20 episodes

Salmon are essential to Columbia River tribal people. These fish represent not only a food source but a way of life. As a white kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Tony Schick heard a lot about salmon — how important they are to this region, and how much trouble they’re in now. But the history he learned was not the whole story. As an investigative reporter for OPB and ProPublica, he’s been working to uncover and understand a more sinister version of events. And along the way, he connected with a guy named Randy Settler and his family.

“Salmon Wars,” a production from OPB and ProPublica, tells the story of salmon in the Northwest in a way you haven’t heard before – through the voices of one Yakama Nation family  who have been fighting for salmon for generations. We’ll dive into hidden history. We’ll investigate who’s to blame for the salmon vanishing, and what can be done before it’s too late. 

 

Timber Wars Season 2: Salmon Wars Oregon Public Broadcasting

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 935 Ratings

Salmon are essential to Columbia River tribal people. These fish represent not only a food source but a way of life. As a white kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Tony Schick heard a lot about salmon — how important they are to this region, and how much trouble they’re in now. But the history he learned was not the whole story. As an investigative reporter for OPB and ProPublica, he’s been working to uncover and understand a more sinister version of events. And along the way, he connected with a guy named Randy Settler and his family.

“Salmon Wars,” a production from OPB and ProPublica, tells the story of salmon in the Northwest in a way you haven’t heard before – through the voices of one Yakama Nation family  who have been fighting for salmon for generations. We’ll dive into hidden history. We’ll investigate who’s to blame for the salmon vanishing, and what can be done before it’s too late. 

 

    Ep 1: The Family

    Ep 1: The Family

    Host Tony Schick introduces us to Randy Settler and his family. The Settlers, members of the Yakama Nation, have been deeply affected by the Northwest’s salmon policies for generations. They lost their home, their primary food source, their ancestral fishing grounds. Randy and his parents went to jail for exercising their fishing rights. And they won some important victories along the way. Now, he’s passing the fight on to younger people in the tribe.

    • 23 min
    Ep 2: The Treaties

    Ep 2: The Treaties

    To understand the war over salmon, we have to go back to 1855. That’s when chiefs from the Yakama Nation and other Pacific Northwest tribes signed treaties that are still used as the basis for laws and policies around salmon fishing. Some tribal members believe the Yakama signed a treaty under duress. In some ways, this document represents the first of a multi-generational series of promises the U.S. government made and broke. It also created a powerful legal framework the Yakama still use to advocate for fishing rights.

    • 33 min
    Ep 3: The Court Battles

    Ep 3: The Court Battles

    Federal officials took away a way of life that had sustained Pacific Northwest tribes for centuries. So some tribal members became outlaws. During the 1960s and beyond, Native activists fought back against state and federal restrictions on their fishing rights – a period known as the “fish wars”. They held “fish ins” and fought for their rights in court. Randy Settler's parents won some major battles in the fish wars, but their methods were controversial even within their tribe. 

    • 31 min
    Ep 4: The Salmon’s Struggle

    Ep 4: The Salmon’s Struggle

    Salmon used to be plentiful and they’ve been a staple of tribal diets for centuries. Since the early 1900s, salmon populations in the Columbia River have steadily declined thanks to overfishing, dams, habitat loss and warming waters. Hatcheries are one way the U.S. government has tried to make up for the loss of wild salmon. But it hasn’t worked. In this episode, we examine what the decline of salmon has meant for Columbia River tribes.

    • 23 min
    Ep 5: The Crime

    Ep 5: The Crime

    Salmon have been on the decline for more than 100 years. The federal government knows why. It knows who killed the salmon. And how. But for decades it’s been telling a tale of progress, and obscuring the ugliest truth.

    We’re going to uncover it.

     

    • 37 min
    Season 2: Salmon Wars ... coming soon

    Season 2: Salmon Wars ... coming soon

     “Salmon Wars” tells the story of salmon in the Northwest in a way you haven’t heard before – through the voices of one Yakama Nation family who have been fighting for salmon for generations. We dig in to uncover who is to blame for the salmon vanishing, what can be done before it’s too late and why their disappearance impacts all of us ... coming soon.

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
935 Ratings

935 Ratings

Jonbsan ,

Loving the history

Loving this series so far - we need more of this uncomfortable, clear eyed, fact based history so we can do better.

CDonovan22 ,

Compelling and informative

A well-conceived story detailing a political conflict that defines the PNW. The show attempts a comprehensive perspective that is empathetic to the major stakeholders and their deeply held beliefs. The trees are given their due, too. Which is important.

PinusGigantuous ,

Great Podcast!

This was something they never taught us when I was in school for forestry. Definitely is a topic that needs to be discussed and seen from different perspectives. I really enjoyed the collaboration between the different groups of people who have vastly different perspectives on things. I bing listened to this podcast in a night, it was fantastic!

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