How we killed off the giant salmon of the Pacific Northwest in 50 years

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Anatoliy

Well-known member
Admin
Natural abundance has its limits, especially when you dam the path to the breeding grounds-- as was the case with the giant Chinook salmon of the Pacific northwest. Seeing their enormous silvery forms leaping upriver is a miraculous sight in some of this archival footage, but a fish can’t leap over a 100-foot dam. The fish known as “june hogs” are no more.


What do you say?
 

Gulfstream

Active member
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Overfishing,water diversion, habitat degradation, mismanagement poaching. .Now we can throw in climate changes....... All to blame
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
It's a sad situation, to say the least. And we lost them largely due to the "almighty dollar" and profit margins. I recall seeing some 70 pound Fall Nooks, on the Alsea, back in the 1960's. But now a 30 pounder is a beast. It's an absolute shame that we don't respect what we have; like indigenous tribes did.
 

pinstriper

Well-known member
It would be interesting to know the impact of marine mammal protection and population growth in all this.

Also, not to pick a fight, but what evidence is there that the tribes had any kind of approach other than "catch every fish you can, salt and smoke for storage" ? I mean, was there a quota ? A management plan ? Tags ? Bag limits ?

The thing that kept the tribes from doing what the white man did was a lack of technology and industrial base/development, near as I can tell.
 

Irishrover

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True the Grand Coulee dam became a road block for the June Hogs and perhaps they should have taken that into consideration prior to building the structure.

On the other hand it was there as well as Bonneville Dam to provide the power we need in the 1940s to defeat Japan and Germany. Those dams provided the electricity needed to produce aluminum for aircraft and other essential war materials. They provided the power for the shipyard in the Portland and Vancouver areas that built Liberty ships, Victory ships, and a multitude of other types of vessel.

The power from those dams now produce electricity for our homes, hospitals, schools and make our lives safer. I wish they would have thought of a way to save those fish but they didn't. One must step back in time a capture what those dams have provided and balance that against what was lost. We have gained flood control, power and irrigation. No more Vanport floods and loss of life. There are now capabilities to rebuild many salmon runs and that is the path we should take. The Umatilla River project was very successful and the Chinook have returned to that river. Best to recognize the mistake and move forward with the science we have to rebuild the runs.
 
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hobster

Well-known member
It would be interesting to know the impact of marine mammal protection and population growth in all this.

Also, not to pick a fight, but what evidence is there that the tribes had any kind of approach other than "catch every fish you can, salt and smoke for storage" ? I mean, was there a quota ? A management plan ? Tags ? Bag limits ?

The thing that kept the tribes from doing what the white man did was a lack of technology and industrial base/development, near as I can tell.
That’s so silly, the native Americans didn’t need a “management plan” the fish were plentiful and they took what they needed. The runs were thriving until the white man came. Sorry but it’s true
 

pinstriper

Well-known member
That’s so silly, the native Americans didn’t need a “management plan” the fish were plentiful and they took what they needed. The runs were thriving until the white man came. Sorry but it’s true
Point is, they took what they needed and it didnt make a dent because the population was so low. They didnt sit around debating whether they were overfishing - they didn’t have the ability to overfish.
 

hobster

Well-known member
Point is, they took what they needed and it didnt make a dent because the population was so low. They didnt sit around debating whether they were overfishing - they didn’t have the ability to overfish.
Seems we are in agreement, maybe I misunderstood you.
 

pinstriper

Well-known member
Seems we are in agreement, maybe I misunderstood you.
I am totally in agreement with how we got here. I am also saying the reason the natives didn’t do the same isn’t because they made any superior choices or had a different ethic. They simply weren’t developed enough to have done the same things. If their populations were higher and they had the same technologies, they would have done the same. All people want to feed their families and make a living.
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
Someone, it seems, actually was angling for an argument after all. And got one.

I shall not be a participant.

Carry on.
 
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Anatoliy

Well-known member
Admin
Well, I went to google to find out how dams ruin fish population. I found information that I was totally not expect to find.

Q: How many people have been displaced by dams?

A: Between 40 and 80 million, the majority of them in China and India.

Q: Aren’t people displaced by dams fairly compensated?

A: In nearly every case which has been studied the majority of people evicted - usually poor farmers and indigenous people - are further impoverished economically and suffer cultural decline, high rates of sickness and death, and great psychological stress. In some cases people receive no or negligible compensation for their losses. Where compensation is given, cash payments are very rarely enough to compensate for the loss of land, homes, jobs and businesses and replacement land for farmers is usually of poorer quality and smaller than original holdings.

Q: What happens when people refuse to move to make way for dams?

A: In many cases people have been forced out of their homes at gunpoint, in others they have simply been flooded out when the dam authorities started to fill the reservoir. In Guatemala in 1982, 369 Mayan Indians, mainly women and children, were murdered after their community refused to accept the inadequate compensation offered for the loss of their homes to the Chixoy Dam.
 

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