Dams and Salmon Study Pt 3

Dams and Salmon Study Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. British Columbia researchers would like to see the focus on Chinook salmon survival rates shift from Snake River dam removal to what appears to be the real problem.

President David Welch says at first glance, the trip from the Snake River to the Pacific looks perilous for the Chinook …

WELCH … “Roughly in the Snake River, survival until adult return is around 1%, so 50% of those smolts die going through the eight dams, so lots of my colleagues say, well, half the fish are already dead, that’s how important it is.”

So yeah, Welch says, if that’s all the data you look at …

WELCH … “But to get to 1%, that means that one out of two dies going through, you know, the long section of the river with eight dams. And then one out of 50 of those fish that survive, survive to come back, that’s one out of 100. So, from that perspective, you can see that the oceans about 25 times more important than all of those dams in the Columbia and the Snake Rivers are.”

So, Welch says there seems to be a more pressing problem …

WELCH … “That doesn’t mean that the Snake River dams or the Columbia dams aren’t important, if survival goes to zero anywhere, you’re not going to get any adults back, which is what’s needed. But, it does put a different perspective than most people think on just what’s happening in the ocean and how important it is.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … on Chinook survival moving forward.

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