Tuesday February 21, 2023

The Lewiston Tribune

On a sunny but cold morning, Joe Blodgett walks the well-trodden dirt path along the Bateman Causeway.

Roughly 550 feet long and 40 feet wide and 40 feet tall, the artificial earthen causeway connects the central Washington city of Richland to Bateman Island, a quarter of a square mile, naturally occurring island that sits in a delta at the mouth of the Yakima River where the Yakima flows into the Columbia.

“So, this is it. This is what we want removed,” says Blodgett, gesturing to the causeway with arms spread wide.

Blodgett, a fish biologist, and member of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, leads the Nation’s Yakama/Klickitat Fisheries Project.

Blodgett says research conducted by the Yakama Nation and others has reached a scientific consensus: the Bateman Causeway blocks and slows the natural flow of the Yakima River, creating pools of warm, low-oxygen-containing water that impedes the migration of cold-water-loving salmon while simultaneously providing ideal habitat for fish that prey on them.

Read more >

Link copied successfully