I read the article in The Daily Astorian, "Environmentalists want to protect coho salmon" (April 28). It struck me as somewhat ironic that one major factor causing the decline of coastal river coho was omitted.

While I recognize that all kinds of environmental insults from faulty forest practices to inoperative tide gates have decimated the coho habitat, it's almost always omitted that the largest producer of coho on the Oregon coast was from the Ten Mile Lakes complex. Those hundreds of thousands or more are all gone thanks to sport fishers illegally introducing bass into the lakes.

This voracious predator consumes millions of salmon fry before they can reach the smolt stage and leave for the ocean. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has essentially given up on combating the warm water species in the lake system, as eradication efforts that succeeded were quickly sabotaged by sport fishers releasing more juvenile bass into the lakes. So, the largest run of wild coho was eliminated by the very people who wring their hands over the decline in coho to catch.



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