Water should keep pouring over Northwest dams to aid salmon, court says
Salmon will continue to find a watery way over several Northwest dams. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week voted to uphold a federal judge’s June order for the feds to aid migrating salmon by spilling water over five dams in the Columbia and Snake river systems in the Northwest. A three-judge panel of the appeals court specifically endorsed Judge James Redden’s finding that 13 endangered species of salmon and steelhead in the region are not “evidencing signs of recovery” under the federal government’s current management plan, which emphasizes barging or trucking the fish around dams so as not to disrupt hydroelectric power generation. More than half of the spring-summer run of Snake River chinook salmon are killed each year as they pass through dam turbines. The Bush administration had appealed Redden’s order, arguing the spillage made this year’s slower, hotter river conditions even more dangerous to tender young salmon.