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Restore Free-Flowing River

by Mitch Bergman
Lewiston Tribune, April 20, 2021

In retrospect, the number of returning adult salmon was relatively level from 1938 through 1990.  The precipitous loss of returning chinook entering the Snake River (Figure 20) accounts for a major share of the decline that has occurred in total return to the Columbia -- Artificial Production Review, NW Power & Conservation Council Just a few days ago, I read that the fish managers were releasing water from Dworshak Dam again. The reason is to aid the smolts in their journey downstream.

A few months back when steelhead fishing was at its best, we needed to release water to move the smolts downstream. That, as usual, effectively killed the bite, putting guides out of business and ruining the fishing for the average sportsman.

As for flood mitigation, which I believe is partial bunk because the levees are in place, their massive pumps are located all around the levy system and are capable of pumping thousands of gallons of water. ...

When July comes around, they hit the toilet handle again at Dworshak and release more water. Is it a possibility that they don't want the reservoir at full pool because they are worried it can't handle it?

This time the release is to cool the water and to aid the fish in their journey downstream. Year after year, this same action is repeated with the same results or lack thereof. ...

What they are admitting to us all, year after year, is that the concept of slackwater is bad for the survival of the Snake River salmon run.

You won't have to wait long before they say it again: "We have to release water to aid the fish."

Do we really want to save the Snake River salmon run?

If you do, get rid of the slackwater and have a free-flowing river again.

Mitch Bergman, Clarkston
Restore Free-Flowing River
Lewiston Tribune, April 20, 2021

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