Could we please be done with this inane conversation now? Please?
Scientists tracking juvenile salmon migrating downstream to the Pacific were surprised to find just as many or more survived going over eight dams on the Northwest’s Snake and Columbia Rivers as survived a major river in British Columbia without any dams at all.
The study, published Monday in the online edition of the journal Public Library of Science Biology, comes as salmon advocates, the Bush administration and dam advocates are locked in a federal court battle over whether the Columbia Basin dam system – a major source of power, irrigation and barge transportation – can be made safe enough for salmon to pass muster under the Endangered Species Act.
After billions of dollars spent over the past 20 years to modifying the dams themselves and changing operations to benefit fish, “It looks like survival levels are now at or above survival levels for the Fraser River, that does not have dams,” Welch added.
Looking at the years 2004-2006, the study found about 25 percent to 30 percent of juvenile spring chinook survived migrating down both river systems, Welch said. The Fraser’s steelhead survival ran about 30 percent and the Columbia’s steelhead survival 20 percent to 25 percent. When the greater time or distance for fish migrating down the Columbia was taken into account, survival over the dams was actually higher.
Thanks and good night. I’ll be here all week. Try the salmon and don’t forget to tip your waitress.