Restore Snake River Habitatby Bert Bowler
The Columbian, July 17, 2009
A recent study that reported similar survival rates for salmon juveniles released from the Clearwater River in Idaho (above eight dams) and the Yakima River in Washington (above four dams) to a point in the ocean outward from Willapa Bay misses the mark for scientific rigor. Even though the researchers describe many limitations of their study in the report, some are quick to infer that early findings bolster the case for leaving the Snake River dams in place.
Bonneville Power Administration, which funds the research, promotes the illusion that retention of the lower Snake River dams is compatible with recovery of salmon and steelhead in the basin. As an advocate with the organization Snake River Salmon Solutions, I think a better approach to salmon recovery would seriously consider the added benefits of a restored lower Snake River along with methods to mitigate the loss of the dams.
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