Extinction was the message

  • "Salmon" attempt to migrate through a maze of "dams" in Boise

    Diane Ronayne
  In the heart of Boise, Idaho, close to 100 "salmon" recently tried to run a faux gantlet of four "dams," mimicking the difficulties of real-life migration for salmon and smolts swimming the Snake River to the Pacific Ocean. Costumed volunteers played the salmon and the Snake River dams: Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental and Ice Harbor. Each dam killed about 25 of the imperiled fish; only one survivor made it to the ocean. The mock migration was staged during an Oct. 24 Northwest Power Planning Council hearing on emergency options for delivering Idaho's "class of "95" chinook salmon to the Pacific next spring. Activists wanted Boise residents to know that next year's migration might be the last unless the dams are modified to allow fish to migrate under more natural conditions.

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