Redden's Ruling Stands
The Federal Appeals Court upheld Judge James Redden's order for spills to continue over Snake and Columbia River dams. The appeal, brought by Federal Agencies, argued that spills could potentialy hurt, not help, juinile Salmon returning to the Pacific Ocean.
The NMFS ( National Marine Fisheries Service ) who are in charge of threatend species of Salmon, said that young salmon would be "Better off" being "Barged" or "Trucked" past the dams in question.
They obviously could not make their case stick.
Water is now being spilled over Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and the Lower Granite dams on the Snake River, and will begin July 1 at the Mc Nary dam on the Columbia River.
This is yet another step forward for the Endangered and Wild Salmon in the Columbia and Snake River systems :)
I just read this in today's newspaper too. The issue is not over yet though because the 9th circuit judges only ruled on the request for a temporary injunction to allow them to barge instead of spill until they hear the appeal later this year. The judges agree to have the appeal by the end of summer.
Call me a dreamer, I'd like to see a judge order the BPA, the other power producers, and Army Corp of Engineers install the "artificial stream" technology Chelan PUD is using in their dam that OC posted about. This would allow power to be produced and have a much higher survival of fish than either trucking/barging or spilling has had. Such a ruling would be a win for all parties involved.
I've read over the years that spills directly correlate with increased returns (statistically) and it's a big step in the right direction :)
The Chelan system is a real victory in designing a more effective passage for smolts and also an example of our willingness to do the right thing where dams have screwed up the runs.
To dream even more, there are European communities who have built artificial stream by-passes that provide excellent whitewater and angling sport opportunities. River branches in effect.
It's clear to see that barging is rooted in special interests and politically motivated. I hope we as a people can move strongly toward what's actually best for the fish rather than their own political or commercial interests, for the sake of the salmonids!
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