I’m a retired federal fish and wildlife biologist who’s worked 30 years restoring Western Washington fisheries. I recently heard a presentation by a fishery biologist who made it clear that the biggest step toward saving the small number of remaining orcas that feed on local salmon is to breach the four Lower Columbia Dams — Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite.
I’m assured that adequate analysis has been done. We don’t need further study. Total removal of these dams and those upriver of them is not needed. Breaching these four would restore enough natural flow to the system to significantly increase salmon production. Economic arguments against breaching have been adequately refuted.
Rail shipment of grain could replace barging at little or no cost. Current irrigators would be allowed continued withdrawal from the reservoirs after the needs of the salmon were met.
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I urge the governor and all interested parties to choose breaching in early 2019 as the only effective option to help restore the greatly reduced resident orca population.
Joseph M. Hiss, Olympia