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Know the West

Galled, but not surprised


The article “On life support,” (HCN, 8/3/15), on the efforts to “save” the silvery minnow, is so depressing. Yes, I realize this is a desert river, not like the rivers of British Columbia. I’ve travelled often in the Southwest and subscribed to HCN for well over a decade, so there were no surprises here. Yet this short article succinctly encapsulated man’s outrageous gall regarding our fellow creatures.

With almost all the water flow of this large river being allocated to cities and farming, eliminating spring floods, and allowing the river to actually dry up entirely at times over the past 20 years, biologists are put in the outrageous position of having to opt for hatcheries over free-run fish. “Reclamation determined in April that it couldn’t spare water from upstream reservoirs for a spring pulse of water, a temporary surge needed to trigger spawning.” That sentence pretty much takes the cake.

Trevor Jones
Vancouver, British Columbia