Science Panel: Spills' Effects Unknownby Staff
Capital Press, March 10, 2006
PORTLAND -- A panel of scientists has concluded that while more fish made it to the ocean last summer as a result of flushing water over dams in the Columbia/Snake river system, survival rates of the endangered salmon may not have increased.
The Independent Scientific Advisory Board revealed in a meeting of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council that the spills order by U.S. District Judge James Redden last summer helped sub-yearling fall chinook pass dams. But, the scientists concluded the full effect of the spills won't be known until researchers see how many fish return in three years to the Columbia to spawn.
In addition, the study concluded that the spills may have pushed some Snake River fall chinook out of their normal patterns. Some fall chinook spend the first year of their life in the reservoirs behind the dams before migrating to the ocean. For these fish, early passage to the estuary through summer spills may have been detrimental.
Redden has once again ordered the federal government to conduct spills this summer.
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