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Commentaries and editorials

Salmon Headed to Extinction

by Tom Gritzka
Opinion, The Oregonian, November 27, 2000

I have lived in Oregon for 63 years and have fished for salmon for 53 of those. I have seen, in my lifetime, the disappearance of the huge native chinook from the Willamette River, the demise of the last of the "June hogs" from the Columbia River, the death of the Siletz River salmon run (the Siletz was once considered by the outdoor editor of The Oregonian a world-class salmon stream) and the near-extinction of the once-abundant coho on the Oregon coast.

The Snake River salmon are headed to inevitable extinction, too, unless drastic measures are taken. Habitat improvement, spillage of water to aid salmon migration, and so on, are all steps in the right direction, but you can't fool Mother Nature -- the four dams on the Snake convert the river to a series of warm lakes that are lethal to salmon.

Any plan to recover Snake River salmon will have to include dam removal.

Tom Gritzka, from Southeast Portland
Salmon Headed to Extinction
The Oregonian, November 27, 2000

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