‘The River Is Essentially Dead’: How Enviros’ Push To Save Salmon Ended Up Killing ‘Hundreds Of Thousands’ Of Them

by NICK POPE at dailycaller.com

A well-funded environmentalist group played a key role in the push to remove dams in the Pacific Northwest’s Klamath River ahead of premature deaths of thousands of salmon.

American Rivers — an organization that has received millions of dollars from left-of-center environmentalist grantmaking organizations in recent years — was “the orchestrator of the Klamath dams removal project,” according to Siskiyou News, a local outlet in Northern California. The drawdowns of several reservoirs pursuant to the scheduled removal of four dams in the river preceded the deaths of “hundreds of thousands” of young salmon in the waterway, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The push to remove the dams is often marketed as beneficial for salmon, as proponents of the plan — including American Rivers — have argued that the dams obstruct the natural movements of salmon as well as their access to habitat. However, weeks after beginning the process to remove one of the systems scheduled for deconstruction on the river, a large number of the 830,000 young salmon released into the river on Feb. 26 had died as of March 2, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

CDFW officials attributed the mass-death to gas bubble disease, which is caused by changes in water pressure, and stated that the changes in pressure driving the deaths was attributable to old dam infrastructure that is slated for removal. The agency further stated that water turbidity and dissolved oxygen levels do not appear to have contributed to the mass-death.

The young salmon that died travelled through a tunnel involved in the dam infrastructure that had previously not been accessible to the fish before officials altered the flow of water through the system as part of the removal process, Peter Tira, an information officer for the CDFW, explained to the Daily Caller News Foundation. The deaths were primarily a function of where the fish were released into the water, and the outcome, though unfortunate, is a learning opportunity for stakeholders who remain committed to making the Klamath River a free-flowing cold water river system again in the long-term, Tira told the DCNF.