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Old 09-18-2004, 02:37 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
Pullin' Thread
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346

I'm going to play devil's advocate with this. If run size is mostly dependent on ocean conditions, doesn't this then mean that it matters little what our fisheries managers do since the major factor would be ocean conditions over which they have no control. And by extension of the ocean condition factor, does it not also mean that it matters not how many wild fish are harvested, since their abundance would likewise be dependent on ocean conditions?

What I'm saying is we have to be careful saying the major factor is ocean conditions, hatchery production, wild fish harvest, dams, tribal netting in the rivers, etc. The truth is that all of these are factors is the size or abundance of fish runs. We also must not forget that when a run is depleted to near extinction (like the Snake River sockeye were), it takes a long time for the run to rebound, if it ever does.

My point is that one must take all factors into consideration and not put most of the blame on one of them. And before someone accuses me of being in favor of dams, I am not. In fact, I'd like to see all of the Columbia River dams, Snake River Dams, and any other dams that prevent anadromous fish from getting to their historic spawning grounds torn down or breeched and have federal legislation preventing the building of any dam that would prevent anadromous fish from reaching their spawning grounds.

However, the dams have already been built and there is little indication that the feds (or states for that matter) will require them to be torn down. Therefore, we have to learn how to advocate for the fish without the dams coming down. Remember, the Columbia River and Snake River dams were sited and approved for building during the tenure of self-identified conservationist administrations of a different political party than is now in office. We must also keep in mind that Congress also plays a huge part in how dams are run or where they are built or if they will be torn down or breached since they appropriate the money for these things, and the party that was in control of Congress when the Columbia and Snake River dams were built was not the party of the current adminstration. Then you must also add to this the federal courts and various rulings they have made, which also affect fish management and operation of the dams.

The truth is that neither major political party or their appointed department heads or nominated judges has been very good conservationists during the last 70 years.
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