Obama, like Bush, seems to be stifling salmon science

Manipulation of science remains the same or worse.

In the first year and a half of the Obama Administration nothing has really changed with regard to environmental policy across several agencies. In fact, I think it has gotten worse for two reasons. One, things haven’t changed, and two, people just want to believe that Obama cares about the environment. The BLM and USFS still willfully break the law in their grazing decisions, the MMS issued categorical exclusions for deepwater oil drilling, and now it appears that biologists are still being pressured to manipulate science surrounding salmon to protect dams.

Obama, like Bush, seems to be stifling salmon science.
Crosscut.com

Federal biologists say that cutting hatchery production could help protect wild salmon

It is an argument for removing dams as well.

For many years biologists have known that hatchery fish effect the fitness of wild fish through competition and interbreeding. Hatchery fish don’t have the selective pressures that wild fish do so are less fit to survive in the wild. Because of this, when hatchery fish breed with wild fish the progeny are less suited to survive in the wild affecting the overall survival of wild fish.

Hatchery fish are also larger and more aggressive than wild fish and compete with them for food further limiting the success of wild fish. Being more aggressive makes hatchery fish more vulnerable to predators, a trait that you don’t want to transfer to wild fish. Hatchery fish also stray more so they can interbreed with runs which are managed to be exclusively wild such as the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

In the case of steelhead, hatchery fish virtually flood the habitat with stray fish, a situation that almost ensures that hatchery fish will interbreed with wild fish in places where it is not intended.

I think the report mentioned is more of an argument for removing dams than it is for reducing hatchery production because, due to the impacts of lower numbers of fish in the short term like economic and biological impacts, you can’t reduce hatchery production without increasing the success of wild fish reproduction. The only way to increase wild fish production to such a degree will be to remove dams.

Federal biologists say that cutting hatchery production could help protect wild salmon
By Scott Learn, The Oregonian

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Do Dams Make A Difference? Similar Survival Rates For Pacific Salmon In Fraser And Columbia Rivers

Big surprise. Dams don’t matter?

Because they haven’t compared enough rivers, there are plenty of other hypothesis. I propose the Fraser River stocks do poorly because of all the disease breeding salmon farms the B.C. government has allowed between the mouth of the Fraser and the open ocean.

Do Dams Make A Difference? Similar Survival Rates For Pacific Salmon In Fraser And Columbia Rivers. ScienceDaily

Savage Rapids Dam gone. Oregon’s Rogue River closer to freedom

All sides win as 90-year-old salmon killer is demolished-

When Gold Ray Dam (further upstream) is taken out next year, over 150 miles of the magnificent Rogue River of SW Oregon will have been returned to freedom.

Story in the LA Times. Oregon dam’s demise lets the Rogue River run. By Kim Murphy.

Obama Repackages Bush Salmon Plan

Calls Dam Breaching a “Last Resort”

Chinook Salmon © Ken Cole

Chinook Salmon © Ken Cole

“The administration’s passing reference to dam breaching as a ‘contingency of last resort’ defers all necessary economic, infrastructure and other studies, making this ‘contingency’ an illusion,” said Samuel N. Penney, the chairman of the Nez Perce American Indian Tribe, which has traditionally fished the Columbia.

New Federal Plan for Fish-Dam Harmony
New York Times

Obama administration backs Columbia salmon and dam plan
Rocky Barker – Idaho Statesman

Red Snow Warning: The End of Welfare Water and the Drying of the West

The long term effects of global warming, and desertification of the West examined. Exporting the water to the urban areas means exporting the rural areas’ soil to the East.

Livestock grazing, water mining, dams, all serving to desertify the West which ends up blowing, in the form of dust, to the East causing snow to melt faster and making less water available in the long run.

“After decades in which Easterners ritualistically visited the American West, the West may be traveling east.”

Red Snow Warning: The End of Welfare Water and the Drying of the West
by Chip Ward in the Huffington Post.

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Related article added on 9/15. New study shows river runoff decreases in driest years in Oregon, Northwest. By Joe Rojas-Burke, Oregonian.

Posted in Climate change, Dams, water issues. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Red Snow Warning: The End of Welfare Water and the Drying of the West

Unusual alliances give dams upgrades

“Conservationists, farmers and governments work together so that everyone benefits. . .” Denver Post-

Denver Post story. By Mark Jaffe

I suspect there are folks on this blog who know the actual details who may have something to say about this “success.” Ralph Maughan