Inslee signs Rep. Wilcox’s bill to study avian salmon predation


Gov. Jay Inslee has signed legislation to study the effect of avian predation on salmon populations in the state.

House Bill 2293, sponsored by Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, establishes an Avian Salmon Predation Work Group with members from federally recognized Indian tribes with treaty fishing rights, commercial and recreational fishers, conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies.

The proposal received unanimous approval in the House and Senate and will go into effect June 6.

“The declining health of our salmon run touches the lives of everyone in Washington, whether they realize it or not,” Wilcox said in a statement. “From landowners to loggers, farmers to fishers, and everyone in between, the vitality of our salmon populations has significant economic, cultural and ecological consequences for all who call Washington home. While we have invested heavily in salmon recovery efforts over the years, avian predation remains a serious concern that must be thoroughly analyzed. I am confident this group will do that important work as we strive to ensure the sustainable future of salmon, and all who rely on salmon, for generations to come.”

The work group will be tasked with identifying bird species that prey on juvenile salmon, analyzing the effect on populations and determining whether the species present a threat to any endangered species.

The work group will also explore and submit approaches to the identified issues. A report outlining the findings would be due to the Legislature and the Department of Fish and Wildlife by June 30, 2025.