the film
Commentaries and editorials

What About Barrier
Dams in Idaho?

by Richard Coila
Tri-City Herald, August 12, 2017

Aerial view of Hells Canyon Dam and the reservoir it backs up to Oxbow Dam (not visible) which impounds water up to Brownlee Dam.  Three comprising the Hells Canyon Project owned and operated by Idaho Power. Rocky Barker's article on salmon and the federal Snake River dams had an obvious Idaho bias. As usual, it focused on removal of the four dams in Washington, all of which have fish ladders that allow salmon to reach Lewiston and the Snake, Clearwater, and Salmon rivers. Also as usual, the article failed to mention that no dam in Idaho has fish ladders. They aren't simply impediments, but total barriers.

The argument that the power of the four federal dams isn't that necessary is curious when the water flow through those dams, and total power capacity, exceeds all these 10-plus barrier dams in Idaho combined. So which dams should really be removed? Which dam removals would actually expand salmon habitat? And why is there such a push to remove dams, rather than expending resources to add fish ladders to the dams in Idaho that could expand salmon migration?

In my mind, it is simply an eco-extremist crusade against the dams, with salmon just providing a platform. If they really care about salmon, they would focus on fish ladders at the barrier dams like Dworshak, Hells Canyon, Oxbow, Brownlee, Bliss, Hagerman, etc. Salmon Falls could actually see a salmon.

Related Pages:
View from Idaho on Dam Protection by John Twa, Tri-City Herald, 8/1/17
Yes, Consider All Facts on Dam Breaching by John McKern, Tri-City Herald, 6/30/17
Congressional Effort to Blunt Dam Breaching Effort is Sound by Jacob Schmidt, Walla Walla Union Bulletin, 7/7/17

Richard Coila, Kennewick, Washington
What About Barrier Dams in Idaho?
Tri-City Herald, August 12, 2017

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