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Mon Nov 30, 2020, 07:12 AM

This new study challenges scientists who blame dams for decline of Snake River salmon

A controversial new study is challenging long-standing science that pins salmon declines in the Snake River Basin on dams and is roiling the already rough waters of fish recovery.

The work by British Columbia scientist David Welch puts the blame for poor returns of adult Snake River spring and fall chinook salmon on conditions in the Pacific Ocean instead of the dams. The study argues that chinook runs from California to Alaska have suffered similar declines. Some salmon researchers are skeptical of that conclusion and say the effects of dams can’t be dismissed.

Welch’s work, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and published in the journal “Fish and Fisheries,” argues that since chinook runs in rivers with pristine freshwater habitat and those with highly degraded habitat have suffered similar declines, the problem must be in the ocean.

Welch and his colleagues looked at data from chinook runs up and down the West Coast of North America and worked to establish and compare smolt-to-adult return rates for each of the runs. The rate is the measure of the number of juvenile chinook that leave a river system to spend two to three years in the ocean and ultimately survive and return to freshwater. In the Columbia River Basin, salmon managers believe a return rate of 2% is required for chinook runs to hold steady, and 4% to 6% is needed for runs to grow. However, rates are often 1% or less.

Read more: https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/environment/article247437245.html

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Reply This new study challenges scientists who blame dams for decline of Snake River salmon (Original post)
TexasTowelie Nov 2020 OP
captain queeg Nov 2020 #1
2naSalit Nov 2020 #2
yonder Nov 2020 #3

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 07:55 AM

1. Since it's funded by BPA the study will be immediately discounted

Which is unfortunate. For many years all science has begun with the conclusion that the dams are responsible for diminished runs and then try to arrange data to prove the conclusion rather than study with an open mind and let the facts lead to a conclusion

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 09:01 AM

2. Doesn't make sense...

And being funded by BPA is problematic from the get go.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Nov 30, 2020, 01:16 PM

3. Study after study and the result remains the same.

The pro-impoundment interests will hang their hats on this and others that favor their POV while our side does the same which results in no change to declining runs.

I say remove the 4 non-essential lower Snake dams and start from there.

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