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Commentaries and editorials

Spill Will Have an Adverse Effect on Other Runs

by Darrryll Olsen
Idaho Statesman, May 29, 2010

Since knowledgeable people are always "speaking for the fish," including the Idaho Statesman editorial board, it is probably not too presumptuous to suggest that it is a "good day" for Snake-Columbia River salmon and steelhead when management actions are taken that actually keep the fish alive.

The juvenile fish transportation program operated by the Corps of Engineers, with NOAA Fisheries oversight, is hardly the "beginning of a science project" but reflects over two decades of data collection and analyses. This year, water conditions are forecast to resemble those which occurred in 2005, where the adult salmon-steelhead survival ratio of transport vs. in-river survival was about 2.1 to 8.4. Stated in less technical terms, NOAA Fisheries' analyses have determined that the transport program will keep far more salmon and steelhead alive in 2010 than passing them via hydro project spill.

To suggest that spill program benefits to sockeye will outweigh the costs to salmon and steelhead challenges sound reasoning, ignores the demands of sport fishermen, and perhaps even raises questions about a colorful history of Idaho sockeye salmon management.

Good day, mate.

Related Pages:
FEEDBACK: Snake River Sockeye Recovery Plan, by Scott Levy, Columbia Basin Bulletin, 11/19/10

Darrryll Olsen, resource economist, Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association, Kennewick, Wash.
Spill Will Have an Adverse Effect on Other Runs
Idaho Statesman, May 29, 2010

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