Trout Unlimited: The Need For a Free Flowing Snake River

Trout Unlimited highlights why we need a free flowing lower Snake River on their featured page, be sure to see why science shows it is so important:

Explaining the impacts dams have on Snake River salmon and steelhead and why their removal is necessary for fish recovery

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How do we bring back salmon and steelhead? Look to the science.

Making decisions based on sound science and information is a core principle of Trout Unlimited. With that in mind, we set out to better understand the science behind the decline of Lower Snake salmon and steelhead and what could be done to recover them.

Overwhelmingly, the evidence has led us to conclude that removal of the four lower Snake River dams is the single most important step we can take to recover abundant, fishable and harvestable Snake River salmon and steelhead. Dam removal, however, must be part of a comprehensive recovery plan that includes restoring and protecting habitat, improving hatchery and fishery management, and reducing predation.

We understand that not everyone sees it the way we do. As members of the communities that have been and will be impacted by this challenge, we recognize that all of the Pacific Northwest must benefit from actions designed to help salmon. This is not about sacrifice; it is about saving salmon and steelhead while strengthening the regional economy.

But we are committed – and determined – to seek solutions that work for fish and people while also meeting the needs of the industries and communities that are dependent on the dams. Science may not be the determining factor for every decision we make. But a sound foundation in the facts and good-faith efforts to find common ground with our neighbors should be where we start.

We have taken a deep dive into the science and data and come out with a clear conclusion: If the four lower Snake River dams are not removed, Snake River wild salmon and steelhead may soon become extinct.

We have compiled the evidence for dam removal and distilled it into an approachable series of questions and answers. We hope you will take some time to dig in, think about it, and then reach out to us, if you have questions, concerns or simply want to be involved in the effort to recover the Snake River’s magnificent salmon and steelhead.

Recovery is not theoretical. It is not a distant vision on some yet-seen horizon. It is within our grasp: We can bring back our fish and do so in a way strengthens the regional economy and Columbia Basin communities.

And by working together, we will.

Chris Wood
President and CEO
Trout Unlimited