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  • #31
    I've spent the past two months studying Dams, I'll develop a response as to why it's not a good idea.
    www.freightercanoes.com www.copperheadalaska.com
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    matnaggewinu

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Mr. Pid View Post
      Lakes Louise, Susitna, and Tyone haven't filled in yet.
      They also don't have giant glaciers at their headwaters...

      A susitna dam could provide some amazing habitat for salmon and trout below the dam if flows were controlled correctly however I say developing Mt Spurr geo thermal or building a gas line would be a much better use of state money
      I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by LuJon View Post
        I am curious if one of our fish bio's could comment on the feasibility of developing an artificial red salmon run using a man made lake like this. I certainly don't have a ton of knowledge about what it takes to grow fish but I know that reds are a lake spawner which is why they do so well in the bristol bay area with the massive lakes available to them. It would seem as though with proper planning it may be able to be developed since we are essentially building a giant lake. A spillway/fish-ladder should be pretty straightforward to let them get up over the dam and into the lake.
        In 1980 when the FRED was stocking the crap out of everything I'm sure this was thought of, while it would probably be technically possible a large enhanced run in UCI is a very bad idea because it would lead to a mixed stock fishery to harvest excess hatchery (or naturalized) fish you'd have to pressure stocks of concern (yetna etc.) this is why state hatchery policy makes hatcheries get placed in areas that are terminal on the ocean, to avoid a mixed stock fishery and allow for harvest of hatchery fish. One of the biggest hurdles to salmon recovery in the lower 48 is this problem exactally.
        I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by dkwarthog View Post
          Wait now, we have a brazillian cubic feet of nat gas available that is clean burning energy and we're even talking about building a dam on the Devils canyon at a cost of how many billions? Who is doing the economic analysis here? Ren and Stimpy?
          And don't forget that Alaska is the Saudi Arabia of coal ...and we know how to produce energy in a clean way using coal. Most of the country is using it too ...why not us?

          Brian

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          • #35
            Originally posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
            In 1980 when the FRED was stocking the crap out of everything I'm sure this was thought of, while it would probably be technically possible a large enhanced run in UCI is a very bad idea because it would lead to a mixed stock fishery to harvest excess hatchery (or naturalized) fish you'd have to pressure stocks of concern (yetna etc.) this is why state hatchery policy makes hatcheries get placed in areas that are terminal on the ocean, to avoid a mixed stock fishery and allow for harvest of hatchery fish. One of the biggest hurdles to salmon recovery in the lower 48 is this problem exactally.
            I wouldn't call feasibility studies by doing remote releases of fry from wild brood stock "stocking the crap out of everything". The data generated was in part what separates our robust wild salmon runs from the rest of the world. Entire age classes of wild salmon would be extinct if it wasn't for the FRED program THATS RIGHT! There has been floods, draughts, earth quakes, tsunamis, even predator and plankton studies. You see because of the "FRED fund" our runs are flourishing. The odd year pinks are now coming back to Cooks Inlet in decent numbers for the 1st since the '64 quake, same w/ the PWS even year stocks. Coghill lake would essentially be a dead zone if it weren't for FRED. Don't forget about the oil spill in '89... Even though just a select few of us paid for FRED I'm happy it could do so much for the world class salmon runs we all enjoy.
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            • #36
              Originally posted by Mr. Pid View Post
              Lakes Louise, Susitna, and Tyone haven't filled in yet.
              Yeah, I guess in perspective with mother natures naturally occuring settling ponds its probably a non-issue

              Originally posted by LuJon View Post
              Good call, if you have a good idea how long that will take hit me up so I can invest in the dredge equipment that it will take to clear it back out!
              I've got some stuff for sale that I wont be needing now, if you're interested. :topjob:

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              • #37
                Very interesting subject. There is nothing good about a dam well with the exception of beaver dams or dam beavers. Well maybe something positive or not. Tuff subject at best that is unless you have beavers than well I will be dam to heck! Actaully nothing wrong with a dam if put in the correct place and for the correct reasons however I am not sure this projects this dam is either. They do create additional habitit however sometimes maybe at the expense of other associated species and or enviormental impacts but then again depending on where, and how and for what reasons. Strange place to be in you know living in Fairbanks paying what we pay for our energy cost however we choose to live here so can't really complain and having options such as the N.G. and or Hydro or what someone had mentioned Geo-Thermal which has appilication but little profit margin for the politicaly connected in crowd.

                No such thing as clean coal when compared to other options nope nope nope just can clean coal for bruning compared to other options. That entire project was and is a hoax at beast. It's ok we local Northern Folk's are paying for it!

                Oh big Su Dam sorry lost the subject matter to many options. So Dam the dam unless that is the dam is the best option however I highly doubt it is based on what could be if we move forward with bringing NG down from the slope! PWEASE! After that if someone wishes to build a dam well then frankly I am Dam for it! There is IMO more bennies for bring the NG from the slope such as manufacturing possibilities, gaining cheaper energy sources for our military installations, increased infustructure for the entire state etc...

                Great Subject of IMO it would not harm the fishery to much if put in the proper place and managed correctly for fisheries managment. OH I take it all back if the build the dam and they build it in the wrong location then dam the dam.

                You all have a Dam good weekend.

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                • #38
                  the dam will never be built in this day an age, an the money in that was in the kitty, has been skimed off to a lot of people an groups,
                  no matter what we do it is all political now an it will end up in the courts for years because of one group or another,

                  Sid

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by fullbush View Post
                    I wouldn't call feasibility studies by doing remote releases of fry from wild brood stock "stocking the crap out of everything". The data generated was in part what separates our robust wild salmon runs from the rest of the world. Entire age classes of wild salmon would be extinct if it wasn't for the FRED program THATS RIGHT! There has been floods, draughts, earth quakes, tsunamis, even predator and plankton studies. You see because of the "FRED fund" our runs are flourishing. The odd year pinks are now coming back to Cooks Inlet in decent numbers for the 1st since the '64 quake, same w/ the PWS even year stocks. Coghill lake would essentially be a dead zone if it weren't for FRED. Don't forget about the oil spill in '89... Even though just a select few of us paid for FRED I'm happy it could do so much for the world class salmon runs we all enjoy.
                    I'm not saying FRED did not contribute to our fisheries, I'm saying many RED projects were inconsistent with sound science favoring robust natural salmon runs now, and the state's current stocking policy. Incorporating an enhanced fishery into the headwaters of a river with several stocks of concern would be a very bad idea (unless you didn't care about wild salmon), I'm sure it was thought of and drooled about back in the 80s though.
                    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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                    • #40
                      Blue Moose expanded on what I was meaning to say...

                      We have the proven gas reserves, we need a reason to get it to market...

                      The route to market goes thru FBX, the Intertie goes from FBX to ANC....

                      Why not invest the money in a pipeline on the existing corridor from NS to FBX instead of a dam that is WAYYYYY overkill for the amount of power this state needs...not even considering the impacts to the river and the land surrounding it...

                      We have coal, we have NG...in incredible amounts and accessible...again, why are we even talking about building a dam?

                      Oh yea, so we can say we are developing "alternative" energy...I have news for anyone who doubts...."alternative" and "renewable" energy has a cost also, mostly in dollars, but in environmental impact as well....

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                      • #41
                        Did anybody else actually read the report associated with the announcement? It was linked in the ADN article. I didn't read every word, but I went through all 51 pages in pretty sufficient detail to get a reasonable understanding of the project. The basis of the report was to compare Susitna and Chakachamna, and the findings were Susitna was a far greater overall value with significantly lower environmental risk. Here's some of the key points from the report in regard to the Watana Dam on the Susitna...

                        - Salmon - No red salmon and fewer than 100 king salmon (2007 ADF&G telemetry studies) were observed above Devil's Canyon
                        - The Susitna Dam would provide approximately 2,600 GWhrs of essentially carbon-neutral power generation per year, or more than 50% of the state's power generation.
                        - Earthquakes - The nearest fault line is the Inter-plate subduction zone located approximately 40 miles away. Recent earthen-fill dam construction (Orange County, CA) has been designed to withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake at a distance of just 1.2 miles.
                        - Based on 50% state funding and 50% financing over 30 years the project would have a consistent power generation cost of approximately $.06 per kWh. By comparison GVEA's generation cost is over $.09 per kWh and of course their generation is subject to the massive swings tied to the volatility of oil prices.
                        - There's already a tremendous amount of geologic and hydrologic data for the Watana Dam Site that was gathered since the 1980's when oil prices were so low that the project was economically unfeasible.
                        - Design lifetime of the dam would likely be in excess of 100 years
                        - There are no known human structures in the reservoir area.
                        - The project timeline would be 11 years, 6.5 of which would be FERC licensing and 4.5 years for construction.

                        I don't have any dog in the fight other than the fact that I consume electricty just like every other person on this forum that has their computer plugged into the grid. I for one would love to see a large scale, clean power supply available at a stable price that could spur other economic growth because there's readily availble power at a predictable cost. If Susitna fits that bill then so be it. Sure there's risk, but there's risk involved with everything. Frankly I think sitting on our thumbs and hoping for some magical pie in the sky solution like large scale tidal, geothermal, harnessing the aurora, etc...all the while letting OPEC bend us over is far more risky in the long run.

                        As an aside, while dams are almost always associated negatively in regards to fisheries that's not always the case. I grew up fishing the tailwater fishery of the Bighorn River in SE Montana below the Yellowtail Dam. That's a world-renowned, phenomenal trout fishery. It's not all doom and gloom.

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                        • #42
                          Jeff is right, a devils canyon dam could actually be great for fisheries if properly built. A fish ladder could open up a lot of spawning habitat that is just not available because of the canyon and a bottom release dam with a reservoir to settle glacial silt could produce reasonably consistent flows and less turbidity increasing the viability of the susitna as spawning and rearing habitat for salmon. Also it could provide a pretty sweet winter fishery for trout.

                          I think its important to look beyond fisheries though, and think if we want to destroy a very amazing part of the world for cheap power. Devils canyon is one of the most amazing canyons in the world.

                          The project does make sense in a lot of ways, but in a lot of ways it doesn't. There are pros and cons to everything. Do we want cheap power and less CO2? More reliable power? What do we want? I just think the fact that we can't decide just about anything anymore dooms this project. There are a lot of good reasons to build a susitna dam, and a lot of good reasons not too. I do tend to agree as far as fisheries go, a susitna dam will only help if built correctly.
                          I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
                            I think its important to look beyond fisheries though, and think if we want to destroy a very amazing part of the world for cheap power. Devils canyon is one of the most amazing canyons in the world.
                            How exactly would Devil's Canyon be destroyed powder monkey? Devil's Canyon is downstream from Watana and the current plan calls for no dam at Devil's Canyon, just the Watana non-expandable.

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                            • #44
                              Gotta agree with Fish Doc on this one. The Susitna Project was originally proposed back in the late 70's when hydropower development was declining. Not much has changed.

                              Not then, not now, not ever.

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                              • #45
                                I've read a lot of what appears to be generalizations and misinformation in this thread. According to this site, 24% of Alaska's electricity is already generated by the 37 active hydro plants in the state. So, I'm trying to understand. Are you dissenters opposed to hydro power in general, or just at this particular location? And, why (specifically)?
                                Originally posted by northwestalska
                                ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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