Tell Obama: Spill baby spill on Columbia Dams

Northwest jobs and fishing opportunities are on the line.

Regional newspapers, blogs and online fishing boards are ablaze with news of (hopefully) big Columbia and Snake River salmon and steelhead returns this season. It begs the question: what if every season was this promising?

Jeff Hickman, steelhead guide and hunter-angler liaison for the Sierra Club, encourages folks to keep up the pressure. “Since Judge Redden ordered spill flows, we’ve seen our salmon and steelhead respond with improved returns. What this year’s bonus returns are telling us should be brutally obvious: when rivers run just a bit more like rivers, rather than a series of warm, slack-water reservoirs, salmon and steelhead are resilient enough to rebound in force.”


Spill baby spill

True enough. Judge Redden’s spill orders have been the key to improved salmon survival, salmon returns and fishing opportunities in recent years. Yet the Obama administration has proposed to eliminate key portions of spring and summer spill program for young salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers – the very measures that are working – instead preferring to transport out-migrating young salmon by barge and truck.

ACT NOW: Contact the Obama administration and Senators in the Northwest

Until our region develops a legal, long-term salmon and steelhead recovery plan, we need the Obama Administration to commit to full spill at the federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Take action and forward on to your network.

For more information, contact Bobby Hayden, National Representative for Save Our Wild Salmon –

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4 Responses to Tell Obama: Spill baby spill on Columbia Dams

  1. Rob R says:

    Would our friends at Save Our Wild Salmon care to back up this claim with some hard data? I’m pretty sure that ocean conditions have been the primary factor affecting salmon returns in the Columbia, but I would love to have some solid ammo that shows the increased spills have contributed. Happy to be a foot-soldier, but I need to know that the info I’m representing is rock solid. Thanks, in advance.

  2. t man says:

    Rob R…..just make something up, you know, like some science. You can make science up nowadays. Run with it.

  3. Trout Hooker says:

    proof in biology is often a challenge, so we have to add up a string of indicators. When a group of actual biologists come together to make a public statement, it is vastly more significant than any propagandists such as the sierra club who has zero credibility.

    To that end, here is an op/ed from the Oregonian that people should actually read.

    It was written by several qualified fishery biologists and one guy who is more of a politician than a biologist, but no one’s perfect.


  4. Rob R says:

    Trout Hooker, I appreciate the link. That op-ed made the same mistake, in my opinion, that the SOWS folks continually make: they brush over the issue, asking us all to take their word for it that increased spill is saving our fish. If the ocean had been in decline during those years, I’d be on board. But since salmon populations were, in general, rebounding during the same years that we received the extra spring flow, it makes it hard to buy. What better way for enviros to re-earn our reputations for mis-characterizing data? Just take credit for everything and hope nobody notices the fine print. Well, I’m noticing. I want to see some details on how the flows are helping, and how the positive impacts can be distiguished from the effects of increased ocean productivity. Enough posing for holy pictures every time the ocean turns around!

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