There have been several opinions recently about saving our salmon based upon somehow turning back the clock. Suggestions include removal of certain dams, closure of some hatcheries to favor wild salmon, and working together to improve the environment and habitat. While I applaud these good intentions, I believe they are all right and also all wrong.
Now is the time to be practical and make decisions that won’t betray our future. The removal of dams would cost billions, and the outlook for saving salmon is far from clear. We would also give up a clean, reliable and inexpensive energy source at a time when we need it most. Prioritizing wild salmon and decommissioning some hatcheries would ignore their success in producing nearly 80% of our salmon. In fact, hatcheries are possibly the best management and technological tool available to us for staying ahead of environmental destruction.
All of these suggestions are doomed if we continue to pour toxic storm runoff into streams and continually plant fish where they are destined for poor survival. And let’s keep in mind that declining ocean survival will not reverse without compromises as well.
Robert Bisordi, Des Moines