Tribal members will sell hatchery chinook harvest this springs because of a surplus returning to the Snake River. More than 108,000 spring chinook were counted passing Lower Granite Dam this spring. "This year's extraordinary returns to Idaho remind all of us that restoring healthy, harvestable levels of salmon will benefit the ... economy in our local communities in the Northwest," Executive Committee Chairman Samuel N. Penney said. Preseason projections estimated 56,400 to 83,400 should be chinook initially raised in hatcheries before being released to migrate to the ocean. Biologists expect as many as 21,000 wild chinook, protected by the Endangered Species Act, to return to the Snake River basin. Wild fish cannot be kept by anglers or sold by tribal fishermen. For years, tribal members have been allowed to sell fish taken in their usual and accustomed places, but the practice remained dormant because of a lack of fish. Historically an average of 60,000 wild chinook returned to the Snake River basin. The tribe and the state agree the wild runs are far from recovered.
Franklin C. Walker, honored by the tribe with its General Council Award in 1996 has been named acting superintendent of Yellowstone National Park where he began his career 34 years ago and has twice served. The Saguaro National Park superintendent takes over June 3. Walker replaces Michael Finley who is retiring, on a temporary basis while the Park Service continues the search for a permanent replacement. Walker is a 30-year veteran, serving in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Missouri, Gulf Island National Seashore in Mississippi, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and Fort Clatsop National Memorial in Oregon. He was superintendent at Nez Perce National Historical Park from 1990-98 when he took over the Arizona park. He received Interior's Meritorious Service Awad in 1996. Walker earned a bachelor's degree in biology from New Mexico State University in 1967.