4 Jun 2010, 10:04am
BPA Dams Judicial incompetence
by admin

Another Bubbleheaded Salmon Lawsuit

The usual suspects have filed another lawsuit to force water spillage over the dams of the State of Washington. The ostensible purpose is to “save salmon” but in fact water spillage kills salmon smolts. The practical result, if the lawsuit is successful, will be to reduce renewable energy production, increase electricity rates, and kill fingerling salmon on their way to the ocean.

Groups sue for more water over dams for salmon

By PHUONG LE, Seattle PI, June 3, 2010 [here]

SEATTLE — Conservation and fishermen’s groups sued the state Department of Ecology on Thursday to get more water to spill over dams along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, protecting salmon and steelhead.

The groups want the state to change its water quality standards so more water can be spilled over federal dams. They say releasing more water over the dams - rather than running it through turbines - improves salmon’s chances of surviving their migration.

Earthjustice filed the lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court on behalf of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, the Institute for Fisheries Resources and Idaho Rivers United.

“We think this standard is badly needed to help imperiled salmon and steelhead, and we want Washington to do the right thing,” said Amanda Goodin, an Earthjustice attorney.

Ecology denied the groups’ latest petition in May, citing concerns about possible harm to other aquatic life. The state said at the time that the change may provide a small benefit to salmon but may also harm other animals.

In response to Thursday’s lawsuit, Ecology said it follows federal clean water rules and noted that it already allows more water to spill over dams in certain situations.

“Ecology does not believe the overall benefits of additional spill versus detrimental effects to aquatic life is clear or sufficient to justify a rule revision of the water quality standards,” the agency said in a statement.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bonneville Power Administration control the level of spill at federal dams along the Snake and Columbia Rivers, but they must also meet state water quality standards, according to the lawsuit.

The dispute here involves limits on dissolved gases. Water spill can cause high levels of gases in the river. … [more]

Water spillage means water to the hydroelectric turbines will be shot off and the downstream flow forced over the tops of the dams. That increases the air in the water (dissolved gas supersaturation) below the dams and causes “gas-bubble disease” in the salmon smolts (those that survive the fall). Spill mortality is at least twice the mortality of smolts that pass through turbines. Furthermore, the dams now have smolt diversion systems that direct the smolts away from the turbines and into bypass spillways.

This issue is old. Spillage was first proposed in the early 1990’s and has been proven to kill smolts at high rates. Spillage is expensive, too. The water that does not go through turbines does not produce electricity.

Moreover, returns of adult salmon are achieving record rates due to the cool ocean conditions (caused by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) [here].

The usual sue-happy groups do not actually represent fishermen or their interests. Their agenda is to destroy the economy of the Pacific Northwest for the usual Marxist revolutionary reasons. The bubbleheads also hope to garner $millions in free handouts from the Federal Government in the form of Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) funds.

As so it goes. The anarchists use the Justice System to monkeywrench the entire region, cut off renewable energy, kill baby salmon, and line their pockets from the Federal Treasury. Congress sits there dumbfounded, or worse, fully complicit in the anarchists’ strategy.

In the end it’s the public that’s bubbleheaded for allowing these destructive actions to continue.

4 Jun 2010, 8:50pm
by Charlie Chinook

It’s curious that the state of Oregon wants to kill all the salmon. And it must, because it’s joined in the challenge to spill (which is not actually a challenge to spill, but a disagreement over the amount of spill at which dissolved gas harms the fish — BPA already spills because a court has repeatedly found that BPA’s objections to spill are scientifically meritless). Just like the American Fisheries Society, the Independent Scientific Advisory Board, the Fish Passage Center, Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, and so on. Maybe they are all Marxist revolutionaries bent on the destruction of the PNW economy. So many fisheries scientists are bomb-throwing radicals, you know. Get ‘em out of the lab and they start spouting Das Kapital. Ditto federal judges who used to be state prosecutors. Lotta marxists there.

Curious, too, that the fishing groups who are parties to the lawsuit — the Washington Trollers Assn., for instance — want to “destroy the economy of the Pacific NW.” Hard to imagine why they would want to do that, being hardworking people who prosper only to the extent that consumers can afford to buy their catch. Have you met many marxists who work their fingers to the bone for a living? Or maybe it’s the sport fishing businesses who are closet marxists - because their trade association (NW Sportfishing Industry Assn) is also a party to the lawsuit. Those crazy communist small-business owners.

Finally, the “record” returns for most Columbia Basin runs are far less than 10 percent of their pre-dam returns. The Columbia basin once returned 16 to 30 million salmon a year, says NOAA. Now a million is a damned good year. Some “record.” 12 runs are endangered or threatened. Not a single one has come off the endangered list (except by extinction). BPA spends $700-800 million each year, and this is what they have to show for it?

The factual errors continue, but I’m out of time.

The only bubblehead I see around here is the one who wrote this column.

4 Jun 2010, 9:24pm
by Mike


Your science is off. Everybody involved acknowledges gas bubble disease. They have to, because the empirical proof is abundant. The knowledge of gas bubble disease dates back to the 1970’s and was demonstrated unquestionably in the 1990’s.

Why do the various actors insist on killing smolts with expensive spills? It’s POLITICAL, my friend. Just as you betray your POLITICAL point of view that the dams have endangered salmon, not the folks who hunt and kill them.

And of course, your meal ticket, killing and selling endangered species, requires the rest of society to sacrifice on YOUR BEHALF. We must tear down the dams, turn off the power, huddle in the cold and dark, while YOU, the endangered species murdered and profiteer, take take take take take.

What would YOU call someone who wishes to destroy and impoverish the rest of society for their own murderous profits? Maybe Marxist revolutionary was not the correct term. How about greedheaded murderous bastards?

But then we have top examine the political leadership - Governor Teddy the Torch, the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, the Institute for Fisheries Resources, Idaho Rivers United, and Earthjustice. What do all those organizations have in common, politically speaking. Oh yes, they are all extreme LEFTISTS!!! Correct?

So… extreme leftist greedheaded murderous bastards. Okay. I concede. I won’t call you Marxist revolutionaries anymore. That was a little soft, a little too forgiving. I stand corrected.

5 Jun 2010, 1:55am
by Mike

Really, Charlie, let’s get after it.

Fisheries, particularly salmon in the Pacific Northwest, have been the focus of some of the worst pseudo-science imaginable: manipulated data, fraudulent reports, bizarre theories accepted as gospel truth, political payoffs, and hidden taxes.

More than half of the electricity bill paid by rate payers goes to salmon hoaxers, people who profit from a Big Lie, and salmon are harmed by their projects, not helped.

The fish hoaxers want to breech the dams, end irrigation, end hydropower, end river transportation, and inflict economic disaster on the rest of society.

They wish to shut down farming, forestry, and every other industry in the West, all for salmon.

For every 1,000 smolts that enter the ocean, 3 return to spawn. The death rate in the ocean is 99.7 percent. Yet the fish hoaxers blame land-based activities for the alleged paucity of salmon returns.

They hunt fish in the ocean that return to the rivers. Taxpayers pay for the boats, the gear, the fuel, and all the costs of fishing through outrageous subsidies. Yet more fish could be harvested much more cheaply just by netting the returning fish at the river mouths.

It’s a proven fact that ocean conditions govern salmon populations. Since the PDO shift returns have doubled, due to the colder water in the eastern Pacific. This year we are experiencing record salmon returns.

But that won’t satisfy the welfare fishermen. They are desperate to tear down the dams before people realize that record runs are occurring.

The Klamath dams are being breached, at a cost of $4 billion that will be borne by ratepayers. Klamath farmers have been cheated out of their irrigation water, water that was due them by contracts signed by the government, which the government has reneged on. And for what? Not one single additional salmon will result. In fact, fewer salmon will survive in the “normative” river.

Spilling water over the dams kills smolts. It also disrupts adult salmon migration. In June, 2005 Judge Redden ordered the ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin spilling water over the tops of four Snake River Dams, rather than generating electricity. Within 24 hours all fish passage stopped at the Little Goose Dam fish ladder. Before the spill started, 400 to 600 fish per day were swimming up the ladder. That number dropped to zero and remained at zero for a week, until the spilling stopped. Thousands of adult salmon were trapped in the whirlpool below the dam, in super-aerated water that was killing them. In defiance of the Judge, after 4 days the Corps stopped the spill. Adult fish passage jumped to over 1,000 fish per day immediately thereafter. The Judge was aware of all this, but did nothing — he was mortified by the results of his own stupid decision. The cost in lost electricity generation was $100 million.

Over 70 percent of smolts die before they reach the ocean in rivers without dams. Various predators get them, including huge colonies of Caspian terns, seagulls, and cormorants. The terns on Rice Island in the Columbia River estuary eat as much as 30 percent of the smolt population passing by there, over 20 million baby fish per season. It costs upwards of $2 per smolt to produce them at hatcheries. That cost is borne by taxpayers, not fishermen.

Since passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in 1972, seal and sea lion populations have irrupted (increased dramatically), growing at 4 to 8 percent per year. Well over a million seals and sea lions roam coastal waters today. Up to 80 percent of returning salmon have mammal scars. Pinniped predation may account for 90 percent of salmon mortality in the ocean. To survive, an adult sea lion needs to eat at least 6% of its body weight each day. The average adult male Steller sea lion is 9 feet in length and weighs 1,500 lbs.

Given all that, the latest lawsuit by whatever-you-want-to-call-them to increase dam spillage is completely useless. The impact if the suit is successful will be fewer salmon at enormous costs to taxpayers. Fishermen will not benefit one iota — in fact, they will be hurt along with everyone else.

I personally do not eat salmon. I have boycotted that fish for decades. I know what a hoax and scam salmon politics are. I know the real cost of those fish. As a rule of thumb, in the Pacific Northwest half your electricity bill goes to salmon programs that produce no salmon but line the pockets of lawyers and other thieves.

Do yourself a favor. Stop eating endangered animals. It’s the sensible thing to do.



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