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Fish Declines Preceded Dams

by Gene Spangrude
Lewiston Tribune, December 3, 2018

Graphic: Snake River Steelhead have triggered the Early Warning Indicator of the Federal Columbia River Power System's 2014 Supplemental Biological Opinion Water temperature data was collected daily on the lower Snake River near Central Ferry, Wash. during several years in the 1950s, which was prior to the lower Snake River projects' construction.

Even then, water temperatures exceeded 70 degrees on an annual basis and readings as high as 79 degrees Fahrenheit were noted. This information is available in United States Geological Survey reports.

Also, many reports about declining salmon populations were published in the late 1800s. Marshall McDonald's 1894 report ... states that "the investigations made by Professor Evermann and the parties under his direction establish conclusively the fact that there has been a very great reduction in the number of salmon frequenting the headwaters of the Columbia River and its tributaries."

McDonald's report also states that "they were abundant in the Columbia River at Kettle Falls as late as 1878. Since then there has been a great decrease. They have been scarce since 1882. Since 1890, there have been scarcely any at Kettle Falls."

In addition, this report (dated 1894) states that "there is no reason to doubt -- indeed the fact is beyond question -- that the number of salmon now reaching the headwaters of streams in the Columbia River Basin is insignificant in comparison with the number which some years ago annually visited and spawned in these waters."

These statements were made long before the construction of the lower Snake River projects.

Gene Spangrude, Walla Walla
Fish Declines Preceded Dams
Lewiston Tribune, December 3, 2018

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