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Grand Coulee Dam in Washington

Statesman Journal Opinion: Take Dam Proposal Seriously

By Jack Glass, fishing guide

Jack Glass has been guiding fishing trips in the Columbia Basin since 1983 with his company, Team Hookup Guide Service. He is a long-time advocate for salmon and steelhead recovery with over 40 years of experience on the water and more than 20 years advocating to free the lower Snake River. He published an opinion piece in the Statesman Journal on February 19, 2020 highlighting the need for the recreational angling community to engage in Representative Simpson's historic effort to restore Snake River salmon and steelhead.

I have been a fishing guide on the Columbia River for over 40 years. I’ve experienced firsthand how the lower Snake River dams contribute to salmon declines, change fish behavior, increase predation, and warm river temperatures - experiences that decades of science have confirmed.

For decades, I’ve fought alongside the sportfishing community to remove these four dams in an effort to save my livelihood and our fishing heritage. For decades, we settled for the agencies’ alternatives, like spill increases and fish transportation. These minor tweaks haven’t changed the trend. They are not the saving grace they were sold as; They cannot recover reliable and abundant wild returns.

Last week, for the first time in history, a federal elected official has joined our fight for bold and innovative salmon recovery. Representative Simpson introduced a groundbreaking proposal to breach the lower Snake River dams, modernize energy and transportation infrastructure, and invest in rural communities and the recreation economy. His proposal will provide much-needed security for the sportfishing industry, which generates more than $3 billion for the Northwest economy.

I hope our Oregon delegates take his proposal seriously and get involved to craft it into a legislative package that we can all support.