Close Close Comment Creative Commons Donate Email Add Email Facebook Instagram Mastodon Facebook Messenger Mobile Nav Menu Podcast Print RSS Search Secure Twitter WhatsApp YouTube

ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting Launch “Salmon Wars” Podcast

This week, ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting launched a new podcast, “Salmon Wars.” The series examines who’s to blame for the salmon vanishing in the Columbia River, what can be done before it’s too late and why the disappearance of the fish impacts us all. The first two episodes are available now on all podcast platforms.

The six-episode series is told through the experiences of Randy Settler and his family, all members of the Yakama Nation and fishers who have lived on the river their entire lives. They have been deeply affected by the Northwest’s salmon policies for generations. Over the last century and a half, many forces have eroded their and other Native peoples’ access to salmon. Treaties removed them from their traditional fishing areas. Dams massively reduced the number of salmon that swam in the waters. Environmental contamination further poisoned the well. Now, climate change threatens the salmon’s survival.

The series is reported by OPB investigations editor Tony Schick and ProPublica video journalist Katie Campbell, and it is produced by Schick and OPB podcast producer Julie Sabatier.

“‘Salmon Wars’ is collaborative journalism at its finest,” said Sarah Blustain, assistant managing editor at ProPublica. “For more than a year, Tony Schick teamed up with ProPublica reporters through our Local Reporting Network to produce a stunning investigative series into how tribal access to salmon has been destroyed for generations. This podcast gives audiences the chance to hear the powerful and poignant voices from those generations for themselves.”

Schick and Campbell’s reporting for the “Broken Promises” series examined why salmon are disappearing from the Pacific Northwest and what has led us to the collapse we’re witnessing today. They detailed the threats facing salmon, the government’s failed approach to fish hatcheries and the broken treaties that swore to protect them.

They also collaborated on a short film, “Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum: Salmon People,” which follows Settler, his nephew Samuel, who is a commercial fisher, and Samuel’s 10-year-old daughter Aiyana. The documentary details their fight to preserve their way of life amid the collapse of salmon populations.

The new podcast “Salmon Wars” tells the family’s story in its own words. These six episodes, along with two bonus episodes, follow OPB’s award-winning 2020 series “Timber Wars.” Additional “Salmon Wars” episodes will be released weekly.

In addition to the work of Schick, Campbell and Sabatier, “Salmon Wars” was made possible by Sage Van Wing, OPB’s executive editor for news, talk and podcasts. OPB’s Steven Kray and Nalin Silva provided all mixing and mastering for the series. Original music for the podcast was composed by Kele Goodwin and Sean Oglvie. Charles Hudson reviewed the series for cultural context.

Latest Stories from ProPublica

Current site Current page