Dams and Salmon Study Pt 1

Dams and Salmon Study Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Removing the dams from the Snake River will have little if any impact on the survival rate of Chinook salmon, according to a new study.

David Welch, president of Kintama Research in British Columbia, says dams aren’t the Chinook’s problem …

WELCH … “Here in British Columbia, where I live, the Fraser River is the second largest river on the West Coast of North America. There’s no dams and this year, unfortunately, we have had historic low returns. They’ve been grinding down for decades and they’re actually down now to the lowest return on record in over a hundred years.”

So, I asked Welch, if dams aren’t the problem, why are Chinook in a crisis? …

WELCH … “There’s still room for debate, but I think the needle has swung to most folks accepting that the majority of the problems, the survival problems are happening in the ocean.”

And, Welch says he’s never really argued against fresh water travel being the problem for Chinook, until recently …

WELCH … “You know, it makes sense and all of us that are conservationists, you know, hunters or fishermen, are taught that from an early age. But where the challenges come is that the big drivers are happening in the ocean not so much in fresh water. And, we may be getting some kind of distorted policy decisions because of that lack of appreciation of what’s happening in the ocean.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … on why breaching dams won’t save the salmon.

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