Conservative News & Commentary

Aug 18, 2011 — by: B. Franklin
Categories: Economics, Culture

Copco 1, Klamath RiverIf you just listened to the rhetoric on the other side, you would probably come to the conclusion that the main obstacle to returning prosperity to the Basin is those darn dams along the Klamath river. If we could just get rid of them, we could all once again live in harmony with each other and with nature.

The gospel according to KBRA preaches that if we can get those dams to come a tumblin' down, then fish populations will magically return to numbers only seen before western europeans inhabited the land. There would be so many salmon running up and down the Klamath river we would no longer need bridges — one could just walk on fish from one side to the other.

However, this thinking all hinges on the the assertion that the Klamath River Dams are the single, significant cause for a decline in fish population during the past 60 years. What if this assertion is wrong? Could there be other explanations for fish population decline that we haven't explored or have dismissed because our world view of “dam removal or die” prevents us from seeing the truth?

Consider the following, very possible, reasons for fish decline on the Klamath river. These ideas aren't allowed in the discussion about fish populations because the conversation is dominated by “It’s ALL the Dams’ fault” group-think:

  • Overfishing. For at least two decades, during the 1960s and 70s, Soviet and Japanese ships plundered salmon in U.S. waters like never seen in human history.
  • El Niño. Does it effect where Klamath river fish feed, migrate and survival rates at sea? Do we know?
  • ESA Protection of Seals. Salmon are a natural food source for seals. An increase in seal population then would naturally lead to a decrease in salmon population.
  • Trinity River. Remember it? This river feeds into the Klamath river. Nothing has happened on the Trinity that has contributed to the decline? 

Let's just stop and think. Are we sure we have a good understanding of what the real causes for fish decline are or did we rule out several reasons because they don't fit the “remove the dams” mantra? Instead, are we hoping we are right as we jump on the PC train, rolling down the tracks to our own destruction? What if removing the dams don't return fish populations to their numbers 60 years ago? Then what? Are we going to rebuilt the dams? Yeah, right. But that won't be the end... it never is. Get ready, because there will be further demands on removing “modern” inventions in order to live at harmony with nature. The dams are just the tip of the iceberg in this battle. It will continue until there is nothing left.


  1. Royal Croc ~ Aug. 19, 2011 @ 6:28 am

    Here are four references which provide interesting reading concerning both fisheries and water temperature issues as related to the Northwest United States: 1. Chapman, D.W. (1986). “Salmon and Steelhead Abundance in the Columbia River in the Nineteenth Century,” Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 115:662-670. 2. Gilbert, Charles H. and Barton W. Evermann (1895). A Report Upon Investigations in the Columbia River Basin, With Descriptions of Four New Species of Fish, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 3. McDonald, Marshall (1894). Report of the United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries on Investigations in the Columbia River Basin In Regard to the Salmon Fisheries, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 4. Stone, Livingston (1878). The Salmon Fisheries of the Columbia River, United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, Part IV, Report of the Commissioner for 1875-1876, Appendix A, Inquiry into the Decrease of the Food-Fishes, Appendix B, Inland Fisheries, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. Chapman's article (Reference #1) contains an interesting graph of "Salmon Catch (Harvest) vs time (from about 1870 to 1970) as well as a listing of numerous other interesting references. Gilbert’s and Evermann’s 1895 report (Reference #2) presents various “single valued temperatures” which were measured once at discrete points along various rivers. Marshall McDonald’s 1894 report, The Salmon Fisheries of the Columbia River Basin, (Reference #3) states that “the investigations made by Professor Evermann and the parties under his direction establish conclusively the fact that there has been a very great reduction in the number of salmon frequenting the head waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries. This decrease is more notable in the main river.” (Written in 1890's) Reference #3 (dated 1894) also states that “they were abundant in the Columbia River at Kettle Falls as late as 1878. Since then there has been a great decrease. They have been scarce since 1882. Since 1890 there have been scarcely any at Kettle Falls.” In addition, this report (dated 1894) also states that “there is no reason to doubt- indeed the fact is beyond question- that the number of salmon now reaching the head waters of streams in the Columbia River Basin is insignificant in comparison with the number which some years ago annually visited and spawned in these waters. It is further apparent that this decrease is not to be attributed either to the contraction of the area accessible to them or to changed conditions in the waters which would deter the salmon from entering them.” The 1878 report (Reference #4) presents two (2) daily water temperatures for the Lower Columbia River at Clifton, Oregon; for the period from May 10, 1875; through August 14, 1875; with water temperatures exceeding 68 Degrees Fahrenheit (20 Degrees Celsius) being noted after July 17, 1875. Please investigate these references as they are all quite interesting. Fish problems were clearly noted long before either Snake River Dams or Klamath Dams being constructed. #
  2. Finnious T Fogbottom ~ Aug. 19, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

    Discernment is very important and you do seem to have that quality. Can you discern anything about the pro-KBRA people from the following? What if (as you know)those who are suspicious of the KBRA aren’t as malevolent, ignorant, divisive or uncooperative as they are being portrayed? What is they are just concerned citizens? What if one of the building blocks of a new political order is at least partially present in the Multi-Stakeholder process? What if it was designed as part of a replacement system which is intended to override Common Law with the new People's Marxist Civil Law? 'UNCED drafted an agenda for the twenty-first century: Agenda 21. The outcome included the classification of nine "major groups"--women, children and youth, indigenous people, NGOs, local authorities, trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers. They now participate regularly in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development - (CSD) - was established in December 1992 by General Assembly Resolution A/RES/47/191 as a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council, implementing a recommendation in Chapter 38 of Agenda 21, the landmark... ..... through a mechanism commonly referred to as the "multi-stakeholder dialogue"; this includes representatives of Governments, civil society and the private sector with a stake or interest in the issues or problems confronting society. However, certain longtime civil society enthusiasts have described the multi-stakeholder dialogue as "frostingfrosting..' So add the multi-stakeholder process to the following and our nation (or the entire world?) could find itself undone pretty well, pretty fast. Whose side are KBRA distracters on; I wonder? What if Klamath irrigators are being cruely blamed for something which is naturally occurring? What if entangling one’s self with the outside forces which seek to shut agriculture down in the basin is in effect agreeing to their ever expanding list of damning lies? ‘…concluded that “. . . farming currently does not result in significant loading of surface waters in the Tulelake Irrigation District with P. Processes affecting P movement in the system are complex,however, and a better determination of patterns and processes awaits a more comprehensive analysis.” They also concluded that agricultural activities probably did not contribute significant N loading to surface waters and perhaps agriculture serves as a sink for both N and P. Studies are continuing in the Tulelake Irrigation District by ..." This all begs the question: Is the Klamath Water Users Assn. now just another Green NGO? It used to be called the Klamath Water Users Protective Association – what is it protecting now? Here’s to truth and discernment and real Americans! #
  3. Dr. Richard Gierak ~ Aug. 30, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    The reality for reduced fish populations in California and Oregon is the historic rise in temperature of the Pacific Ocean driving Salmon North into Alaskan waters. In 1950 the total salmon catch in the Pacific Northwest was 149,000 metric tons with 80% caught in Alaskan waters. In 2007 the total catch was 403,000 metric tons with 97% caught in Alaskan waters. The commercial fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest is in excellent shape thanks to dams and hatcheries. The radical environmentalists and tribes claim there were millions of salmon in the Klamath river prior to dams. The truth is that in 1913, before the dams were built, California Fish and Game Commission recorded 38,000 salmon. Five years after the first dam was built the numbers went up to over 60,000. This is most likeley due to the fact that the reservoir settled out river detritus and offered cleaner water for spawning salmon. Removing dams will decimate any future runs of salmon in the Klamath River as the sediment from the reservoirs will destroy salmon spawning beds and the expert panel conclusion indicated that it would take up to 50 years for the river to recover and there are no guarantees. #

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