1. Since development, which includes the dams the Columbia/Snake River salmon run has declined by 90 percent.
2. The 16 million all wild run of salmonids was generally split with 8 million going into the Snake River Basin. Last week, the tally board at Lower Granite Dam read 94,000. 80 percent of today’s fish are hatchery fish.
3. The dams are responsible for more than half the mortality of outmigrating juvenile chinook, outmigrating steelhead and outmigrating juvenile sockeye. The dams are also responsible for killing adults on their return due to fatigue from navigating the gauntlet of eight dams and their fish ladders, the que necessitated by the Bonneville Dam fish ladder that provides sea lions with an easy meal, hot water in the slackwater reservoirs, and indirectly through the navigational mission—dredge dumping for navigation purposes in the lower Columbia has augmented East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary off the banks of Chinook, Washington across from Astoria, Oregon into incredible bird habitat that has created an unnatural slaughter of juvenile salmonids preparing to enter the ocean.
4. The dams produce less than four percent of the PNW power and we have enjoyed a power surplus for a number of years, the BPA can’t sell the dams’ power for what it costs to make it now and will lose at least $100 million on power this year alone. Recent studies show that replacing the power can be done with sustainable renewable energy sources that are economically better than their gas-powered or coal-fired alternatives.
5. Navigation, the reason for constructing the lower Snake dams, “is negligible” on the lower Snake, so says the US Army Corps of Engineers.
6. We’ve spent more than $15 billion on failed fish and wildlife mitigation to date.
7. The fish accords are due to expire right about now and these accords, which were used rather successfully by BPA to buy off litigants in 2008 are being renegotiated but with far less money going forward. While the upstream work they do is both needed and beneficial this now dwindling source of money has not spent one penny toward correcting the actual problem. They are like tackling climate change by reconfiguring better trunk space in your car rather than addressing what powers your gasoine-powered car.
8. Orcas are starving.
9. We’ve impoverished the entire landscapes of eastern Oregon and Washington, all of Idaho and northern Nevada by severely limiting or closing off entirely the salmonid provided nitrogen pump from the Pacific Ocean.
10. If you want to restore the Pacific Northwest ecosystem, you must restore wild salmonids that are relied on for survival of 137 species and human beings.
11. In breaching these dams we will allow wild salmonids to restore themselves, according to 87 percent of fisheries biologists.
12. In breaching these four deadbeat dams we will go a long way in honoring our treaties with the tribes that have relied upon salmonids for time immemorial.