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Commentaries and editorials

Help Salmon, Remove Dams

by Joe Paliani
The Columbian, June 10, 2019

Salmon and steelhead spawning runs in the Columbia River Basin at one time constituted the largest anadromous fishery migration on the planet. “Now there are four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River, and the salmon and other fish runs are just a husk of what they once were,” says Brian Brooks, Executive Director of Idaho Wildlife Federation. According to the American Fishery Society, 106 runs of Pacific Northwest salmon in the Columbia River Basin have gone extinct, mainly because of the dams. (National Wildlife Magazine, July 1, 2019)

These dams are now up for re- licensing by The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Before the dams were constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1930s to 1940s, millions of chinook, sockeye, coho, chum, and pink salmon (some species that grew to 70-100 pounds each) spawned in these rivers. Imagine the millions of fish that used to be that are now extinct.

When's the last time you hooked a 100-pound salmon? Never? And you never will. Let's get rid of the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers before the last of the salmon runs dies. Please, call your representatives and ask them to help the salmon.


Joe Paliani, Ocean Park
Help Salmon, Remove Dams
The Columbian, June 10, 2019

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