Hyrdro Dam proposed on S. Fork Skykomish

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by scottr, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Sean Beauchamp Teepee Creatchin'

    Posts: 2,067
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +369 / 1
    Scott I admire your passion, I appreciate when good people get fired up about things they care about. But I must say some of your references are apples to oranges. Sunset falls is unique and is nothing like the elwha, or any dam on the Columbia or Snake river. Not comparable, so jumbling in the sunset falls proposal with them is an unfair comparison. Obviously dams are not good we can all agree. Some are worse than others and some could be catastrophic. Which one is sunset falls?

    I'm pretty neutral on the issue. I can see two viewpoints and both carry merit. And as much as I respect the savetheskyriver camp I don't feel like I can base an entire opinion on what information I glean from their campaign.

    The irony from where I'm standing is so many are quick to pull the plug on this dam proposal for fear it might interrupt the Eco system, while surely big changes are on the horizon for the fish of the SF should no improvements to the fish trap be made (ie... Homeless fish and an empty river). You can't have much more of an impact than that. Whether you or I deem it "natural" is not of any consequence. Lost habitat for 80,000 naturally reproducing adult salmon and steelhead is a dramatic change to the basin.
    Cruik, Salmo_g and Patrick Allen like this.
  2. Sean Beauchamp Teepee Creatchin'

    Posts: 2,067
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +369 / 1
    I like your idea, that would be a great investment. But you don't have to convince me of that. I'm worried updating the passage isn't even a foot note in the to do list
    Andrew Lawrence and Salmo_g like this.
  3. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 425
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +86 / 0
    Hi Sean,

    I agree the Elwha and Skykomish are very different issues, I attempted (and obviously failed) at trying to make this point :) .

    The Elwha had two dams that prevented anadromous fish from getting upstream. I've hiked and fished the upper reaches of the Elwha and the spawning habitat is amazing. Looking at a map there are tens of miles of river that are now accessible to fish.

    Putting the fish passage issue aside for the Skykomish discussion, the economics of the project appear to be REALLY bad. I hear you what you are saying about the SaveTheSkyCampaign. Just like SnoPUD they are coming at this with a strong POV and are going to present arguments that favor their position. It is good to be skeptical of everything they are saying, do your own research and draw you own conclusions. Going beyond the two main sides there are a lot of other groups that have weighed in on this project. I trust organizations like Trout Unlimited and American Rivers and when you take into account the position of all the groups opposed to this project I am lead to believe this is a bad deal for the river. IMO the poor economics are not worth the changes that will happen to the river. Again I am not anti dam just very against this particular project.
  4. Patrick Allen Active Member

    Posts: 359
    Bothell,WA
    Ratings: +135 / 0
    You can count on one thing. The fish ladder will be the last thing they probably do and if they are over budget it will be the first thing cut. I have not read up enough to make a educated decision on this project. Guess I better start reading
  5. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,278
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,373 / 0
    Mr. Allen,

    If SnoPUD gets a license to build the Sunset Falls hydro project, renovation of the fish passage will be a condition in the license. They won't have any choice about cutting it out. Please do start reading.

    Sg
  6. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,856
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    No dam is a good dam.
    No dam way.
    Dam the growth in this state.
    I signed for "No dam"
    Itchy Dog likes this.
  7. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    The adjustable diversion weir will and water diversion will only have positive impacts on your life and that of your children in the form of greater electricity production.

    The weir has the same effect on the river as the chutes, falls and pools that already exist along that stretch of River.

    You really have no place to comment on what you believe the negative impacts will be as they will have absolutely ZERO effect on your own personal life.
  8. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    The proposed wier is above an anadramous fish barrier thus this example cannot be used as evidence to support anti-electricity views.
  9. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    I am pro Snoqualmie Falls Fish Ladder as well.

    The amount of fish that stack up inside the turbine outlet tunnel at the base of the falls is amazing.
  10. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Actually, it does since the WDFW lacks the one thing that makes work get done and that's money.
  11. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Who cares?

    The Steelhead you were catching are most likely hatchery transplants that began to spawn naturally above the falls.
  12. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 425
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +86 / 0

    It is my belief that the economics of this project are poor and the project should not be approved. It has a high total project cost that will produce electricity far above open market electrical pricing for a relatively small number of households.

    I would rather see the money spent to buy electricity on the open market with long term negotiated contracts, invested to improve existing hydro projects with increased capacity/generation (like what is being done at Snoqualmie falls), and electricity conservation efforts.

    I have every right to comment, end of story.
  13. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 425
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +86 / 0

    This was a tongue in cheek comment made in direct response to a statement made that "dams don't impact fish" and was not used as evidence to support anti-electricity view.
  14. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 425
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +86 / 0

    yes they were hatchery steelhead. The state trucks them up above the falls.

    There are also a lot of wild/native fish in the river system above the falls that are not hatchery origin Are you saying you don't care about wild and native fish?
  15. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    The falls project is low-hanging fruit. It's cheaper to do it now than it will be to do it in the future.

    And yes you're right, you do have every right to comment, however it makes little sense since it will have absolutely zero impact on your life.
  16. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    What impact does the proposed project have on native fish?

    None.

    Hopefully they get started on this project soon. It would be nice to have a public access area around the falls and that portion of river.
  17. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 425
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +86 / 0
    Yet you feel the need to keep commenting in this thread. Obviously you have your opinions and I have mine and I'm done having a circular argument on the issue.
  18. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 425
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +86 / 0
    Double post
  19. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 59
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    Me too. Going fishing now.