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Commentaries and editorials

Willfully Ignorant

by Bonnie Schonefeld
Lewiston Tribune, September 13, 2018

Graphic: Snake River Steelhead are in steep decline.  NOAA Fisheries is refusing to admit it though, this is the grahic that shows the Early Warning Indicator has been tripped. I read with amazement the recent advertisement in the Lewiston Tribune supporting the lower Snake River dams that claimed our fish runs are trending upwards.

Do these people ever read the Tribune?

Did they see Eric Barker's Aug. 31 graph showing steelhead counts at Bonneville Dam have gone from 590,199 10 years ago to last year's dismal 104,271?

Did they read Barker's report that "the 2018 steelhead run is stacking up to be among the poorest in decades and worse than last year's terrible return"?

Are they not aware this year's spring chinook run over Lower Granite Dam was 50 percent of the 10-year average or that Idaho's sockeye are below 100 fish and close to extinction?

And citing good returns in 2015, they fail to mention that more than 250,000 adult salmon died that year from high water temperatures made worse by solar radiation on the reservoirs.

Can they truly be this ignorant or are they simply willing to lie to the public to advance their cause? I suspect the latter.

Dam supporters constantly speak of the $15 billion spent trying to reverse the loss of our salmon and steelhead. When do we finally recognize that these expensive efforts are not working?

No threatened or endangered fish run is on a path to recovery.

An Aug. 27 statement from 33 prominent fish scientists once again explained that the only way we will ever recover Snake River salmon and steelhead is by removal of the lower Snake River dams.

Bonnie Schonefeld, Kooskia
Willfully Ignorant
Lewiston Tribune, September 13, 2018

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