Idaho's Redfish Lake

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steve Buckner, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

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    the hanford reach is as it has always been, it hasnt been touched dam wise. and smallmouth bass is where is gets a ton of its glory from.
     
  2. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Sharpshooter223,

    Are you the Sharp steelie guy? The famed author?

    57?,
    cds
     
  3. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    Sharp,
    You really amazing me man. Are you capable of critical thought? What level of education have you completed? Before the dams impacted the race of chinook that used the hanford area of the columbia to spawn it supported several hundred thousand main channel chinook reaching nearly 100lbs. It was one of the most prolific salmon areas in the world. One race, the June hogs, some which made their way up into interior BC and used the hanford area extensivly are believed to have once reached around 120lbs. They are for the most part gone now. The fall fish still make a weakend showing, somewhat because there is still spawning habitat (albiet much less than there used to be) and partly because of hatchery programs which are doing more harm than good. Talk to any local biologist if you dont believe me. Larry Boe or Glen Mendel would be a great start.

    Its idiotic to say that hanford has never been touched by dams. Think about the draw downs and flow bumps it sees twice a day for hydropower purposes. These fluctutions reek havok on chinook redds scouring the shallowed redds rendering some of the spawn useless. The ebb and flow of high water/low water has also changed since the dams have been put in upstream of hanford, disrupting the natural process these great fish have evolved to live with.

    Smallmouth bass will never be more of a draw than salmon or steelhead until the salmon and steelhead are gone. I'm not sure why you have such a hard on for a speices that was never supposed to be here in the first place. You need to spend some time in the east to expierence some real smallmouth fishing. Our region is blessed with larger and more beautiful fish that need everyones help right now. Step up or move along.
     
  4. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    Interesting thread:
    We as modern man sacrifice enviroment to meet our energy needs. What is the best source of electrical energy.
    They all impact the enviroment.
    Wind: Dams: Coal - Oil: Sun Panels: Nuclear: Everyone has its setbacks.

    The decision for us as a society is:
    Do we still want to live in a luxury society or do we want to live in smaller more energy efficient homes, smaller more energy efficient auto's, etc.
    For the most part we as a society don't want change. Homes are getting bigger, we still like our luxury cars and suv's with V-8's. So much in our society contributes to the deteriation of the enviroment.

    Do we want to tear down dams, nuclear plants, and go back to living in huts and caves with wood heat, or do we want to continue to enjoy our luxuries? Lots of questions for us to answer but no real answers that will make all of us happy.

    I have no real anwers for all these problems. Except trying to consume less energy in my world.

    Keith
     
  5. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Quit smoking rocks.

    While the reach is not actually underwater (believe me it was studied) it's NATIVE species (Sturgeon, Salmon, Steelhead, Cuttthroat) have been severely impacted. By harvest, habitat loss, hydropower and hatchery production.

    To state otherwise is to declare your own ignorance.

    Lemme break it down...

    Harvest: Rampant use of fish wheels in the late 1800's demolished runs in less than 10 years. Fishermen kept good tonnnage reords and they fell (fast) every year. Commercial/Tribal fisheries have kept up the pressure (to a greater or lesser degree) since then.

    Habitat: Dams innundated hundreds of miles of main channel spawning habitat and block access to hundreds of river miles more. Including the tibutaries, blocked access may total THOUSANDS of river miles of habitat lost. Some of it is pristine, but comepletely inaccessible. Grand coulee being the chapion. Irrigation dams have been used to dewater spawning tributaries (Walla Walla, Yakima, etc.) during the last 150 years as well.

    Hydropower: Aside from the habitat impacts mentioned above, dams have created large, hot, slow reservoirs that impede migration up and down. The longer migrations (especially in hot water) reduce survival at all stages. Adds stress, increses the rate of disease, etc. Hydropower also contributes to lethal dissolved nitrogen levels. Reservoirs also allows predator populations to take previoulsy impossible advantage of adults (sealinons at bonneville) and juveniles (Bass, Pikeminnow predation).

    Hatcheries: Millions of factory fish compete with native fish for very limited resources every spring. The introduce disease and (in the case of Salmon espcially) introduce inferior genes (with documented lower survival rates..even after several generations) into wild populations. Most of the hatcheries on the Snake/Columbia system are there to mitigate....Dams.

    Every one of the four has impacted the reach. And hydro facilites are at the heart of three of the four H's.

    If you want one culprit with the biggest impact, Dams are a clear winner. Regardless of personal politics or regional ideology. This issue is not complicated.

    The history and science is clear. It just makes some folks uncomfortable.
     
  6. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    iagree

    SO TRUE.

    It makes those folks that make their millions off cheap energy (and have a strong lobby because of it) even more uncomfortable.
     
  7. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    If we tore down Grand Coulee, the whole of the Columbia Basin would dry up. Quincy, Othello, Ephrata and Moses Lake agriculture would drastically change. Potatoes, Sugar Beets, Corn and the multitude of cash crops would fail. It would impact our state financially in a tremendous way, and that includes the loss of a tremendous amount of electricity. Our decision as a society is: do we want to live comfortably with a great variety of food or do we want to make an effort to restore our enviroment back to pre-1920. It's not an easy decision. It's not a black and white decision.

    Keith
     
  8. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    totally agree, but at the same time, should we be growing all of the vegetables that you list when it takes these huge dams, and complex irrigation systems that are largely inefficient, and also HUGELY subsidized, or should we be growing things meant to grow in this environment?

    on a sidenote, have you ever caught a steelhead sharp?
     
  9. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    I don't think anyone is talking about removing the Grand Coulee Dam, or even Bonneville.
     
  10. gt

    gt Active Member

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    same sort of 'agricultural' boogy man in the klamath basin. 'why if you provide water for fish, us farmers will dry up and blow away.' well now, just how much water does cotton actually consume???

    this is all about stupid decisions to begin with which are perpetuated with boogy man arguements. the area of central WA mentioned above, is a D-E-S-E-R-T. why would anyone actually believe it was a good idea to dewater the columbia to sprinkle a desert. and that on top of the U.S. tax payer actually paying farmers, make that agribusiness, billions each and every year to NOT PLANT! taking out grand coulee would have little to no impact on the food supply in this country, a totally fallacious arguement.
     
  11. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Keith,

    Nobody in this thread (or the "Movement" to remove the Snake river dams) is advocating the removal of Grand Coulee. Not with a straight face anyway. I was mentioning it in the context of the damage done to the Columbia river, and specifically the Reach.

    To be sure, Grand Coulee is probably second only to the fish wheel-era harvest as the single largest cause of reduced population size. It eliminated roughly half of the spawning/rearing habitat of the Columbia river. Giant Chinook of BC, Coho and Sockey of the Spokane, CdA, Okanogan and others (Hangman creek used to have a Coho run...) were all wiped out in one fell swoop. It is/was a tragedy. But unfortunately, in the discussion of removing the Snake river dams, it is only usable as a sad example of historical folley.

    We can get nearly every crop watered by the columbia basin project cheaper from foreign suppliers. Wheat is king (EDIT: OK..that's probably not true...) and most of it is produced in regions of WA that do not benefit from the irrigation. The projects "essential nature" the WA economy is certianly questionable, but not really relevant to the discussion at hand. Grand Coule isn't going anywhere. The stocks it affects are long gone. There is nothing to recover.

    Gt,

    I agre with your sentiment. Unfortunately this is the story of water in the West. California sucked its southern rivers dry along with the Colorado. Klamath irrigation. Columbia basin project. All of them trying to make an Oasis in a desert. Pretty, productive and destuctive.

    Plain truth is that the Klamath basin project should never have been and should be dismantled. So should the Columbia basin project.

    I did misstate something earlier in this post. I have read that there is some suspicion that Kokane found in either the CdA or Clark Fork basins are genetically similar (identical) to the historic Sockeye populations (like Wallowa fish and RedFish Lake fish maybe). So maybe there would be something to recover. A tantilizing idea for sure.
     
  12. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    I'm not necessarily advocating dam removal but what I am trying to point out that trying to restore the enviroment to a pre 1920 era would take a committment on everyone's part and there would be a price to pay.
    I do disagree that "taking out grand coulee would have little to no impact on the food supply in this country" Washington is one the major producers of potatoes in the nation and that would have a major impact for sure. But the economic impact on the state with lack of agriculture and electricity would be enormous. To think otherwise is not honestly looking at the economic base in the State of Washington.

    What I was really trying to say is:
    Making the change to restructure the environment in Columbia Drainage would take a tremendous committment on everyone's part and I don't see it happening ever because we as a people (both liberal and conservative) won't make the sacrifices.

    Keith
     
  13. 509

    509 New Member

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    I disagree with the city of San Francisco being progressive. They are one of the few cities in California that still keeps their watershed lands closed to the public. The politicals in San Francisco have their own private reserve that is off limits to the "rabble".

    The rest of your points are correct. You would expect someone like President Reagan to oppose removal of Hetch Hetchy. When he came out for dam removal it suddenly became doable.

    For political reasons the Sierra Club opposed and killed it in 1987. So when did the Sierra Club become more concerned about protecting Democratic politicians than the environment??

    Good ideas don't die. Now the Governor of California is making a run at removing Hetch Hetchy. However, both California senators as well as the Speaker of the House (from San Francisco) think removing the Snake River Dams is a wonderful idea, but removing Hetch Hetchy is a terrible idea. Politics over environment on the left....again.

    See the following links for more information.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O'Shaughnessy_Dam

    http://www.hetchhetchy.org/
     
  14. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Keith,

    I'll concede that the potential $$ impacts of removing Grande Coulee is (on my part) marginally researched and wild speculation. I'm guilty of hyperbole :)

    Since it's not going to happen, I've never dug around to see if anyone calculated any of the impacts.

    I alos agree 100% that the ag economy is an often grealty under estimated economic driver in WA. It's huge.

    Sorry...I really wasn't trying to sound argumentative...I agree that weatheirng the changes needed will require individual and political fortitude that has not yet reared it's head.

    I will add that the eventual extinction of most of these stocks is inevitable, unless the 4 H's are controlled/managed differently.

    That sucks.
     
  15. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Municipalities close watersheds to the public everywhere, including Seattle and New Your City, as well as San Francisco. It is hardly a matter of keeping 'rabble' or anyone else out of anyone's 'private reserve.' It is a matter of balancing the cost of water treatment vs. habitat preservation. Most cities are not blessed with high quality water supplies; those that are save lots of money by relying on nature to purify their water, rather than expensive chemical treatment plants.

    If you disagree with labeling the City of San Francisco as politically and environmentally progressive, you have a curious definition of 'progressive.'
     
  16. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Agriculture generally isn't feasible unless the area receives about 30" of rain a year, or has subsidized irrigation projects. Eastern WA agriculture is mostly viable due to publicly funded irrigation. I'm not proposing removing Grand Coulee either since the extirpated stocks aren't recoverable on any human time scale.

    I think society has made huge errors in developing ag in deserts. And here in western WA, we pave over prime river bottom land that could grow food with little to no irrigation. As a species, humans don't always seem too bright.

    Sg
     
  17. 509

    509 New Member

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    There is no excuse for closing public land to public use. Even the EPA is not buying that line.

    The city of San Francisco calls itself progressive. The dictionary defines progressive as moving forward, advancing. Having been in San Francisco on a consistent basis since 1962 I would not define the city as progressive. It has been downright REGRESSIVE.

    The only good thing that San Francisco did was tear down their equivalent of the viaduct.

    Did you check out the websites?? It is a fair treatment of Hetch Hetchy.
     

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