Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Required viewing for ANY Alaskan who values salmon….

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default Required viewing for ANY Alaskan who values salmon….

    … esp those who understand the cliche "been there, done that"

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episo...-episode/6620/

    Preserving genetic diversity, protecting key salmon habitat, understanding the grave limitations of artificial propagation, and heeding the perils of over-exploitation thru harvest abuses…. yeah, we've been there, done that.

    No need to re-invent the wheel...
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  2. #2

    Default

    Video was made in 2011. How are things different now?

    In my opinion, until the dams are removed, anything but an aggressive hatchery program wouldn't work.

  3. #3

    Default

    Reducing the population of Humans by say 80% would solve most habitat problems. Interesting that humans want to play GOD with everything on Earth, but always assuming they (Humans) are not the problem. The Earth has a Cancer.........called humans.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post

    In my opinion, until the dams are removed, anything but an aggressive hatchery program wouldn't work.

  4. #4

    Default

    So you want to kill 80% of the human population? Not sure that's a solution we have to work with.

    Nobody wants abundant runs of wild salmon more than me. But, as long as those dams are in place, it ain't gonna happen. Yank em, live with the consequences, and let the wild salmon come back and cut hatchery production waaay back. But, until that happens, it's hatchery fish.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    I disagree. I used to think that unless the dams are removed, the wild salmon have no chance. However, the fish are proving me wrong.

    This year, the sockeye return will likely exceed 600,000 adults. And over 90% are wild fish (headed to the Okanogon and Wenatchee Rivers). BTW, those Okanogon-bound fish are returning to spawning grounds in Canada. This fall, we are expected to get 1.5 million fall Chinook. That would be a new record since the dams went in. Not all stocks are showing this level of improvement, but enough are to be optimistic.

    So why have things changed? Simple - the hydropower system is being operated much differently than in the past. We are spilling water rather than running it all through the turbines. Plus, the out-migration conditions in 2011 and 2012 were the best we've seen since the Canadian storage dams were built in the late 60's. The water levels in spring 2011 and 2012 were enormous. The run-off helped push the smolts past the hydropower projects that maximized their chances of going over the spillway, rather than thru the turbines. This was all the help they needed.

    The fish are responding better than anyone predicted. The folks on both sides of the debate do not acknowledge what is happening. The power folks say that the improvement in ocean conditions are responsible for the increase, while the conservation organizations say that any increase is temporary and a fluke. They believe that long-term success can only be achieved thru dam removal. Both may be wrong. Regardless, the folks in the Columbia Basin appreciate the fact that the fish seem to be responding. We can debate why, but there is no disagreement that the fish are back, and fishing is good.

    BTW, the folks in Alaska have benefited as well. The SE Alaska troll fishery was allocated 170,000 Chinook this year. They got that in one week. Normally it might take them a month to hit their quota, but not this year. They were done in seven days. That tells me there is alot of feeder Chinook in SE Alaska. Historically, that is the feeding grounds of the Columbia River fall Chinook.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    So why have things changed? Simple - the hydropower system is being operated much differently than in the past. We are spilling water rather than running it all through the turbines. Plus, the out-migration conditions in 2011 and 2012 were the best we've seen since the Canadian storage dams were built in the late 60's. The water levels in spring 2011 and 2012 were enormous. The run-off helped push the smolts past the hydropower projects that maximized their chances of going over the spillway, rather than thru the turbines. This was all the help they needed.
    How much has this changed the net output of the power plants? Are the spillways just being used more during the smolt migration? Are you offsetting the production loss with wind turbine farms? Don't you know those things make bats explode?

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Good observation. The output of the hydropower system does indeed go down when water is spilled rather than being sent thru the turbines. So, we are not maximizing hydropower. But that is the price to be paid for saving fish. If there was a better way, we would have found it by now. But the fish have not responded to anything we were doing for the past 40+ years, until we started bulk spill. Now they are responding. That's good news, but as you said, it's not without some cost to the hydropower system. Spill starts in early April and goes until August 31. That's the vast majority of the smolt out-migration (99%). Indeed, in some years, out-migration ends in early August, but spill continues until the end of the month.

    Indeed, wind power has increased exponentially in the PNW over the past several years. But that growth is completely unrelated to the way the hydropower system is operated. So, wind power would have increased even if we were not spilling at the hydropower dams, due to the renewable energy requirements for utilities in California. In other words, all that wind power from the PNW is being shipped to California because that's where it makes the most sense economically. The big energy $$'s are in CA, not OR/WA.

    You are correct that wind power is not as environmentally friendly as advertised. The impact on birds and bats is unacceptable. The mitigation for wind power still has not caught up with the technology. Wind power still needs to develop methods to reduce it's impact on wildlife. But it's a work-in-progress.

  8. #8

    Default

    Pretty surprising the number of wind turbines it takes to replace one hydroelectric generator.

    I celebrate the increased passage of natural salmon, but would not be comfortable doing so without fully understanding the costs. There are too many who feel that the cost is irrelavent. I do not. Perhaps it is minimal - I hope so. People love to hate the dams without realizing how much they depend on them.

    Here's to creative solutions that help us all live better.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Costs are a tough issue. Everyone sees it differently.

    How can you place a dollar value on having wild salmon? If you do, it's not hard to see that simply buying salmon from Alaska is considerably less expensive. But is that how we should look at it?

    Indeed, spill can be very "expensive" if you believe in "lost opportunity costs". That is, if you believe all the water must always go thru the turbines, then spill has a huge cost. But if you believe that the power companies, and Bonneville Power do NOT own the entire river, then the cost of spill is zero. It's simply water over the dam. Nobody owns it, so nobody is hurt by it. Again, it depends on how you look at it. And different people look at it differently. Not saying your view is right or wrong. Only that, regardless of how you see it, someone else will see the costs very differently. And neither is wrong.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Costs are a tough issue. Everyone sees it differently.

    How can you place a dollar value on having wild salmon? If you do, it's not hard to see that simply buying salmon from Alaska is considerably less expensive. But is that how we should look at it?

    Indeed, spill can be very "expensive" if you believe in "lost opportunity costs". That is, if you believe all the water must always go thru the turbines, then spill has a huge cost. But if you believe that the power companies, and Bonneville Power do NOT own the entire river, then the cost of spill is zero. It's simply water over the dam. Nobody owns it, so nobody is hurt by it. Again, it depends on how you look at it. And different people look at it differently. Not saying your view is right or wrong. Only that, regardless of how you see it, someone else will see the costs very differently. And neither is wrong.
    Ahhh, thank you for illuminating my point. I was speaking economically. Dollars and cents. Yes, opportunity cost. It's not a matter of believing in it or not - opportunity cost is very real, I assure you. And yes, your view is wrong, economically speaking. Reasonably easy to associate the cost of having wild salmon in this case.

    If salmon were not a concern, all of that water would be running through the turbines - regardless of who would claim to own it. Therefore, the opportunity cost of running water through the spill gates can be directly attributed to the cost of wild salmon stock rehabilitation. Pretty easy to quantify, and I would be dumbfounded if someone does not have this figure. I would be willing to bet that someone's power bill will go up due to spillage, so the cost is very real. Once again, regardless of who owns the river.

    So, the way I was trying to look at it was practically. Hydropower has helped the West Coast in more ways than many people care to admit. It would be foolish to ignore the risks and costs associated with a rehabilitation project like this, but you can be sure that it is the farthest thing from many people's minds.

    Once again, I fully support this - as long as it is well though out, sustainable, practical, and COST-EFFECTIVE. Only way to know these things is to care enough to find out...

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Good points. Won't argue too much. Indeed the power companies and BPA closely track the opportunity costs associated with spill. However, there is considerable debate on whether these costs are legit. It's sorta like the cost of complying with the law. If the speed limits were higher, I could make more $$'s (if, for example I was a long-distance trucker), so the cost of obeying the speed limit (55mph or whatever) is costing me plenty (when I could drive 80+ mph with no speed limits). Perhaps, but complying with the law is a requirement, as well as being in the public interest (safety). So if spill is required by law (ESA) is this still a legitimate cost? Reasonable people can disagree on that point. So you're not being unreasonable.

    I strongly agree on the issue of cost effectiveness. The principle behind that concept is that whatever you're doing is effective. So far, everything we've been doing has NOT been effective. Effectiveness only came about when we implemented the most "expensive" alternative - spilling water. Again, some folks would say that it's the cheapest since falling water costs nothing. Regardless, all the mitigation measures were completely ineffective until we implemented spill. So was that cost-effective? Yes, but not because it was inexpensive. It is cost effective because nothing else worked. It was the only thing that was effective. So, we agree, but perhaps for different reasons.

  12. #12
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    As we like to say here in the PNW….

    Spill, baby... SPILL!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  13. #13

    Default

    Dangit Coho, you're just too agreeable.

    But don't forget, cost does not only include the hit to those evil corporation's pocketbooks. Chances are, we will need to make up for that lost power somehow.

    Question for you and Doc - if you could erase one of the two from history, which would it be?

    1. Bonneville dam.

    2. Hanford Nuclear Plant.

    Now granted, Hanford was primarily for weapons production, but the Bonneville dam produces as much electricity as an average sized nuclear plant. That's the kind of opportunity cost I'm talking about.

    Still support the spill, and not opposed to nuclear power either - just felt like arguing. Glad to see you're killing kings Doc. I'm jealous.

  14. #14
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    All hatchery fish MUST die.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    TB - The gist of your question gets to the old issue of which is better - nucs or dams. That issue has been debated for a very long time. No clear cut answers but here is my response:

    Nuclear energy could have been the fuel of the future if development was done correctly. That is, safety concerns would come first and we would have developed a socially acceptable means of disposing of the waste. Unfortunately, promise of nuclear energy development was cut short by short-term thinking. Safety was secondary. If you don't believe that statement, just remember how long and hard the industry fought the idea of building containment chambers for the reactors. If not for those containment chambers, the Ohio River would have been radioactive all the way to the confluence of the Mississippi River (recall the Three Mile Island disaster). And we still don't have an acceptable means of disposing of the waste. Recall that Yucca Mountain is in Nevada.....

    I don't have a real problem with hydropower dams, but we built waaaaaay too many of them. A few would have been fine. But there was no reason to build an entire string of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, except to satisfy someone's vision of damming the entire Columbia River.
    So neither form of energy development is perfect, so it's not real clear which would have been better. Ideally, we could have had a few dams and a few nucs, and those facilities could have been operated in an environmentally responsible manner. But that's not what happened. But given where we are, I would support maintaining the nuc plant, and decommission/breach Bonneville Dam.

  16. #16
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Aberdeen WA
    Posts
    4,516

    Default

    It's a pretty big elephant your talking about CA. It's gotta be eaten in small palatable bites. Bonne is too big a target, and we would probably choke badly from trying to take that bite.

    The Lower Snake River dams are by far the lowest hanging fruit... like perfect bite-sized Rainier cherries. They've outlived their utility and they need to go first. Taking them out would conservatively increase natural upriver Columbia salmon production by at least two-fold
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Yes, but that wasn't the question. TB asked whether we should take out Bonneville or a Nuc plant. Given the choice of any hydropower project on the Columbia/Snake River, I would agree that the four Lower Snake Projects are the least useful.

    But still, the Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular natural feature, particularly without that large lump of concrete sitting in the middle of the river.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    Yes, but that wasn't the question. TB asked whether we should take out Bonneville or a Nuc plant. Given the choice of any hydropower project on the Columbia/Snake River, I would agree that the four Lower Snake Projects are the least useful.

    But still, the Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular natural feature, particularly without that large lump of concrete sitting in the middle of the river.
    This subject in the Alaska management pages is typical of how this hole forum page and all the comments to threads you think might be interesting has crashed into the ground nothing but useless misguided comments and a couple people arguing or stroking each other can't believe it.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Powerline View Post
    This subject in the Alaska management pages is typical of how this hole forum page and all the comments to threads you think might be interesting has crashed into the ground nothing but useless misguided comments and a couple people arguing or stroking each other can't believe it.
    Wow, way to contribute and really raise the bar.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •