Biologist Rick Williams makes his case for why overuse of hatcheries and a focus on fish as a food commodity have hampered recovery of Pacific Northwest salmon runs. Ali Rizvi and Yuqing Zhu McClatchy
Biologist Rick Williams makes his case for why overuse of hatcheries and a focus on fish as a food commodity have hampered recovery of Pacific Northwest salmon runs. Ali Rizvi and Yuqing Zhu McClatchy

Remove 4 dams, leave these fish alone, and they may be able to replenish themselves

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20 years later, Idaho's salmon are still in danger of disappearing forever

The salmon of the Northwest are the stuff of legends. Pioneers talked of rivers so thick that they were tempted to cross on the backs of the fish. But times have changed, the fish's numbers have plunged, and 13 species were placed on the endangered species list by 1995. Climate change and our network of hydropower dams have helped thwart attempts so far to find a sustainable solution. And it's possible some of our strategies - including our reliance on hatcheries - have backfired.

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September 10, 2017 08:30 PM