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Old 08-14-2019, 11:58 AM   #1
manuka
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Default Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

This article from the paper the other day kind of implies it could happen ...





That'd be a great first step! It needs to be followed up by Whooshh's on all the dams on the tribs upstream of Grand Coulee, but CJ and GC would be a great start.

Then the Hell's Canyon complex!


More on Whooshh here: https://medium.com/the-hydroelectric...o-907fe809c8d1

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Old 08-14-2019, 12:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

Definitely positive news! But, getting adults up is the easy(ier) part ~ anyone read/hear ideas for how they plan to get more juveniles back down (assuming the adults can complete their biz)? Especially if/when they get over GC, w/ all that slack water in Lake Roosevelt?

Also, anyone know whether the Nespelem got much of a run historically, or were they cut off by the big falls on the lower river not far from the confluence? Looks pretty significant on the google map photos, but maybe the drops show worse at low summer flows and get 'flattened' a bit in higher water like some others?

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Old 08-14-2019, 06:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

Great news thanks for sharing.

Go salmon go!

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Old 08-14-2019, 07:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?


Fad or fortune time will tell.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

L

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Old 08-15-2019, 11:35 AM   #6
David Dalan
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

I think the woosh could do the job. Smolt traps at GC and CJ could capture juvenilles to prevent them from getting stuck or sucked over.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

Those smolts would have a very hard time with the pike up there.


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Old 08-15-2019, 07:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

You's a funny guy FH13. Good one. Did you draw that?
But yes, this IS a great innovation. Hope it takes off, and that all the power companies
can see fit to afford to install the Whoosh system, since they've been dragging their feet so long.
Probably would save them zillions of $. Give the fish a fighting chance.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:48 PM   #9
Seth in Keizer
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

If all this correct this sounds like a great idea. At worst it can't hurt right?
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

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Originally Posted by Seth in Keizer View Post
If all this correct this sounds like a great idea. At worst it can't hurt right?
Yes and no. It's probably true, but there's always the opportunity cost of putting the time/$$/effort into Option X when Option Y might have ultimately been more beneficial (just speaking in general, not any specific alternative here). That, and if something ends up not working, the critics will love to keep reminding you about it to undermine anything else worth trying.

My concern is still that this only appears to address half of the cycle; getting smolts back down is usually the more difficult part. Ultimately it doesn't matter where the chain breaks, if any link fails you still end up w/ a biological dead-end. Obviously it's hard to fix all the links at once though, so hopefully this will address one weak spot enough so we can work on the next one.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

This is truly an exciting time in the salmon world up here.... between these (in my observation) symbolic and political statements by the tribe to release fish above the dams and the concurrent re-negotiation of the Columbia River Treaty with Canada, things are very interesting.

I'm cautiously optimistic there's room for changes in our lifetimes. The political playing field is lightyears different than it was when Grand Coulee was built (late 30s). Tribes on both sides of the border have more clout, there's not the rush to settle the West, we're not feeling the pressure to make cheap electricity and aluminum for a pending world war (oh, wait...never mind).

But, while I'm a huge proponent of salmon above Coulee, it's no panacea.

It's one thing to get adults above the dam, it's another for smolts to find their way safely down through/over/around. THEN, below GC, there are another 10, that's TEN mainstem dams to negotiate. Each takes its toll. I was crunching numbers for hatchery smolt survivial downriver from the Methow River - in 2019, steelhead and spring Chinook salmon from a hatchery up here had 19% (+/-2%) and 44% (+/- 10%) survival from release to Bonneville, the last of the 9 dams they have to descend. Really sh*tty survival for the steelhead; typical for the Chinook up here. That's pretty tough math to work with right there. Above-Coulee fish would content with another 2 dams to that. After all that, they get to deal with all the threats the lower river smolts see (bad conditions in the estuary/nearshore, pinnipeds, terns, cormorants, walleye, etc.).

NEXT, you've got to consider that getting these fish over Chief Joseph Dam gets them into 50-mile long Rufus Woods Res. Not much in the way of spawning tribs there, just loads of bass, walleye and pikeminnow....so it's up to Coulee, above which is 150-mile long Lake Roosevelt, from which there is access to natal streams. Same predators, plus northerns.

It's gonna be a tough go for stream-type fish like spring Chinook, steelhead, and Coho. Is it worth trying? Absolutely. We just might need temper our expecations. I don't think it'll be the fix for upper Columbia ESA-listed stocks like spring Chinook.

But perhaps there's opportunity for some significant sockeye production in those reservoirs. That would certainly be worthwhile.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

Almost too good to be true. I hope it works, a great first step. If it gets fish up and they spawn, then that will be a strong incentive to find ways to help smolts get downstream and out in the ocean.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

wonder if they are a publicly traded company... if so, I'm an investor. Cool stuff. I like the Natives approach. We can sit back and do nothing or.... look for solutions.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

I guess from my point of view, anything we can do to help the salmon is goodness. Even if it only makes a 1% difference, it's worth it. I suspect this will be worth much more than that, though.

These massive dams are not coming out in our lifetimes, and the river will never be what it once was. But let's make it the best it can be in spite of that. Dams without fish passage are just an abomination, in my opinion. We've gotta at least give the fish a chance.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:15 AM   #15
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

Quote:
Originally Posted by manuka View Post
I guess from my point of view, anything we can do to help the salmon is goodness. Even if it only makes a 1% difference, it's worth it. I suspect this will be worth much more than that, though.

These massive dams are not coming out in our lifetimes, and the river will never be what it once was. But let's make it the best it can be in spite of that. Dams without fish passage are just an abomination, in my opinion. We've gotta at least give the fish a chance.
What we don't have to accept is the fact 55% of the CR historic spawning and rearing habitat is now blocked by dams that have no fish passage.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: Whooshh at Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams?

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Originally Posted by freespool View Post
What we don't have to accept is the fact 55% of the CR historic spawning and rearing habitat is now blocked by dams that have no fish passage.

Egg zactly.

We don't have solutions for all the challenges the salmon face, but we can certainly solve the problem of dams blocking fish passage. At least that gives them a chance. With no passage, they have no chance.
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