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Commentaries and editorials

Bypass Dams

by Gary T. Turner
Wood River Journal - December 8, 1999

BOISE--Regarding the harvest of Snake River salmon and steelhead as a possible variable in the decliine of populations, a few facts must be addressed before harvest can be considered a viable link in the extinction chain.

First, fishing industries, which only impact adult fish, are heavily restricted and respoonsible for only 7 percent of mortality caused by humans on wild fall chinook. The remaining 93 percent can be attributed to "hydrosystem effects" (i.e., dams).

Secondly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states all fishing takes less than 2 percent of steelhead of spring/summer chinook and the dams are responsible for juvenile mortality rates of up to 80 percent. There has been no directed harvest on these fish since 1978 and 1964, respectively, yet they face extinction within two decades.

The dams kill youn and old fish alike, and are the real culprits when it comes to the decline of Snake River salmon Harvest can hardly be bleamed. Bypass the lower Snake River dams in southeast Washington.

by Gary T. Turner
Bypass Dams
Letter to Editor, Wood River Journal, December 8, 1999

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