Idaho's Redfish Lake

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

  1. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

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    replacing stuff with wind farms, thats a bad idea, lets kill the migratory birds instead of the migratory fish. the point is even though it may only be 2-3 percent, its still alot of energy and i will admit we should improve the dams but not destroy them.
     
  2. David Dalan

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

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    Your young and deeply misinformed. First off the Corps expected the runs affected by the dams to go extinct, they did studies and this was the conclusion. I have heard first hand accounts of the meetings held where these conclusions were presented.

    The hatchery system was supposed to provide sport and commerical fishing. This is the same conclusion the BPA came to when they damed the Columbia. Then us greenie weenies got the fish listed and thier "conclusions" were no longer OK. I'm not saying it was good or evil, just the way it was at the time.

    There is no way to improve dam and alleviate the condition that was the source of Sockeye smolt mortality. Large, hot reservoirs created by four neraly usless dams. Plain and simple. The Snake dams accomplished two (intended goals)

    1. Break the rail monopoly and help wheat shippers (not I said shippers, not farmers) get a bigger chunk of the harvest $$

    and

    2. Pur millions of dollars into rural economies from a classic "government pork" project.

    Thats it.

    Power generation was a plesant side effect, but frankly (at the time) the surplus power wasn't needed, it performs no flood control and the only irrgators that benefit are a couple of commercial farms above ice harbor. No irrigation is supported by the other three. The big power consumer at the time was aluminum smelters and they were (until most of them tanked a few years ago) supplied by the columbia river (BPA) facilities.

    Funny thing is the peak temperatures in the Snake were higer (mid-summer...no smolts) than after the dams went in. Unfortunately they stay hot for a much longer time now that its a series of lakes and not a river.

    Temperature is the most significant stressors on small salmonids in this system (and large ones, re: the Klamath fish kill), and with the Dams in place, there is nothing that can be done to mitigate it. The Snake dams exacerbate the issue more so than the Columbia ones for a simple reason...gradient. The Snake canyon changes elevation from Clarkston to Burbank more than any comparable section of the Columbia. The resulting reservoirs are deeper and longer than thier kin on the columbia. And they get hot, and because they have a larger volume, stay hotter longer.

    There is a lot of science that suggests recovery would be assisted by removing the dams (sorry, there is no silver bullet and waiting for one will lead only to extinction) and volumes of scientific data showing what their existence has done. Wiers, barges and diversions have had almost no effect on the continued decline.

    If you take into account the 25-35 year ocean climate shift (which should have given us bigger returns starting around 2000...and it has) the runs are in the same shitty miserable decline they have been in for the last 3 decades.

    Your power rates won't go up. The jiuce is being sold to California. They need the power, not the NW. Screw 'em. They hosed the Colorado river and most of South Cal's waterways (used to be steelhead all the way into Baja). They can't have ours. Let 'em sit in the dark :)
     
  3. gt

    gt Active Member

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    before you knee jerk with '...kill migratory birds...' produce the science. were might i read an actual scientific investigation dealing with wind turbines and bird kill?? there should be something some where as these turbines have been in place all over europe for decades now.

    fact is, this is just some additional bunk put on the table by someone interested in the status quo, i.e. extinct fish.
     
  4. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    Sharp, pick up a copy of Blaine Harden's A river lost, it will put things in perspective, great book by a guy who grew up in moses lake. should be a required read for eastern washington students.
     
  5. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    There is a captive brood program for Redfish Lake sockeye. Very expensive and hardly a proven tactic though.

    The loss of sockeye salmon back to Redfish lake was not due entirely by the lower Snake River dams although they certainly didn't help. The state of Idaho installed anadromous fish barriers so trout and even eastern char could be planted into Redfish lake to create a sportfishery.
     
  6. 509

    509 New Member

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    Wind turbines have not been in Europe for decades, unless your confusing dutch windmills with the current montrosities!!! It is a new thing.

    Altamont Pass turbines in California have killed many migratory birds of prey. Do a search on any scientific web site.

    As much as I hate windmills...the new ones are have a much more bird friendly. Not sure what their kill rate is compared to the old turbines.
    At one time I saw some statistics...google it.

    Wind Power still sucks. It is not a solution.
     
  7. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    i haven't heard of any native bird populations being pushed to near extinction by wind turbines lately, which is what dams are doing to salmon. i don't think that we will ever see the columbia river dams come out, but the idea of taking columbia tributary dams out should be taken more seriously. Clean, renewable energy actually doesn't suck.
     
  8. 509

    509 New Member

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    Wind Power does suck....It doesn't contribute to the base load issue. It takes acres and acres of land to generate on a relative basis very little power. It is noisy.

    It is ugly. Go fish the Touchet River with those ugly towers above the river. Do we need to make our natural lands as ugly as our cities??

    The Altamont Pass wind turbines killed birds of prey at a rapid clip. Then when the tax code changed in 1987 they became rusting hulks on the landscape. Same thing is going to happen again. Eastern Washington this time will have these ugly towers scattered across the landscape, so some urban folks can feel good about destroying the landscape. Sorry if I wanted ugly I would have moved to Seattle.

    Oh, I'm not against so called alternative power....my house runs on solar. I know all about the advantages and disadvantages of alternative power.

    But what you can do as a "salmon killer" that lives on the grid....is to pretend that you live on solar power. Cut your electric consumption to 10-15% of current. That's what off-grid folks live on...you can do it without changing your quality of life.

    Turn off the porch light at night. Ask the city to turn off the street lights after 10:00pm. No advertising lights. Get rid of instant on applicances. Switch to energy efficient lights. Its easy.....if you and six million Washingtonians would do it we could easily remove the four dams, plus the city of Seattle's dam on the Skagit, plus the coal fired plant at Centralia and Boardman.

    Just because you don't have solar power doesn't mean you shouldn't conserve electricity.
     
  9. David Dalan

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

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    For the record I agree 100%. The Columbia fish stocks (including Red Fish Sockeye) had already been significantly impacted (mostly by unfettered commercial harvest, but some nasty habitat loss from logging as well) by the time the dams went in.

    I know there is a rearing facility, but what I am suggesting is doing the work in a location where their ability to migrate back as adults (though some in the breeding program never leave the pens) is less impaired. Probably lots of reasons not to do it, but I thought it sounded plausible :)

     
  10. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    509, totally agree with you about personal consumption and especially with your point that if we all did our part those dams could be removed. i happen to disagree with your comments about the windmills being ugly and noisy as a motive for not putting them up, and it is a complete matter of personal preference. i lived in Ellensburg up until this fall (over a year with the wind farm on whiskey dick ridge) and was never bothered by the sight, and definitely never heard them. I also attended several planning and county commission meetings about the wind-farms and the reasons to not put them in are varied and some downright comical (light induced seizures). Although they do not contribute a huge amount of energy to the grid every little bit helps, and i think personal conservation combined with alternative energy sources could have an impact.


    iagree
     
  11. David Dalan

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

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    Not to start an argument, but I find dams and the mud puddles they create incredibly unasthetic. The mouth of the Tucannon is a swamp where a slough joins a mud puddle instead of a rolling stream joining a mighty river.

    Absolute tragedy. I fish the Tucannon, Touchet and WW and I don't think I have found the wind farms ugly enough to get my attention. I'd trade spinning blades on every hilltop for the chance to actually SEE Texas rapids with my own eyes. Or visit the Marms Rockshelter (without SCUBA gear).

    Aesthetics is all relative.
     
  12. 509

    509 New Member

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    I agree, but we need to stop adding to the ugliness!!
     
  13. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    I don't mind the wind farms, they represent change in the right direction. As more and more are built they are becoming increasingly cost effective, behind hydro power they are the most efficient alternative energy source we have.
     
  14. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    A sidebar from the fate of the sockeye in Redfish Lake. The site of the Altamont Pass turbines, one of the first major wind turbine operations in the west, ended up in a major flyway for migratory birds, especially raptors, hence the high mortality rate which they caused. Newer project are required to survey migratory birds and that information is used as part of the decision on location. Wind turbines can be a substantial economic boost to farmers on whose lands they are placed. This has the potential to slow the ranchettification (new word) of eastern Washington.

    There are a number of interesting demonstration projects underway for tidal or wave power. As the engineering bugs are worked out, it will be interesting to see how possible impacts on marine organisms (and marine organisms on the generators) is worked out.

    Even if wind power is intermittant, its green power could be stored (Google a storage hydroelectic dam) or used to generate hydrogen as a fuel.

    Steve
     
  15. 509

    509 New Member

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    Living in eastern Washington I think tidal is a great solution. However, I noticed that when the proposal was made for study on Deception Pass the opposition even opposed the study.

    In the end it is all about political power as to who gets screwed.

    You can store power for peaking purposes. The mid-Columbia PUD's made that proposal using power produced during peak flows from the Columbia in the mid 1990's . It was dropped due to opposition from various groups. I'm not sure that wind power used to move water uphill is any different than peak river flows.

    The point is that given today's population levels and the urban disconnect from natural resources it is hard to get anything done. That is unless we import and therefore export the ecological impacts to other countries.

    Following wood and oil, don't be surprised if in a few years Canada is building dams to supply additional power to Washington state.

    If you want to see the impacts of the Clinton Forest Plan do a google fly over British Columbia.

    At some point this madness must end.