Thursday June 27, 2024


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is taking public comment on a proposal to disrupt the spawning of a nonnative fish in the Grand Canyon by releasing spikes of cool water from Glen Canyon Dam. Many in the Colorado River community want a wider range of options.

Smallmouth bass are a predatory fish that pose a threat to the native humpback chub. Previously federal water officials considered installing a physical barrier to stop the fish from slipping through the dam, but that wasn’t up for consideration in the recent proposal. Some want it back on the table.

Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that cool spikes will help, but “what the agencies haven’t done, and this is something that we’re very concerned about, is they haven’t gone about preventing the bass from entering the Grand Canyon in the first place.”

Meanwhile, hydropower users worry that the cool water releases will diminish power production. Jerry Wilhite is an environmental protection specialist for the Western Area Power Administration.

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