COOS COUNTY, Ore. — Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have secured funding for the 2023 Senate Appropriations bills for essential community projects.
Once an agreement is made with the House, $750,000 will go toward Coquille River salmon conservation.
The Coquille Indian Tribe has worked over the past year to find ways to restore the fall Chinook salmon population they say is in jeopardy.
They've partnered with the state and Department of Fish and Wildlife to co-manage the watershed and address the drop in numbers.
Executive Director of the Coquille Tribe Mark Johnston says he's thankful the federal government recognizes the dire state of the fall Chinook salmon and is especially appreciative of the senators for joining the fight.
"This money is critical to that fight as we look at addressing the issues that are impacting the wild fall Chinook returns. Those numbers are at extinction levels, and we're aggressively pursuing options to protect those salmon, return them to a level that they once were."
Johnston says the money will be used for removing invasive species like small mouth bass, collecting hatchery brood stock, and looking at opportunities to improve the habitat.
Negotiations are expected as the tribe awaits the Senate bills to be merged with the House’s version of 2023 appropriations.