Let's Compromise to Save
by Bill Hauf
The salmon runs on most of the coastal rivers are suffering lower numbers; there are no dams here. Tell us, Judge Redden and Steve Petitt of the Idaho Fish and Game, why is that? Petitt says we need to spill more water over the dams. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proved spilling water kills the smolts at a very high rate. Plunging down into the "tail water" temporarily stuns the smolts, they float to the surface, the seagulls and other fish eat them. Go to Lower Granite Dam during a "spill"; many of the seagulls are so heavy they can barely fly.
The best system is to barge the smolts to the coast, innovated by the Army Corps of Engineers. If I may suggest the smolts be barged all the way from the fish hatcheries to the closest barge downriver, such as the hatcheries up the Clearwater, the Salmon, etc.
I would like to suggest a compromise with my fishing friends who live in Sun Valley, Boise and Southern Idaho: Let's breach all the dams above Lewiston on the Snake River, restore the salmon and steelhead runs, and see if the folks up there miss them. How about that?
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