Oregon Fish Biologists in Helicopter Crash

Three people were injured when a helicopter carrying two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists on a salmon spawning ground survey hit a power line and crashed into the river they were surveying on Monday, Oct. 28. None of the injuries were life-threatening, reports said.

News reports say that the pilot was airlifted the hospital and is now in fair condition. The assistant district fisheries biologist, Holly Huchko, suffered a broken back and is in intensive care. Eric Himmelreich, a fisheries habitat biologist, broke two vertebrae in the crash and is now in good condition.

Read the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife press release here.
The KPIC reports contains a video of the helicopter in the river.
The Mail Tribune article focuses on the helicopter.
The Douglas County News-Review has the most detailed report.

Fingers Crossed for East Coast Salmon

Dams — some built over 200 years ago — cut off Atlantic salmon from their spawning grounds from central Maine to Connecticut. An attempt to bring back the Connecticut River’s salmon has not been successful, but in Maine, on the Kennebec River, salmon surged back when dams were removed.

On the Penobscot River, also in central Maine, a few Atlantic salmon had always returned to the river, but dams blocked the way to most of their spawning grounds, in spite of a fish elevator that helped them past the first dam.

When first two dams on the river are removed, the way will be clear for the salmon to get to most of their historic spawning streams in New England’s second-largest watershed. Here’s a Nature Conservancy Magazine article detailing the situation three years ago.

Here’s an Associated Press story about the removal of the dam, scheduled for Monday, July 22.
And here’s a story from the Lewiston Sun Journal.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s northeastern section blog covered it here and here.

Find stories on last summer’s removal of the Great Works Dam, the second dam upstream from the ocean, here.