Errata and Additional Developments

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Chapter 2

p. 35    On September 2, 1998, Washington State Senator Bob Morton and Representative Cathy McMorris flew down the Columbia River from McNary Dam to Bonneville Dam to count the actual number of tribal gillnets in the River.  (Memo, P. Batts to Washington Farm Bureau, Sept. 17, 1998.)   The results?

River Section Washington Oregon Total
McNary Dam to Arlington 4 0 4
Arlington to John Day Dam 58 50 108
John Day Dam to The Dalles Dam 64 54 118
The Dalles Dam to White Salmon Bridge 45 38 83
White Salmon Bridge to Bonneville 58 24 82
Total 229 166 395

At least one source told me that the typical number may approach 800 nets.  One can only guess at the total salmon and steelhead harvest.

p. 40    A Finnish fisheries scientist has recently constructed a model that attempts to account for differing harvest rules on the evolution of fish.  He suggests that fisheries concentrated on the spawning grounds (as opposed to the feeding grounds) have substantially higher maximum sustainable yields, primarily because the fish are larger.  M. Heino, "Management of evolving fish stocks", 55 Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 1971, 1979 (1998).  In his model, this resulted exclusively from the trend toward later-maturing fish, rather than size selection in the fishery.  Eliminating fisheries that selectively wipe out larger adults can be expected to have even greater gains in maximum sustainable yields.  

p. 42    Norwegian fisheries scientists have recognized that giving primacy to reported catch data in setting fishing seasons may be a serious mistake.  As they explain, "[m]anaging a fishery on catch data can be similar to managing a forest based only on the quantity of lumber that is produced; production may stay high until the last tree is gone."  M. Pennington & T. Stromme, "Surveys as a research tool for managing dynamic stocks", Fisheries Research 37:97-106 (1998).

p. 45    Evidence has continued to mount that illegal offshore fishing has a substantial impact on U.S. salmon runs.  Poor sockeye returns in Alaska in 1998 led Dan Barr, president of the Bristol Bay Driftnetters Association, to claim that large numbers of Alaskan sockeye are returning with scars from Russian and Japanese gillnets; the Russians opened fire on one Chinese boat and found 70,000 pounds of illegally-caught sockeye.  Mr. Barr claims that in 1997, Japanese and Russian vessels increased their catch by 17 million sockeye.  (R. Taylor, "Blame sought for poor fishing in Alaska", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 22, 1998.)

Dr. David Welch, a Canadian biologist who collaborates with Japanese researchers on sampling for salmon on the high seas, reports that fin-clipped salmon and steelhead are routinely found in the far Western Pacific.  He reports that politically-correct term for these fish is "fish lacking an adipose fin", because the Japanese government wishes to avoid any implication the fish are of American origin.

At the end of 1998, the Federal government is expectedto terminate an experimental program that used 17 observers to track harvests on 25 ships.  They found that 42 percent of the fish (of the sampled harvests), were thrown back.  There are more than 200 such ships at work in the West Coast trawl fleet.  (H. Bernton, "Fish dumping will go unreported", The Oregonian, Nov. 7, 1998, at B4.)

p. 51    Canadian researchers have recently begun efforts to understand how the size of fish and the upstream environment they face influences successful migration.  Preliminary research on sockeye suggests that smaller fish are less energetically-efficient at migrating upstream.  (S. Hinch & P.S. Rand, "Swim speeds and energy use of upriver-migrating sockeye salmon (Onchorynchus nerka): role of local environment and fish characteristics", Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 55:1821-31 (1998).)

Chapter 3

p. 66    Another adverse effect believed to arise from the presence of large shad populations is a higher population of predators.   In particular, large groups of juvenile shad tending to migrate downstream after the salmon may maintain larger predator populations, on average, that would exist if their food source were more intermittent.

Chapter 4

p. 79    Bruce Babbitt, one of the leading promoters of the Great Salmon Hoax, recently asserted that "flood control--one of the main reasons for building many big dams--has become, in many areas, something of a joke.  Flood damage in America has increased, not decreased, despite billions invested in big dams."  (Quoted in People, Land & Water, Nov./Dec. 98, vol. 5, no. 9)  This is grossly misleading since the amount of development in flood plains has increased dramatically since the 1930s.  It would be more appropriate to criticize federal policy that subsidizes insurance for building in flood plains.

Chapter 6

p. 142    There are not salmon farms in Norway that flood the market with chinook salmon; the Norwegian farms grow Atlantic salmon, an entirely different species of salmon.

p. 142    A recent study of the eating habits of steelhead in the Cowlitz river from June through October found that juvenile salmonids formed a very small part of their diet.  G. Vander Haegen et al., "Consumption of Juvenile Salmonids by Adult Steelhead in the Cowlitz River, Washington", California Fish & Game 84(1):48-50 (1998).

p. 145    Using growth hormone genes from chinook salmon and antifreeze protein genes from ocean pout, Norwegian biologists have "demonstrated that Atlantic salmon have great plasticity and are capable of undergoing the complex smolting process under environmental conditions at variance with those in nature".  R. Saunders, "Smolt development in growth hormone transgenic Atlantic salmon", Aquaculture 168:177-193, at 191 (1998).   Science has even advanced to the point where breeders can know, for example, whether specific traits in steelhead come from the male or female parent.  (See, e.g., D. Hawkins & C. Foote, "Early survival and development of coastal cutthroat trout (Onchorhychus clarki clarki), steelhead (Onchorhynchus mykiss), and reciprocal hybrids", Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 55:2097-2104 (1998).) 


Chapter 7

p. 165    NMFS' Montlake researchers have produced an updated version of Figure 19:

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Even the relatively low flow year of 1994 had no apparent effect on the survival of fish down the Snake River.  Once flow is above low levels--just how low we have yet to find out--additional flow does nothing measurable for fish survival.  (Copies of this chart were distributed by Steve Smith at an Implementation Team meeting on or about October 1, 1998.)

p. 167    Scientists at the NMFS Montlake Lab have recently produced the most definitive evaluation of the relationship between Snake River flow and salmon survival based on thousands of PIT-tag results over four years of varying flow.  For Snake River spring chinook, migrating as yearlings, survival is essentially constant over a wide range of flows:

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For Snake River fall chinook, which migrate as subyearlings, there is a lot less data, but but it looks like even less of a flow/survival relationship:

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R-squared refers to the percentage of variance "explained" by flow; but slight correlations of flow and survival do not imply that increased flow causes fish to survive better.  (Copies of these charts were distributed by Steve Smith at an Implementation Team meeting on or about October 1, 1998.)

Chapter 8

p. 197    Clinton/Gore Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt continues to spread anti-dam propaganda.  According to Babbitt, "[w]e probably cannot have salmon runs up into the Rocky Mountains and maintain four dams on the lower Snake River.  We have reached the point where the arteries are so clogged that surgery to reduce the blockage may be the only hope . . ."   B. Babbitt, "A River Runs Against It:  America's Evolving View of Dams", Open Spaces 1(4):13 (Fall 1998)  

p. 206    The latest evolution in drawdown "science" is the PATH Weight of Evidence process, with the appropriate acronym of WOE.  The state and tribal agencies and their facilitator managed to convince outside reviewers that four-dam removal would have twice the recovery probability of increased transportation. This result was widely reported in the media, which quoted a tribal spokesman as saying "The scientists are very credible and the process itself is very credible".  (See, e.g., M. Lee, "Breaching dams best for salmon", Tri-City Herald, Oct. 2, 1998.)

As to credibility, even adopting the FLUSH flow-survival relationship and trashing of transportation was not enough to show significant advantages to dam removal.  Thus the PATH WOE folks added a factor that increased the ocean survival of salmon based on whether they passed fewer dams.  A simple Excel spreadsheet showing the comparative benefits of transportation, four dam removal, and four dam removal with the extra PATH WOE factor can be downloaded at

Chapter 10

p. 277    As noted, the Ninth Circuit ordered NMFS to consider the environmental impacts of West Coast harvest pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 1995.   Ramsey v. Kantor, 96 F.3d 434 (9th Cir. 1995). NMFS finally put out a solicitation for bids to prepare that analysis in 1998. (Commerce Bus. Daily, Feb. 9, 1998.)  I heard from one of the potential bidders, who dropped out, that they didn't bid because they heard the bidding contest was already "wired".

However, the Ramsey case did produce some tangible benefits for salmon later in 1998, when NMFS and the tribes tried to take the position that a tribal harvest killing 20% of listed steelhead could go forward because there was no federal involvement in the harvest.  Relying on the Ramsey case, Judge Marsh refused to sanction the harvest in the absence of compliance with  7 of the Endangered Species Act.  United States v. Oregon, No. 68-513-MA, slip op. at 5 (D. Or. Sept. 3, 1998).

It has been gratifying to see at least one aspect of the Ramsey decision come under harsh criticism by other courts.  In a case involving sea turtles and beach lighting, the Eleventh Circuit recently characterized the Ramsey court's holding that neither fishermen nor state fishing regulators needed to apply for incidental take permits to kill endangered salmon as "unpersuasive dicta", noting that "no support for this notion can be drawn from the only authority that the Ramsey court cited . . .".  Loggerhead Turtle v. City Council of Volusia County, Florida, No. 97-2083 (11th Cir. Aug. 3, 1998).

Chapter 11

p. 282    Another powerful emotion motivating the anti-dam faction is sorrow.  Steve Pettit, a biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, says that the completion of Lower Granite Dam in 1975 "was the saddest day of my life" and that he "cried like a baby".  Quoted in P. Joseph, "The Battle of the Dams", Smithsonian, Nov. 1998, at 60.

p. 298    When NMFS released the final report on survival through the spillway at The Dalles Dam, the results showed that survival through the spillway for juvenile coho salmon was only 87.1%, with only 92.1% of juvenile subyearling chinook salmon surviving.  E. Dawley et al., "Relative survival of juvenile salmon passing through the spillway of The Dalles Dam, 1997", at iii (June 1998). While the authors did not compare these numbers to survival through the turbines, they did have the perspicacity to suggest that "passage survival of juvenile salmonids at spill rates lower than 64% warrants further investigation at The Dalles Dam.  Id. at iv.  It remains to be seen whether the fishery management establishment will be willing to attempt to increase salmon survival at The Dalles by reducing spill.

p. 304    Further evidence of possible adverse effects of spill was buried in an lengthy review of the effectiveness of law enforcement programs.  The authors found that "there were aggregately between 15,000 and 31,000 spring and fall chinook salmon annually missing (unaccounted for) in Zone 6 [above Bonneville Dam].  When we performed the same analysis for fish between 1985 and 1991, we were able to account for all the fish using the counts and other estimated losses without ending up with 'missing' fish."  (Research into Action, Final Report:  Evaluation of the Program for Enhanced Harvest and Habitat Law Enforcement and Public Awareness for Anadromous Salmonids and Resident Fish in the Columbia River Basin, Sept. 24, 1997, at V.)  The authors speculated that illegal harvest had risen, but also noted that there "[t]here has been an increased patter of spill and flow to help juvenile fish migrate and spill can delay or kill adults.   There is spill data but it is complex and has yet to be analyzed."  (Id. at VI.)

p. 321    Clues continue to emerge that lobbyists prevent the sort of feedback that might limit federal power:

"Governor John Kitzhaber Friday night admitted urging the federal government to remove a dam on the North Umpqua River, then praised the Clinton plan that restricts logging to save spotted owls and other animals.  The audience?  Mostly industry lobbyists and the governors of other Western states who had assembled here to decry damange to communities and economies by harsh federal and environmental laws. Kitzhaber got a standing ovation."  (J. Brinckman, "Kitzhaber champions resource cooperation", The Oregonian, Dec. 5, 1998, at A1.)

Visitors from Mars might be unable to fathom why a roomful of those hired to protect the interests of absent farmers and loggers would stand to applaud Kitzhaber's manipulation of federal power against their clients. 

p. 323    Media reports suggest that Western governors, at least the Democrats, have given up efforts to limit Federal power.   One recent article concluded:  "Western governors have long fought what they consider unduly harsh federal environmental laws, saying they trammel individual liberties and stymie economic progress.  But Friday, led by Kitzhaber and Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt, the governors said they have no quarrel with federal standards that protect the nation's air, water and land."  (J. Brinckman, "Kitzhaber champions resource cooperation", The Oregonian, Dec. 5, 1998, at A1.)

Chapter 13

p. 330    The correct reference for endnote 10 is D. Chapman, "Salmon and Steelhead Abundance in the Columbia River in the Nineteenth Century", Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 116:662-70 (1986).

p. 333    It turns out that the Warm Springs Tribe signed a subsequent treaty in 1865 which expressly relinquished all fishing rights and confined the Tribe to the Reservation (unless permits were obtained to leave), in exchange for $3,500 in "teams, agricultural implements, seeds and other articles calculated to advance said confederated tribes in agriculture and civilization".   (14 Stat. 751.)  When the United States sued Oregon over fishing rights, Oregon had the perspicacity to raise this treaty as a defense.  But Oregon did not press the issue, for reasons that may have something to do with the political sympathies of the lawyer representing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Washington tried to appeal and failed.  United States v. Oregon, 529 F.2d 570, 573 (9th Cir. 1976).   The position of the United States is that "the 1865 Agreement must be regarded as a historic anomaly which has no practical or legal effect on the nature and extent of the Tribe's 1855 treaty".  (Letter, S. Miller (BIA) to Congressman Bob Smith, May 17, 1989.)

p. 334    An alert reader has sent me copies of two settlement agreements between the United States and the Yakima and Nez Perce Tribes, pursuant to which these Tribes released any and all claims against the United States arising from the "construction, operation and maintenance of the [Dalles Dam] Project".  (Agreement Nos. DA-35-026-ENG-20998 & DA-35-026-CIVENG-57-45)   The Yakima received $15,019,640 and the Nez Perce received $2,800,000 million.   (Id.)

p. 337:    Congress did not specifically declare that half the reason to build Bonneville Dam was flood control; half the reason was navigation, and half electric power generation.

Chapter 14

p. 364    While mass-marking hatchery fish to allow selective harvest was once a costly exercise, involving tedious fish-by-fish fin clipping, the recent invention of a mechanical "Marking and Tagging System" suggests that technology is well on the way to solving the problem.  (B. Monroe, "Clip marks the spot on fin of salmon and steelhead", The Oregonian, Dec. 30, 1998.)

Unintegrated Materials

Shortly after Grant County PUD refused to enter into a "Habitat Conservation Plan" with federal officials, a great deal of media attention suddenly focused on the question of whether the PUD's dam was responsible for stranding and killing juvenile fall chinook in the Hanford reach.  (B. Rudolph, "More Discussion Over Hanford Fish Stranding Policy", Clearing Up, Jan. 11, 1999, at 9-10.)

Illinois biologists have even succeeded in getting adult coho and chinook salmon, transplanted from the Pacific Northwest, to return through a quarter-mile long concrete-lined culvert leading to a polluted lagoon in downtown Chicago.   (R. Cawthon, "Chicago anglers snag tricked salmon", The Seattle Times, Dec. 10, 1998.)

In the fall of 1998, NMFS agreed to waive its requirement that Tribal fisheries take only 23% of the listed Snake River fall chinook, arguing that the runs were bigger than anticipated.  Just months later, Glen Mendel of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife revealed that the runs had been overestimated by a factor of three, so that only about 304 wild chinook had passed over Lower Granite Dam, not the 900-1,300 forecast by the harvest managers.  The Tribal fishery took an estimated 660 listed fish, more than twice the number of returning adults.  (B. Rudolph, "Wild Fall Chinook Numbers on Snake Revised Downward", Clearing Up, April 5, 1999, at 11.)


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