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Thread: Susitna River dam

  1. #101
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    With pebble fizzing out mostly and the dam getting the kabosh this has been a pretty good year for protecting salmon runs from giant projects with unknown impacts. Now if we could just keep canada from killing our rivers in southeast...and their skeena system too...

  2. #102

    Default Re: altered flows

    Quote Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
    I disagree. "Flow" would only change slightly. The same amount that drains today will drain tomorrow. We're not siphoning the water out. We're just harnessing the gravity/head. Temperature? Not an issue, as far as I'm concerned. It's just ****ed cold, and I'm pretty sure it will stay that way.

    ...........................
    The primary fault with that reasoning is that is How and When the flow happens downstream - spring breakup flooding not only creates habitat in side channels, but also side channels/braids, etc. themselves - prime spawning habitat. Anadromous fish have been tuned to seasonal changes for eons and their life cycle revolves around and relies on same.

    Also, I've witnessed many, many dead salmon floating in waters that reached a temperature threshold - not a pretty sight. Oxygen deprivation sucks and can most assuredly be an issue.
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  3. #103

    Default Impacts

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Sharp View Post
    With pebble fizzing out mostly and the dam getting the kabosh this has been a pretty good year for protecting salmon runs from giant projects with unknown impacts. Now if we could just keep canada from killing our rivers in southeast...and their skeena system too...
    Yes. indeed.

    Now if we could only get the State to act responsibly and protect known productive headwaters, like Wasilla Cr, in a timely fashion from lawbreaking 'recreational users' using incompatible giant rigs with known impacts, it could yet prove an even better year for fish habitat.

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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 Bronco View Post
    The primary fault with that reasoning is...
    You're too kind. The fact is, the primary fault with that "reasoning" is that is not well reasoned at all; it amounts to gibberish, sprung from the imagination of someone demonstrating no factual knowledge of the subject matter.
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  5. #105

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    LOL - I cannot disagree.

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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 Bronco View Post
    The primary fault with that reasoning is that is How and When the flow happens downstream - spring breakup flooding not only creates habitat in side channels, but also side channels/braids, etc. themselves - prime spawning habitat. Anadromous fish have been tuned to seasonal changes for eons and their life cycle revolves around and relies on same.
    This is key to understanding the Susitna River above Talkeetna. I don't feel like I strongly understand how a hydro-project would affect the river below Talkeetna, but for that entire middle river stretch from Talkeetna to Indian River, the primary mechanism acting upon the floodplain both creating habitat and giving smolt access in and out of habitat is ice flow and ice jam flooding. To the extent that we care about salmon habitat in the middle reach (and habitat for other animals as well) it's mostly defined by extreme events which are influenced by ice. Despite all the good work done by some very competent hydrologists, the project never came close to adequately describing how these events would be modified by the project, and I think that everybody who saw the fuzzy picture becoming clearer as more information was collected saw that these lateral habitats were likely to immediately become inaccessible and in the long term become over-grown and in-hospitable.

    AEA was never a competent party to be managing the environmental studies and the project was not on a path towards providing conclusive answers about most of the key questions, partly because the reality is so complicated and uncertain and partly because the project was horribly mismanaged. It's a blessing that this junk-show of a project has been cancelled and when it rears it's head again 20 years from now, the first thing that needs to happen is that the state needs to spend 3 years and $200,000 putting together a plan of how they are going to spend $200 million dollars on their environmental study to actually answer the important questions. Only then should we go down the road of pissing that money into the river, with the understanding that the likely answer will be that salmon and moose habitat from Indian River to the three rivers confluence is going to destroyed. If we think that might be an acceptable answer, and if we have a really good plan for how to proceed with the environmental studies and if our Governor is actually willing to oversee the project and hold people accountable, rather than farming the project out to a pseudo-private entity that has very little accountability, then maybe we should proceed.

    Perhaps that's too much politics for this board. If so, I apologize and won't mind at all if parts of my post are trimmed. But, people need to understand how complicated the question of "will this harm the salmon" is, how likely it is that the answer is "yes", and how far away we, the public, were from ever receiving a conclusive answer.

  7. #107
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    I guess I'm glad I didn't buy up on gold creek.....

    one day closer to alaska.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

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  8. #108
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    HikerDan, I for one appreciate your comment. Too many glib comments on either side pretending to know the right answer.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

  9. #109
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    Bottom line is that dams can't help but negatively affect salmon and habitat. No matter how you spin it or what you do, it is not the same as a natural waterway. So it's always about the benefits to humans vs the negative affects to fish and habitat. Who wins out in that scenario? Typically it's been humans in terms of cheaper electrical generation.

    The problem is, it's never "sold" in a way that people can understand the real pros vs cons. We don't tend to really think long-term. We think in the shorter term of "growth" for Alaska, but keep in mind that infinite growth is the ideology of a cancer cell, and it eventually kills the host. So where does it need to stop? What trade-offs are acceptable?


  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Bottom line is that dams can't help but negatively affect salmon and habitat. No matter how you spin it or what you do, it is not the same as a natural waterway. So it's always about the benefits to humans vs the negative affects to fish and habitat. Who wins out in that scenario? Typically it's been humans in terms of cheaper electrical generation.

    The problem is, it's never "sold" in a way that people can understand the real pros vs cons. We don't tend to really think long-term. We think in the shorter term of "growth" for Alaska, but keep in mind that infinite growth is the ideology of a cancer cell, and it eventually kills the host. So where does it need to stop? What trade-offs are acceptable?

    Yup its a tough balance because on one hand sure jobs and growth are good for the economy...but at what cost. Look at the east coast, new england virtually killed off its wild runs of atalntic salmon and hasn't been able to bring them back with hatcheries (which is a whole other can of worms that usually follows dams).
    No one has all of the answers for sure but there is substantial evidence that dams do not benefit anadromous runs of fish. In some areas they can help resident trout populations but our trout our pretty dependant on our salmon stock for food it seems.
    The nice thing about salmon runs are that they keep coming back year after year if we dont ruin them.
    So while we don't exactly know what impacts there would be with a large project like this, I tend to lean towards the side of caution regaurding things that would tamper with the ultimate renewable resource.
    That's without getting deep into the economics of the project and other possible ecological impacts.

  11. #111
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    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, mistake

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Bottom line is that dams can't help but negatively affect salmon and habitat. No matter how you spin it or what you do, it is not the same as a natural waterway. So it's always about the benefits to humans vs the negative affects to fish and habitat. Who wins out in that scenario? Typically it's been humans in terms of cheaper electrical generation.

    The problem is, it's never "sold" in a way that people can understand the real pros vs cons. We don't tend to really think long-term. We think in the shorter term of "growth" for Alaska, but keep in mind that infinite growth is the ideology of a cancer cell, and it eventually kills the host. So where does it need to stop? What trade-offs are acceptable?


    Tell it to the BEAVER!
    Tim

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    This is key to understanding the Susitna River above Talkeetna. I don't feel like I strongly understand how a hydro-project would affect the river below Talkeetna, but for that entire middle river stretch from Talkeetna to Indian River, the primary mechanism acting upon the floodplain both creating habitat and giving smolt access in and out of habitat is ice flow and ice jam flooding. To the extent that we care about salmon habitat in the middle reach (and habitat for other animals as well) it's mostly defined by extreme events which are influenced by ice. Despite all the good work done by some very competent hydrologists, the project never came close to adequately describing how these events would be modified by the project, and I think that everybody who saw the fuzzy picture becoming clearer as more information was collected saw that these lateral habitats were likely to immediately become inaccessible and in the long term become over-grown and in-hospitable.

    AEA was never a competent party to be managing the environmental studies and the project was not on a path towards providing conclusive answers about most of the key questions, partly because the reality is so complicated and uncertain and partly because the project was horribly mismanaged. It's a blessing that this junk-show of a project has been cancelled and when it rears it's head again 20 years from now, the first thing that needs to happen is that the state needs to spend 3 years and $200,000 putting together a plan of how they are going to spend $200 million dollars on their environmental study to actually answer the important questions. Only then should we go down the road of pissing that money into the river, with the understanding that the likely answer will be that salmon and moose habitat from Indian River to the three rivers confluence is going to destroyed. If we think that might be an acceptable answer, and if we have a really good plan for how to proceed with the environmental studies and if our Governor is actually willing to oversee the project and hold people accountable, rather than farming the project out to a pseudo-private entity that has very little accountability, then maybe we should proceed.

    Perhaps that's too much politics for this board. If so, I apologize and won't mind at all if parts of my post are trimmed. But, people need to understand how complicated the question of "will this harm the salmon" is, how likely it is that the answer is "yes", and how far away we, the public, were from ever receiving a conclusive answer.
    The interaction of ice, side channels, spawning and rearing.... HERE....



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