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Commentaries and editorials

Statesman Recycles Breaching Argument

by Terry Flores
Idaho Statesman, July 30, 2008

(Mark Harrison/Seattle Times) Sockeye salmon pass through the Ballard Locks. Sockeye runs have hit historic post-dam-construction highs this summer in the Columbia and Snake rivers Apparently, sockeye salmon don't know about the dams.

Your editorial "Sockeye deserve our best fight (July 20)" was simply unbelievable in concluding that the amazing sockeye returns being seen this year somehow warrant Snake River dam removal! These returns should be celebrated, not used as an excuse to recycle your erroneous and outdated position.

Credible scientists believe ocean conditions are a huge factor affecting salmon survival including the sockeye. Young salmon are surviving through the federal hydrosystem at rates equal to or better than river systems without dams, such as Canada's Fraser River where sockeye runs are very low this year.

While the Snake dams have been in place since the early 1960s, sockeye first became endangered because the Idaho Fish and Game poisoned them to establish a trout fishery in Redfish and Stanley Basin lakes in the early 1950s!

How ironic is it that of the 769 sockeye passing Lower Granite, 67 fish - more sockeye that have returned in many years - were killed in commercial, sport and tribal harvests as authorized in the latest court-sanctioned harvest management plan.

And give some credit for the salmon recovery success to the huge investments Northwest families and businesses are making through their monthly electric bills.

Related Pages:
F&G Management Plans Helping in the Sockeye Recovery by Cal Groen, Idaho Statesman, 8/12/8

Terry Flores, Portland
Statesman Recycles Breaching Argument
Idaho Statesman, July 30, 2008

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