November 1, 2019

Snake River Salmon: A Response to Kurt Miller

Miller wants to blame the decimation of Snake River salmon populations on anything but the four lower Snake River dams. So he invokes overfishing that took place 80 years ago and adverse ocean conditions. If those sound like evasions, it’s because they are. Fish biologists agree that removing the dams is the most important step we can take to restore salmon whose populations have dropped by 90% since the dams were built.
March 20, 2020

Request for Call-in Comments on the Snake-Columbia River Salmon & Steelhead DEIS

The Feb. 2020 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Snake-Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead was produced by federal agencies under a 2016 court order and analyzes several options for the future management of federal dams in the Columbia Basin, including one option that would remove the four dams on the Lower Snake River. Unfortunately, despite the DEIS' recognition that restoring the lower Snake River would deliver the greatest survival benefits to Snake River fish compared to any of the other options, it instead recommends a Preferred Alternative with only minor modifications to a longstanding approach that has proven to be illegal, costly, and ineffective for over 25 years. You can contribute by contacting legislators!
May 28, 2020

Tempering Heat Pollution in the Lower Snake River

Recently, there has been a lot of press about Oregon and Washington governors using their authority under the Clean Water Act to require dam operators to reduce the heat they are introducing into the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Heat pollution causes substantial stress and even death for endangered salmon and steelhead. This is an important development in the ongoing effort to protect salmon and steelhead in these rivers… but what does it mean to reduce “heat pollution” and how does that protect salmon, steelhead and our ability to fish? Heat is explicitly identified as a pollutant under the Clean Water Act, making entities that heat waterways responsible for mitigating the temperature changes they cause. As anglers, we know that temperature changes have huge impacts on fish. Here in Oregon, our water quality standards have set a water temperature threshold of 68 degrees Fahrenheit for salmon and steelhead streams—the warmest water salmon and steelhead can survive in.
June 24, 2020

Renewable Energy and Barging Industries Have Changed

The lower Snake River dams were built based on two predominant assumptions: (1) dams are the most viable form of producing renewable energy and (2) dams facilitate barge transport, which is the best way to ship goods to market. We must determine whether these assumptions are still true today in order to promote a dialogue about crafting solutions to replace the lower Snake River dams.
June 30, 2020

Migration Through the Eyes of a Salmon

When I turned one year old, my parr marks began to disappear, alerting me to the fact that my first great journey would soon begin. I knew it was time to go to the ocean. Under natural conditions, it would be an arduous journey: over 450 miles of river fraught with predators, rapids, strong currents, and changing salinity that culminates in a rapid biological adaptation to the ocean. Unfortunately, man-made obstacles such as agricultural runoff, heat pollution, stagnant water and dams further complicated my voyage.