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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web:

Fri., Feb. 4, 2011

From our archives, 75 years ago

The engineer in charge of the Grand Coulee Dam seemed full of optimism that the salmon industry would be well-protected when the dam, then under construction, was completed.

He told the Spokane Daily Chronicle that “a $4 million spawning ground near the airport at Grand Coulee dam” was being constructed.

He said the plan was for salmon to be trapped downstream from the dam and the spawn taken from them. Then the young salmon would be raised in a rearing pond of several acres and turned back in the river.

“This removes the hazard of fish battering themselves going up the ladders,” he said.

In fact, he said, this plan was “even superior to the old fish ladder idea.”

Of course, the lack of a fish ladder also meant that, when the Grand Coulee Dam was eventually completed, the salmon runs above the dam would be history.

From the car theft beat: Five teenagers were under arrest after an epic joy-riding adventure.

Two boys and three girls escaped from Spokane’s juvenile detention home and stole a car from the corner of Second Avenue and Post Street in Spokane.

They were caught a couple of days later – in Boise.

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