Comments sought on Columbia, Snake salmon plans

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PORTLAND — Comments are being sought on a new draft plan to protect salmon and steelhead affected by federal dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers.

The draft plan outlines specific actions that will be taken between 2014 and 2018 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration. The actions are intended to meet the requirements to benefit fish as described in NOAA Fisheries’ biological opinion for operation of the dams.

In a release, BPA spokesman Kevin Wingert said the work behind the biological opinion “is the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken in the Columbia River Basin and is based in sound science.”

Most populations of wild salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act have increased in abundance since the first listings in the 1990s, he said.

The draft implementation plan is open to a 30-day public comment period with copies available online at salmonrecovery.gov. The deadline for submitting comments is Sept. 23.

Comments can be submitted at bpa.gov/comment or by mailing them to: BPA Public Involvement, P.O. Box 14428, Portland, OR 97293.

Comments

mherres415 1 year ago

In the years before the dams on the lower Snake River, the river was mostly avoided. The river was usually a muddy, dangerous place. When there had been a forest fire in Idaho, the river was clogged with run-off mud and generally the fishing was terrible for a couple of years. Often there was someone drowned in the river caught in a whirlpool while trying to fish and lost to an undercurrent.

When the dams came in the 1960's utilization of the river dramatically increased. Along with commerce, the availability of water skiing, fishing & hunting, and other sports was dramatically increased. The quality of the water became better and jobs were created to work on the dams and maintain the power distribution. Breaching the dams would be a huge mistake. We would go back to a dangerous river with no availability for the general public to enjoy water sports and we would lose the less expensive, renewable resource of electricity generation.

It seems few people "remember" the conditions of the river prior to construction of the 4 lower Snake River dams.

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