Uncertain future | TheUnion.com

Uncertain future

I write regarding Laura Brown’s Nov. 2 article on salmon in the lower Yuba River near Daguerre Point Dam. The article did a good job of covering both local recreation and the annual return of the fall run Chinook salmon.

Yet while the article rightly calls the wild salmon “survivors,” it lacked the context in which the Yuba’s wild salmon have managed their precarious survival. Dams, water diversions, and impaired habitat from river to sea have limited many species’ likelihood of survival and threatened some populations with extinction.

This year’s Fall run Chinook salmon count has yet to be determined, but the 240 Spring run Chinook salmon that returned this past Spring represent a fraction of the past year’s count. The dam’s operator, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has agreed the dam needs to change. However, a start date has yet to be set for even planning needed changes that the Corps promised to begin five years ago.

The Yuba’s wild salmon may be survivors, but they will need more help from their state, federal and local bureaucracies if they are to overcome the substantial barriers that the Yuba’s dams pose to the completion of their life cycle.

Erin Noel

North San Juan

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