The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is pushing the National Marine Fisheries Service to quickly alter dam spill operations on the lower Snake River while the majority of the young salmon are in that corridor.
The measures already were mentioned in a draft document created by Mike Field and Todd Maddock, Idaho’s members of the Northwest Power Planning Council.
“The commission heartily endorses this interim plan, and believes these measures will do more to arrest the decline of Idaho’s anadromous fish resources than measures currently being implemented by the service,” said the letter from Fish and Game Commission chairman Keith Carlson of Lewiston to William Stelle, regional fisheries service director.
The commission on Thursday asked Stelle to ensure an 80 percent “juvenile fish passage efficiency” on the lower Snake. That means 80 percent of the young fish would dodge the dam turbines.
As it stands now, only 40 percent of the smolts would survive. Spilling extra water over the dams is designed to wash the young fish through the obstacles without forcing them to swim through the dangerous dam turbines.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.