Friday, August 31, 2012
Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead in Hot Water
While the Columbia has always been warmer than many coastal rivers, dams which slow the flow of water and increase the river's surface area have exacerbated the problem tremendously. Combine that with the changes already underwater from climate change and we can expect warmer temperatures and reduced flow during summer. That means, unless something changes the future looks pretty bleak for salmon in the Snake and Columbia rivers.
Removing the four Lower Snake River dams is the only way to ensure the survival of anadromous fish in the basin and must move forward. Unfortunately, entrenched politicians and lobbying interests continue to see the Columbia system as nothing more than a conduit for their economic aspirations, a means to and end which is cheap subsidized barging, freely flowing irrigation water, and hydroelectricity. While no one can deny the important benefits of irrigation and hydroelectricity, we must seek to strike a more healthy balance between these uses and the need to restore and protect salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake. The lower four Snake River dams have got to go and we better move fast, otherwise wild salmon and steelhead will find themselves in increasingly hot water.
More information in a good write up from Save our Wild Salmon: