the Save Bristol Bay campaign director for Trout Unlimited.