the film
Commentaries and editorials

Tribes' Fishing Practices,
Not Dams, Are the Problem

by Bob Mehr
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - June 5, 2005

I really get sick of people who talk about something they know absolutely nothing about. The best example is the recent writer who blamed the Bush administration for trying to destroy the salmon because federal money has been put aside to improve dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers.

For that person's information the last dam built on these two rivers was in the late '40s. Now for the Big Question: How did the salmon survive these dams for over 60 years? It has only been recently that we are concerned about the salmon. I tell you why -- the problem is not the dams, it is the gillnetting in fishing and the extensive waste of fishing done by the Indian tribes. We all have noticed on the waterfront in Seattle the nets being spread by Indians in the water in Puget Sound between Seattle and West Seattle waterfront.

The dams helped our economy by providing low cost energy without harming the salmon for over 60 years.

(bluefish adds: On the Lower Snake river in Washington state, Ice Harbor was completed in 1961, Lower Monumental completed in 1969, Little Goose completed in 1970, and Lower Granite completed in 1975. See Center for Columbia River History)

Bob Mehr, Bellevue
Tribes' Fishing Practices, Not Dams, Are the Problem
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 5, 2005

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