GOP congressman wants to remove 4 dams to save Idaho’s salmon

neffa3

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The Pacific NW isnt particularly well suited to solar. I havent seen any wind study data, but it very well maybe well suited to wind. The problem is scale. 8700 MW is a huge amount of power. And wind will never, ever be as cheap as Hydro.
For reference Wyoming currently has about 1500mw of wind generation, but it's a prime area for wind development. To get adequate capacity factors it's very likely wind farms in Washington state would have to be much larger than those in Wyoming.
The other thing to consider is, if what Buzz says is true about smelt survival would removing several run of the river dams have much effect on andromanous fish populations?
In 2015 WA had over 3k MW of wind. We have areas that routinely get more than 300 days of sunshine.
I'm going to guess you've never been to Ellensburg... or any of WA for that matter
 

dan.kirkpatrick

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I dont think its worth doing personally//idaho needs the water for farming//infastructure has been in place for years and who knows if the fish would come back,,problably could only make it to twin falls anyway,,,alot of money for a few fish.
 

dan.kirkpatrick

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how would they be able to plug all there electric cars in in boise???they are gonna need alot of electricity in the future with all the californians moving to boise.
 

BWALKER77

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In 2015 WA had over 3k MW of wind. We have areas that routinely get more than 300 days of sunshine.
I'm going to guess you've never been to Ellensburg... or any of WA for that matter
So you are going to need to install almost 3x the amount of wind you currently have.
I just looked at a wind study for Washington. Best areas are on the coast. Bet that's a non starter.
I also looked at a solar study for WA. It's like I said, not so great.
 

neffa3

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So you are going to need to install almost 3x the amount of wind you currently have.
I just looked at a wind study for Washington. Best areas are on the coast. Bet that's a non starter.
I also looked at a solar study for WA. It's like I said, not so great.
Or one turbine:https://www.reutersevents.com/renew...ne-installation-tests-floating-wind-potential

And OR is actively looking into them. https://www.reutersevents.com/renew...ting-costs-spur-oregon-floating-wind-activity
If the ones in OR are successful WA will be all over them. No one with money or power live on the actual coast, they all live on the sound.

Again, if we were stuck in the present we would have hand held computers. Technology will continue to advance.

Solar does suck, looking at it, I guess sunny days don't count for much when you're this far north.
 

mulecreek

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So you are going to need to install almost 3x the amount of wind you currently have.
I just looked at a wind study for Washington. Best areas are on the coast. Bet that's a non starter.
I also looked at a solar study for WA. It's like I said, not so great.
What makes you think that replacement power needs to be generated in WA? Wyoming wind power is already going as far as Oregon. They hope to get to CA in the future.
 

BWALKER77

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What makes you think that replacement power needs to be generated in WA? Wyoming wind power is already going as far as Oregon. They hope to get to CA in the future.
It doesnt, although there are lossee associated with long distance transmission. Keep in Mind Montana, Wyoming and states all over the west are shutting down coal plants. At some point they will need the MW for their home markets. Plus it's not like you can build a wind farm any old place. Even a state like Wyoming which is well suited has limited areas where the wind is strong and consistent enough.
 

BWALKER77

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Or one turbine:https://www.reutersevents.com/renew...ne-installation-tests-floating-wind-potential

And OR is actively looking into them. https://www.reutersevents.com/renew...ting-costs-spur-oregon-floating-wind-activity
If the ones in OR are successful WA will be all over them. No one with money or power live on the actual coast, they all live on the sound.

Again, if we were stuck in the present we would have hand held computers. Technology will continue to advance.

Solar does suck, looking at it, I guess sunny days don't count for much when you're this far north.
Historically off shore power has been fought against vigorously. Although in the North west it's really the best place to place wind generation.
 

BWALKER77

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Or one turbine:https://www.reutersevents.com/renew...ne-installation-tests-floating-wind-potential

And OR is actively looking into them. https://www.reutersevents.com/renew...ting-costs-spur-oregon-floating-wind-activity
If the ones in OR are successful WA will be all over them. No one with money or power live on the actual coast, they all live on the sound.

Again, if we were stuck in the present we would have hand held computers. Technology will continue to advance.

Solar does suck, looking at it, I guess sunny days don't count for much when you're this far north.
Solar sucks, period.. and wind isnt far behind.
I only say this because I worked in the utility for years and saw the dispatch prices and costs of install.
 

neffa3

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Solar sucks, period.. and wind isnt far behind.
I only say this because I worked in the utility for years and saw the dispatch prices and costs of install.
I haven't seen anything from solar that makes me support it, actually I could totally support roof top from what little I know. But I like the idea of offshore wind. I mean 8Mw single turbines? That's pretty crazy. Plus there have proven to be benefits to offshore oil rigs for fish habitat (at least when they're not leaking oil).
 

BWALKER77

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I haven't seen anything from solar that makes me support it, actually I could totally support roof top from what little I know. But I like the idea of offshore wind. I mean 8Mw single turbines? That's pretty crazy. Plus there have proven to be benefits to offshore oil rigs for fish habitat (at least when they're not leaking oil).
8mw would have to be a absolutely huge turbine, but even that is relatively poor energy density wise. That and the economics would be worse as you moved to bigger turbines.
 
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Help is on the horizon. Most of the legwork done to get this project approved was done by the Trump administration. The Biden administration is more than happy to take the credit.

 

Bullbrl

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damn somebody actually has looked at the issue with a broad brush, saved me from writing so much. I’m not convinced breaching the damns won’t help, but then why haven’t Salmon returned to all the coastal streams in Oregon, after all there is almost zero logging on public ground anymore. What would you do with all that money?
Just another thought, most Alaska streams are struggling to make marginal returns on Kings. The state has greatly curtailed the Kenai, probably close it again if their predictions don’t pan out. Last years return on the Nush was the worst ever.
Damns aren’t an issue in Alaska.
personally I’d love to run that section of the snake in my sled with out damns and I’d gladly pay a small fraction more for power. Sure would prefer to see more Salmon and steelhead.
Part of the problem IS painting with such a broad brush. The number one issue with Oregon coastal streams is water quality both in stream and bays, lack of LWD and temperature play a huge role. Those same inhibitors are not the same across the board for other ESU's. Trying to say the factors inhibiting ESU's is the same in different regions is false at best.

Alaska has problems that are different than dams, but still ends with the same problem. Overfishing, harvesting of certain age classes for years, bycatch, international boats, etc....the list goes on and on.

The problems facing salmon and steelhead are varied throughout for each ESU and trying to say a factor that faces one ESU is the same for another doesn't hold water, never has or will, and that is part of the problem with these discussions. The only things that are the same across the board are ocean conditions and climate, that's it, and even ocean conditions can be debated because not all ESU's go to the same place in the ocean to feed.

Breaching the dams may not the be the end all be all for salmon/steelhead recovery but one thing is for sure....doing what we are right now isn't working. It's time to take some drastic steps and if we listen to the vast majority of the scientific community, breaching these dams will have a positive benefit for the fish.
 

Bullbrl

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In short - there are two competing scientific models. Both show improved survival - one shows something like 150% increase in survival and another shows a much more modest 14% increase. I tend to believe the actual results are far more likely to be closer to that 14% than the 150%.

The tragedy in my view, is that we spend 33 billion for a modest improvement, but in exchange we take away tools to meaningfully address a lot of other factors (and dams) that probably contribute much more than 14%. Again, I applaud Simpson for trying something new and I certainly like seeing him break some standard partisan positions but those are not sufficient reasons for me to support this misguided effort.
Interesting perspective. The current return rate for hatchery salmon is less than 1%, so even a low survivability rate of 14% is huge when we are talking tens of millions of hatchery plants.

You bring up $33 billion, any idea on how many billions have already been spent on salmon recovery? What have those billions already spent done for salmon recovery? What do the VAST majority of scientists say about the 4 snake river dams as it relates to those ESU's?

We can keep doing what we've been doing and get the same result or we can try something new. Which seems like the more intelligent course?

With that being said, let's not distort the issue anymore than it comes down to money and politics. Farmers don't want the dams removed because the status quo is working for them. Plain and simple.
 
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Bullbrl

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Ben this goes back to when my Dad was Director of the EPAs marine and freshwater ecology division. The best “neutral“science from his perspective was removing the dams wouldn’t hurt. His belief was the illegal development of walleye and bass in the snake and Columbia would more then off set any gains from breaching the dams. His hope was increasing water flow would impact the bass and walleye enough that they couldn’t hammer the smolt as much. Perhaps more importantly it will lower the water temperature in the Columbia, will it be enough, that’s tricky math, but it won’t hurt. The greatest impact will be to farmers in se Washington in reduced irrigation and increased cost getting their grain to market. It’s messy and it’s probably going to be decided more on emotional arguments then science.

I'm not taking anything away from your dad but his assumptions don't hold water at all. Take a look at the latest scientific literature and you'll see that the amount of predation by walleye and bass in the Columbia is miniscule. To make the point take a look at the John Day river. Even though it's a mid Columbia basin steelhead river it has one of the strongest runs of steelhead despite other rivers in the region struggling....despite having one of, if not, the highest concentration of smallmouth bass in the country. We float it every year and even my daughter who is only 6 years old has caught as many as 70 bass on a flyrod in a single day and she can't even cast more than 20' and uses nothing but topwater flies. I personally get so bored fishing that river that I don't even bother and I'd rather see my girl catch fish all day.

Why are the John Day steelhead doing so well when the water quality during the summer is atrocious, both in temp and flow? For one, it's the 4th longest free flowing river in the United States, no dams! Even with such substandard water quality for a large portion of the year and a huge population of bass, the steelhead are thriving. The steelhead are free to move to the upper most reaches of the river to spawn and hold during the summer heat when the lower river is 75+ degrees. They can move up river without obstructions...hmmm, amazing.

Like I said in another post, many different factors face salmon and steelhead throughout their range. Not all of those are detrimental in each region depending on other circumstances but there is one thing that is detrimental to any steelhead or salmon no matter where they swim....a dam, and that point CANNOT be argued, period.

It shouldn't be that hard to understand that any manmade obstacle put in the way of migrating fish, or any animal, is going to be detrimental. The USACE publicly stated when the dams were installed that this would end salmon migration....why are we even debating this other than politics and $$?
 
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neffa3

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I'm not taking anything away from your dad but his assumptions don't hold water at all. Take a look at the latest scientific literature and you'll see that the amount of predation by walleye and bass in the Columbia is miniscule. To make the point take a look at the John Day river. Even though it's a mid Columbia basin steelhead river it has one of the strongest runs of steelhead despite other rivers in the region struggling....despite having one of, if not, the highest concentration of smallmouth bass in the country. We float it every year and even my daughter who is only 6 years old has caught as many as 70 bass on a flyrod in a single day and she can't even cast more than 20' and uses nothing but topwater flies. I personally get so bored fishing that river that I don't even bother and I'd rather see my girl catch fish all day.

Why are the John Day steelhead doing so well when the water quality during the summer is atrocious, both in temp and flow? For one, it's the 4th longest free flowing river in the United States, no dams! Even with such substandard water quality for a large portion of the year and a huge population of bass, the steelhead are thriving. The steelhead are free to move to the upper most reaches of the river to spawn and hold during the summer heat when the lower river is 75+ degrees. They can move up river without obstructions...hmmm, amazing.

Like I said in another post, many different factors face salmon and steelhead throughout their range. Not all of those are detrimental in each region depending on other circumstances but there is one thing that is detrimental to any steelhead or salmon no matter where they swim....a dam, and that point CANNOT be argued, period.

It shouldn't be that hard to understand that any manmade obstacle put in the way of migrating fish, or any animal, is going to be detrimental. The USACE publicly stated when the dams were installed that this would end salmon migration....why are we even debating this other than politics and $$?
I don't disagree, but...

JD steelhead are doing better than other runs, but thriving... maybe with a shifting baseline. ODFW says they've been trending down since 1951. 7k fish total in, like you said, the 4th longest undammed river in the lower 48. https://nrimp.dfw.state.or.us/web s...s/ODFW/ODFW_40920_2_2009_Steelhead_Annual.pdf

The elwa dam removals and the WS dam removals, have both shown that simply removing a dam isn't a miracle worker. We're 8 yrs after condit dam came out and have maybe a couple 100 steelhead to show for it. Elwa is a little better but has been no where near the recolonization many forecasted would happen. Salmon have been even worse.
 
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