By the end of the 20th century, indigenous natural coho salmon no longer occupied the mid- and upper-Columbia river basins. Columbia River coho salmon populations were decimated in the early 1900s. For several reasons, including the construction and operation of mainstem Columbia River hydropower projects, habitat degradation, release locations, harvest management, hatchery practices, and genetic guidelines, self-sustaining coho populations were not re-established in mid-Columbia basins. Conditions and practices have changed, and some of the local habitat causes of coho depletion have been corrected, although work is still needed.
The Yakama Nation’s long-term vision for coho reintroduction is:
To re-establish naturally spawning coho populations in mid-Columbia tributaries to biologically sustainable levels which provide significant harvest in most years.