A Federal Appeals Court in San Francisco upheld a lower court order to continue water spill's over N.W. area dams. Water will continue to by-pass turbines at Mc Nary, Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental and Ice harbor Dams.
Before the spills were ordered, it is estamated that up to half of the Spring/Summer Chinook returning to the Ocean from the Snake River died trying to negotiate the turbines at the 5 dams.
This spill period will allow researchers a "Base Point" to conduct studys as to the effects of water spills on Juvenile fish mortality.
Watch out for Pombo!
Richard Pomdo R-Calif, the Head of the House Committee on Natural Resources wants to change the foundation of the E.S.A. (Endangered Species Act)
Here's a few disturbing facts;
*Legislation is being prepared to curb how much Land or Water is to be defined as "Critical Habitat"
*Decissions on Species listings has dorped to 53% in the Bush Administration, from around 88% during the Clinton Admin.
*Economics are now playing a "Leading" role in decissions on size of species habitat.
*In '03 lands proposed as critical habitat were reduced by 1/3, and 69% of those decissions were attributed to economic issues!
*Territory can be removed from critical habitat areas if Officals believe a species do not need it.
*And guess who makes these decissions.......Richard Pombo.
Good news on the spills...
I've read that ensuring such flows has been directly and measurably linked to successful passage of PNW salmon. In fact if I am not mistaken very few of the efforts made (e.g. barging) have made a difference where this has always had a positive influence.
Most of the time this was due to overabundance of water, not proactive thinking. But I am glad someone was paying attention during high water years, now we know how important it is to regulate flow for fish, not for human needs alone.
Yeah, a side note about the Barge factor. From the Biologist accounts that I read, the fish seemed "confused" after being released from the barge. Orientation. I started to think, Ill bet the Smolts need the whole trip downstream "In the river" to gain the Perspective and Orientation they need to return. When Key sections of the river are left "un-navigated" the fish become confused and unable to put the whole trip in perspective. Like falling asleep in a car during a trip, when you wake up, first thing you ask,"where are we?"
I am looking forward to the study results on the spill when they become available.
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