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Salmon and The Snake River

by Marc Sullivan
The News Tribune, March 19, 2022

Map showing location of 4 lower Snake River dams and reservoirs being considered for removal Re: "Seattle's Skagit dams harm salmon and orcas, but WA Dems focus only on the Snake. Why?" (TNT, 03/15/22) Bank robber Willie Sutton, asked why he robbed banks, famously answered: "Because that's where the money is."

In a recent op-ed published by The News Tribune, Sen. Keith Wagoner (R - Sedro Wooley) wonders why salmon and fishing advocates have placed such a special focus on recovery of endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and its main tributary, the Snake. Because, Senator, that's where the fish are. Or were. Once, 10-16 million salmon and steelhead returned to the Columbia to spawn each year. Wild fish returns these days are more often measured in the tens of thousands than millions. We've lost many salmon populations - and the irreplaceable benefits they bring to our region.

In countless ways, salmon define our region and support our special way of life here. But unless we, together, make smart, bold changes, they will continue to disappear. Our recovery efforts today must be region-wide -- in both the Columbia-Snake and Puget Sound basins. Enhancing access to the Snake River Basin -- with the largest, highest and best-protected salmon habitat remaining in the continental United States -- by removing four federal dams and replacing their modest services is America's greatest salmon restoration opportunity today.

Marc Sullivan, Sequim
Salmon and The Snake River
The News Tribune, March 19, 2022

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