Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 25, 1993 · Page 16
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 16

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Ukiah, California
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Friday, June 25, 1993
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Page 16
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B*4 — FRI., JUNE 25-SAT., JUNE 26, 1993 -THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL- FISH BARGES Biologists try hauling salmon back to the sea in barges By NICHOLAS K. CERAMICS The Associated Press LITTLE GOOSE DAM, Wash. — The accommodations are definitely steerage class. Baby salmon shoot down a pipe into the hatches of a barge for a two-day ride to safer waters. Riding in a dark hold, they'll be transported hundreds of miles down the Snake and Columbia rivers until they are past Bonneville Dam, near Portland, Ore., where they are released for the rest of their journey to the Pacific Ocean. But that is better than getting lost in a reservoir, being eaten by a bird, or crushed against a hydroelectric turbine. The National Marine Fisheries Service has listed the Snake River's sockeye salmon as an endangered species and its Chinook salmon runs as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. At a recent public hearing in Lewiston, Idaho, research scientist Michael Satterwhite said it had become clear that emphasis on barging over the past two decades has not worked. Others share that view, contending barging in close quarters increases diseases in fish. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contends its 16-year- old barging program is helping keep alive the embattled runs of salmon and steelhead in the Northwest. "Transportation is an essential tool in rebuilding threatened and endangered species," says John McKern, a fisheries biologist for the agency in Walla Walla. Critics contend that the number of returning salmon has not grown much, and that new measures are needed. The Snake and Columbia rivers were once among the most productive salmon grounds, supporting returns of up to 16 million adult fish each year. But that dwindled to 1.2 million pounds by 1983, largely because of over- fishing andpopulation growth, which brought more logging, farming, mining and industrial use of the water, plus the dams themselves, which power much of the Northwest. These days the salmon runs are 2.5 million to 3 million fish per '.'year. Eight massive hydroelectric dams—some dating to the 1930s — have blocked the traditional migration patterns of the fish. While most dams have some sort of bypass facilities, they have not been completely effective, and the torps contends barging is necessary. The fish passages are expensive. The corps is scheduled to spend $217.5 million on improving fish bypass facilities along the Snake River by 1997. Some of the money was spent to carve a shaft-like tunnel inside the Little Goose Dam. Little Goose Dam on the Snake River in southeastern Washington is one of the most remote places in the state, almost 30 miles north of the small town of Dayton. The river blockade provides a green and wet oasis in a parched and barren landscape. The name is a little incongru- ous, especially compared with its sister dams — Lower Granite, Lower Monumental and Ice Harbor. There is nothing little about Little Goose, which is 2,600 feet long and produces 810,000 kilowatts of power. The dam was named for an island that was submerged by the reservoir. Here the corps has built a huge mass transit system for fish. A series of orifices and circular flumes allow 5-inch long baby salmon to move through the dam on their way to the sea. Adults use a "fish ladder" to cross back over on their way to spawning grounds in Idaho. The adults must jump up nearly 100 concrete steps, each a foot tall — against the flow of cascading water — until they reach the reservoir. The babies, meanwhile, shoot through the 13-mile circular flume, which resembles a carnival ride, until they reach holding pens. From the pens they are flushed into the hold of the barge and transported to an area near Portland, Ore., for release. The corps barged 16.5 million salmon in 1992, and only a comparative handful come back to their birth stream to spawn. The reason is not known. Prime suspects include overfish- ing in the ocean, diseases spawned in hatcheries, predators, pollution and other factors. It is likely a combination of all of them. The transportation program was started in 1968 at Ice Harbor Dam, using trucks instead of barges. Barging began in 1977, and now accounts for 95 percent of the movement. "By transporting fish we get a lot more of them by Bonneville Dam alive," said McKern, the corp biologist. It is the only such program in the nation, he said. The barging kills about 1 percent of each fish load. By contrast, up to 15 percent of the fish reaching each dam would be expected to die, McKem said. Besides the physical barriers, the dams also raise the natural water temperature in the reservoirs by up to 4 degrees. That can discourage the fish from enter-, ing. Also, the lack of river current can disorient the fish. That makes them easier prey- Delays alone can also kill fish. That's because the salmon are racing against the physical changes that turn them into saltwater fish during the migration. If the change occurs before the fish reach the ocean, they die. Before the dams were built, fish could reach the ocean in 20 to 30 days. Now it takes 50 to 90 days to navigate through the reservoirs. Barging can carry the salmon past the last dam, Bonneville, in two days, the corps said. By truck the trip takes eight hours. Trucks can carry about 1,750 pounds offish, while barges hold 75,000 pounds. But every fish is precious. "We have sent as few as six fish downriver on a truck," McKem says. WHAT'S HAPPENING? You tell us. Publicize your organization's special event FREE in the Ukiah Daily Journal by using this simple form. To assure timely publication, information should be received at least 10 days in advance of the event. Items are published on a space-available basis only in appropriate sections of the paper. The Daily Journal is not responsible for late submissions. Send forms to: Editorial Department, News Notes, The Ukiah Daily Journal P.O. Box 749, Ukiah, Calif., 95482, or drop them off at the Ukiah Daily Journal, 590 S. School St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays or through our front-door mail slot after 5 p.m. on weekdays, anytime on weekends. Name of event: Type of event (concert, fund-raiser, etc.):. Date(s) of event: Starting time: Ending time: Name of location:. We're losing weight battle, but trying to stay healthy By CHRISTOPHER CONNELL The Associated Press WASHINGTON — More Americans are exercising, wearing seat belts and using smoke detectors, but most are still losing the battle of the bulge, a survey says. Sixty-five percent of adults are overweight, according to the survey of health habits released today by Prevention magazine. The magazine has sponsored similar surveys for the past decade and this year's score on its Prevention Index was the highest ever: 67.3 out of a possible 100. That was almost six points higher than in 1984. "Americans are now much more safety conscious than they were 10 years ago," the magazine said. Seventy-one percent of adults said they always buckle their seat belt in the front seat of a car, up from 19 percent in 1983. Only 17 percent said they sometimes drive after drinking, down from 28 percent a decade ago. Eighty-nine percent said their homes have smoke detectors (up from 67 percent) and 40 percent said they get at least 20 minutes of strenuous exercise three times a week (up from 34 percent). Seventy-eight percent get some exercise. The results were drawn from a telephone poll of 1,250 adults that Princeton Survey Research Associates conducted last Nov. 16-Dec. 4. The margin of error was three points, plus or minus. Thirty percent of the people in this year's poll said they were smokers, up from 25 percent last year. A much larger government survey — the annual National Household Survey on Drug Abuse — released Wednesday indicated 54 million Americans, or 26 percent of the population 12 and older, were cigarette smokers. Walter D. Broadnax, the deputy secretary of health and human services, joined magazine editors at a news conference unveiling the Prevention Index. "Prevention — facing the small before it becomes big — is the single most important factor in building and maintaining healthy individuals and a healthy society," Broadnax said in a prepared statement. Classic Mustang offered for lost dog SOUTH PASADENA (AP) — A distraught pet owner says he'll give up his beloved 1966 Mustang to get back his golden retriever. David Peterson is offering the classic car in exchange for Abercrombie, who vanished six weeks ago. The 19-year-old believes his pet was dognapped, because Abbie once was missing for two days and managed to return home. The maroon Mustang, which the family estimates is worm $10,000, has great sentimental value to Peterson's mother, Evelyn Fierro. The ex-mayor of South Pasadena gave the car to her son. "I love this car, and I love driving it," Peterson said. "But I've been telling people it's a possession and the dog is a friend. And I would do this for any one of my friends." The family has knocked on doors, put up signs offering a $ 1,000 reward and made the rounds at the animal shelters since Abbie vanished. "It's is a real tragic thing for our family ... it is like an empty spot," said Peterson. "Like a family member dying." Abbie was wearing a brown leather collar with a tag bearing Peterson's name and telephone number. FIND A NEW CAR IN THE JOURNAL /> f For Information and Reservations call Judy: (707)254-7672 Monthly flights direct from the SANTA ROSA Airport to Reno Your Fun Flight Package includes round trip jet service to Reno, ground transportation to BOOMTOWN and a fabulous free buffet! Some restrictions apply. HOTIWMBO 7 miles West of Reno on 1-80 Call Toll Free - 1-800-648-3790 Street address/City (also include directions or major cross streets if needed): Give us a piece of your mind. We might even print it in the newspaper. Beginning in July, the Ukiah Daily Journal will feature a new column - Sound Off. All you have to do is pickup the phone and call us, leave a message of any length on any topic, and we may publish it on our weekly Sound Off column. You do not have to give your name or address — all we ask is that you keep your comments in good taste and to the point. So if there's something that's been on your mind lately, give us a call and share it with the readers of the Ukiah Daily Journal. Sound Off by calling now! 468-3540 24 hour a day - 7 days a week Watch for this new feature column Beginning in July in the UkiahDaiJy ^ Sponsoring organization(s):. Cost (if free, state so): Tickets available where/when:. Additional information: Please list a phone number we can publish for further information of this event:

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