Siuslaw River and Sakhalin Island

Siuslaw River, USA and Sakhalin Island, Russia

River System Siuslaw River, USA Rivers of Sakhalin Island, East Russia
Length 177km 66,175 rivers in the region totalling 105,260 km, 98% of these are minor rivers no longer than 10 km
Area 2040km sq 72,492km sq
Population 19,500 580,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc Drains from the Central Oregon Coast Range directly to the Pacific Ocean at Florence, Oregon Largest rivers drain from the mountain ranges, discharging into the Sea of Okhotsk
Role of river system – Freshwater habitat for salmon and other aquatic species
– Recreation
– Outflow of the region’s 100+ inches of annual rainfall
– Freshwater habitat of salmonoid fish
– Food source
– Employment (through salmon fishing)
– Tourism
– Recreation
Riverprize Thiess International Riverprize Winner, 2004 Smyrnik River was a Finalist for RiverPrize, 2008

After the Siuslaw Basin Partnership from Oregon USA won the 2004 Thiess International Riverprize for their remarkable accomplishments and innovation in the restoration of salmon habitat, they embarked on a journey to share their experience and lessons with Pacific coastal areas in the Russian Far East in order to assist in preserving those wild salmon populations.

One major difference between the two regions is that in contrast to Oregon, all of Sakhalin’s salmon runs are still wild, and at 50% or more than historic numbers, and continue to make a lsignificant contribution to the local economies.

Wild Salmon Center, a non-governmental organisation based in Portland, Oregon, provided an important bridge between Sakhalin Island and Oregon. The Wild Salmon Centre (WSC) was founded in 1993 to share knowledge of the historical impacts and innovative remedies occurring in the Pacific Northwest USA with the rest of the world.

Sakhalin Salmon Initiative (SSI) was formed in 2004 through the joint efforts of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, Wild Salmon Centre, the Siuslaw Partnership, and multiple local stakeholders. This unique, public-private partnership  focused on advancing conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon and the ecosystems upon which they depend, building institutional capacity for conservation, and promoting sustainable economic development on Sakhalin Island.

The twinning partnership between the Siuslaw, WSC, and communities in the Russian Far East has played a major role in the establishment of Russia’s first-ever  Public  Salmon Councils  involving citizens, agencies, academia, and commercial and recreational interests in restoring and protecting salmon habitat on Sakhalin Island and other areas of the region. The Khabarovsk Region on the mainland and large river catchments on Kamchatka Peninsula have added a great deal to this initiative and its scope in the development of Public Salmon Councils.

There have been twelve exchange visits between Russian Far East representatives and the Siuslaw Basin since 2005, with Johnny Sundstrom of the Siuslaw Institute, )regon leading the Twinning initiatives. In August 2012, he participated in the first-ever Kamchatka Peninsula’s Ust-Bolshaya Council’s regional Salmon and Community Festival, and in 2013 these efforts were the basis of that Council’s placement as a Finalist for the Riverprize.