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.