Breach Dams to Save
by Dennis Blevins
There are a lot of people in this state that want our fish back.
"This was the headline in the Times-News on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2020: "Lawmakers Consider Opposing Dam Removal." First of all, no one is advocating dam removal! Breaching a dam leaves the dam in place and creates a flow of water on one side or the other so fish can pass through. That is what's being considered. If it doesn't work to help salmon and steelhead, shut the breach and you have the dam back. Smolt released from the hatcheries are carried to the ocean by current in the river. When they reach the reservoirs behind the dams their journey basically stops. That's the problem.
Nobody is advocating breaching on the Columbia. The main problem is the four lower dams on the Snake. The article says if we breach the dams, this will be hurting our citizens. Believe me, a lot of our citizens are hurting because of lack of fish.
We have spent billions of dollars over the last 20 years to try and save our salmon and steelhead without much success. Sound science as the article suggests doesn't seem to be working. With the money available we could mitigate all concerns that breaching might create.
There are a lot of people in this state that want our fish back. We need to decide because if we don't save salmon there will be no orca either. They are almost totally dependent on salmon to survive. Without salmon, orca will become extinct.
Are we really so selfish that we won't even try breaching to save our salmon and steelhead? They were swimming up and down these rivers a long time before we got here. They deserve to live!
Once again, breaching is not removing the dams!
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