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Save the salmon?

What should be done about the dwindling stocks of Columbia River salmon?
1. We should breach the dams on the lower Snake River, with the option of breaching more, as soon as possible. 163 (88.11%)
2. We should keep the dams intact, generate more carbon-free hydropower, and save the world from climate change, which will kill the salmon if the dams don't. 8 (4.32%)
3. A coalition of politicians, federal agencies and northwestern stakeholders should convene to determine what needs to be done. 6 (3.24%)
4. We should all eat more salmon while we still can. 4 (2.16%)
5. None of the above but I have some ideas of my own (leave a comment below) 4 (2.16%)

Total Votes: 185

Bobbe Besold
Bobbe Besold
May 12, 2009 02:42 PM
Yes breach the dams asap, but then install small scale hydropower projects that do not interfere with the salmon, the flow of the river, nor do they change the temperature of the water and of all the other horrendous things that dams do.
Yes, remove the four lower Snake River dams,
Tom Stuart
Tom Stuart
May 12, 2009 04:41 PM
it's the most cost-effective way to open up all the excellent habitat in eastern Oregon and central Idaho (which now comprises 70% of the salmon recovery potential in the entire Columbia Basin). This high-altitude habitat is also the best-protected from climate change.

If we remove these four dams, scientists say no others on the Snake/Columbia Rivers need be removed.

Save the Salmon
May 12, 2009 06:52 PM
The dams are not just barriers, they create an artifical habitat that is desirable to non-native fish. Case in point, American Shad were introduced to the west coast in the 1870s and just a few years ago, over six million non-native American Shad were counted at Bonneville dam. SIX MILLION! Those non-natives are using up valuable resources that could otherwise be utilized by native salmon. It's time to get rid of non-native fish in the Pacific Northwest....and this includes non-native game fish!
John H
John H
May 13, 2009 12:11 AM
I agree with some of the before posts and some great progress has been made in other river systems taking out old, derelict dams. I am not so sure that the four on the Snake would do "everything" towards helping the Salmon survive in that particualr eco-system. It seems that too many historic runs have already become extinct by dam building (Grand Coulee, and the 3 in Hells Canyon to name a few). Overall I believe habitat restoration, where the salmon need to do their dirty work has been greatly impacted by human development, poor mining and logging practice, and of course environmental change, which can include invasive species and water temps. There is no "silver bullet" until we all decide what is important to the natural balance in our wildlife and our futures.
Saving Salmon
Hal Michael
Hal Michael
May 13, 2009 07:47 AM
Read the two books Salmon 2100 and Saving Puget Sound. Put those ideas in front of people and have an open, transparent debate. Triage is the only viable solution. Columbia River wild salmon can't be "saved", other than as museum pieces, unless all the dams come out. Save salmon where the habitat exists.
save the salmon
May 13, 2009 09:56 AM
Breaching the Dams is a start. There is always other solutions that must be included to bring the species back from extinction. Action needs to happen asap, no more contemplating, time is at an essence. Get the word out MORE and more widespread to let the complete usa know what is going on. There is NEVER enough media on subjects of the environment and the creatures that are in trouble that need to be heard through our human voices.
extinction is forever
Steve Engel
Steve Engel
May 13, 2009 10:04 PM
nothing gets brought back from extinction
May 14, 2009 03:53 PM
At the High Desert Museum in Bend, OR, there's a quote by a 1950s politician -- I wish I could remember who -- who said that it was so important to get power to the northwest, it was worth sacrificing the salmon. (He was talking about the dam which drowned Celilo Falls.) I keep thinking about that. If in 1957 people decided to sacrifice salmon for electricity, don't we, their heirs, have to live with that decision?
Stephanie Matlock-Cooley
Stephanie Matlock-Cooley
May 15, 2009 10:42 AM
I think it is unrealistic to think that the politicians, especially those in Idaho would consider removing dams. What could be done instead is to retrain the salmon to spawn in other streams and creeks in nearby areas. These streams could have intensive prep work completed like electroshocking and removing non-natives, cleaning debris, and making sure the pollution from agriculture or cattle ranching is prevented in these areas. This may be a triage-like answer but I think it is a more realistic chance at preventing extinction.
Triage is not the answer
Chris Q
Chris Q
May 18, 2009 02:47 PM
Why is it unrealistic to consider dam removal? These dams have silted in and become heavily subsidized payous to person operating a few types of businesses. At the same time they are destroying more businesses that depend on the salmon (and some say generate much more revenue).

You cannot re-train salmon to spawn in other nearby streams creeks for several reasons. First,they are not like dogs. You can raise them and plant them in other waters and they will imprint and return to spawn ther in the future, but creeks and streams do not erplace hundreds of miles of much larger rivers (and all of the hundreds of their associated feeder creeks and streams). Second, these nearby creeks and streams that you talk about all have the same problems. They are upstream from dams, just like the ones that you are talking about. A higher percentage of salmon can reach them than the ones above these dams, but the numbers are still greatlly reduced. Third, any creeks and streams suitable for salmon spawning already have salmon populations. Many of these are also endangered because of dams and water diversions.
saving salmon
Feb 03, 2010 03:48 PM
there should be bypasses or salmon ladders along the river. I would not interupt the flow. The fish just needs to reach the spawning grounds and a fish ladder is the least expensive way to go.

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