Wednesday July 27, 2022

Oregon State University

A team of scientists, including one from Oregon State University, concluded in a recent paper that breaching four dams in the Lower Snake River Basin in Washington provides the best and only reasonable opportunity to promote recovery of key fish species, including salmon and steelhead.

The paper, published in the journal Water Biology and Security, takes a comprehensive look at current fish populations in the basin, past efforts to aid the recovery of those populations and the future impacts of climate change.

“We set out to answer the question of what should be done to maximize the likelihood of recovery of these critical fish species in the Lower Snake River Basin,” said Bob Hughes, courtesy associate professor in Oregon State’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. “This analysis clearly showed that the aggressive action of breaching the dams is necessary.”

Dams have been built around the world to allow humans to store and alter the timing and amount of water released downstream and often to generate electricity. However, growing evidence indicates that dams also negatively affect ecosystems.

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