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Commentaries and editorials

Spill for Salmon

by Samantha Wohlfeil
Inlander, January 11, 2017

In this 2013 aerial file photo, the Ice Harbor Dam
on the Snake Ri ver is seen near Pasco, Washington (Bob Brawdy / Associated Press). More water may be spilled over eight dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers this summer following a Jan. 8 U.S. District Court decision. Sierra Club of Oregon, Save Our Wild Salmon, and the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association announced Tuesday they are all hopeful the move will help endangered and STRUGGLING FISH RUNS, as more water moving through the dams can help juvenile salmon make their way to the ocean, improving the chances of their return in a few years.

"This order gives our fish and the communities that rely on them some breathing room in 2018 while our region comes together on a long-term plan," says Joseph Bogaard, executive director of Save Our wild Salmon, in a statement.

The 2018 plan was developed as part of a lawsuit seeking sufficient river flows for the fish, and jointly filed by environmental groups, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the state of Oregon, and the federal agencies they've sued, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The plan, approved by Judge Michael Simon in Portland, "requires as much spill as is allowed under current state water quality rules for total dissolved gas ... unless there are compelling reasons to reduce it."

The plaintiffs note that while the federal agencies helped submit the plan, they've also appealed an earlier decision in the case requiring the increased spill. That appeal could be heard in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before the juvenile salmon start migrating to sea in about April. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)

Related Pages:
Spill is Not a Winner for Fish by Ken Earlywine, The Columbian, 1/21/18
Court's Latest Spill Order: Massive Misuse of People's Dollars and No Help to Salmon by Terry Flores, Current Reflections Blog, 1/22/18
Dams Spill More Water to Aid Fish by Mike Lee, Tri-City Herald, 4/15/00

Samantha Wohlfeil
Spill for Salmon
Inlander, January 11, 2017

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