Salmon and Dams Study Pt 1

Salmon and Dams Study Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. In spite of calls for their removal, dams on the Snake River have little impact on the survival rate of migrating Chinook salmon.

Scientists at British Columbia-based Kintama Research became suspicious of the claim after stumbling upon some key statistics about 3-and-a-half years ago …

WELCH … “And we needed to check on something that we were doing and we pulled the hatchery survival statistics for salmon in Southern British Columbia and much to my astonishment I discovered that survivals for Chinook were actually lower than for the Snake River. And then, when we looked at Puget Sound, for Steelhead and Chinook it was the same result.”

Kintama President David Welch says the real problems appear to be in the ocean …

WELCH … “Let’s assume that survival gets really bad in the ocean so that nothing survives to come back, well in that case, this argument of getting the river back to its natural state, getting the fish out to the ocean faster, you know, clearly isn’t going to work as a public policy choice to improve salmon survival because you’re, you’re rushing them to their death.”

Welch says that’s not to say the dams are problem free …

WELCH … “I don’t disagree that the dams contribute to some survival problems. Where I disagree is a matter of, a fine point perhaps, but I don’t think that they’re as responsible for nearly as much of the salmon problems as people have assumed.”

Listen tomorrow for more … on where the real problems for Chinook survival rates are.

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