The Federal Government filed a motion to "stay" the District Courts injunction allowing the U.S.A.C.E. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) to go ahead with dam spills as sited in NOAA's 2000 report on hydro opperations, but it was turned down with no reason spelled out.
The Ninth Circut denied the stay, but will hear the appeal of Judge James A. Redden's decission of last week. The Spills are scheduled to go into opperation on Tuesday of next week (6/21/05)
Power Administration officals said that they stand to loose $60+ Million in power revenue if the spills happen as planned.
In another related story, none of the 16 threatened Wrest Coast Salmon runs will come off the Endangered Species List. That is the conclusion of a Status Review over the last 3 years that was forced by court cases involving developers and farmers. Bottom line is that Wild Salmon and Anadromous Trout Species need these protections. The 10 Steelhead runs and the Oregon Costal Coho Salmon are and will continue to be monitored.
We have come a long way from the delisting petitions of early 2000, but it has been a positive step forward for the fish. In reviewing some of the story's and articles writen about this subject over the last few years, it's great to see so many passionate people involved in this enormous effort.
Thanks for all the information Deerhaawk.
You know there is one dam on the Columbia, ROCKY REACH, run by Chelan Power that had the courage to put in a smolt bypass system that seems to be working very nicely. This is the third year that it has been in operation and so far they have done wonders with smolt bypass.
The system uses huge custom made pumps made in Sweeden. These pumps are tuned in to the exact river flow of the Columbia. There is a channel with 50 foot deep sides of steal walls with an entrance at one end. The pumps are screened off and the smolts do not go thru the pumps. The smolts key on the artificial river flow and come into the channel thinking it is the river flow. At the end of the channel is a 9 foot diamiter pipe that goes through the dam just under the surface of the lake side of the dam. This pipe cuts across the front of the dam and empties out at river elevation. So far MORE than 97% of smolts make it into the river below uninjured. This system is in operation from April till the end of the major smolt migration near the end of summer.
The key here is Rocky Reach can run their operation any way they want to, to generate power. The system cost 180 million dollars to build, expensive yes but Chelan power estimates they are able to generate an extra $800,000 a day in power because they are exempt from what all the other dams are about to hopefully go through. They will have this system paid for in less than 10 years from what I hear. There are a couple other of the dams thinking about putting a system in like it but seem to be dragging their feet and it's ashame but that's how the power companies work.
If anyone happens to be going by Rocky Reach you should drop by and check out this by-pass system it is truely an engineering wonder and it is working. Oh yeh! almost forgot, I am for the removal of all the dams on the Columbia and the Snake but reality is it is not going to happen soon maybe not even 1000 years after man has killed himself off do to his foolishness. So the smolt by pass system at Rocky Reach is at least an honest effort to help smolts make it to sea.
Since I also don't think the dams on the Columbia or Snake are going to be breached or removed, I agree the smold bypass system Chelan Power has installed would be the best alternative. The benefits to all are impressive: 1) the power companies could generate as much power as they wish; 2) 97% of the smolt will make it through the dams; 3) the PNW residents and businesses will not be hit with a large cost increase; 4) fishermen (sport, tribal, and commercial) would have more fish returning; and 5) it would increase economic output from the combination of more returning fish, high power output from the dams, and reasonalbly priced power available for business. This seems like the best possible solution, a win-win for all.
Perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part to think that the dam owners will voluntarily do this, that the feds will require dam owners to install them, or that the federal courts will order them to be installed. Oh well, I can dream of it happening in the next few years.
OC and Flytyer,
Thanks for the heads up on Chelan/Rocky Reach. Found their web site, looks like an excelent system! Bonniville still think's that "herding" smolts into barges and "shiping" them through the lock's is the best method for downstream travel :confused: ARCHAIC? Projects like Chelan should be conerstones for the future of fish migration, because the chances of removal of power producing dams on the Columbia are slim and none, but yes, we CAN dream :rolleyes: Thanks again gent's. Anyone interested in Chelan can run it on your favorite hunt-motor, or pm me and I'll give you the skinny.
More enviro stuff later
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