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the persons interested in these projects be present to express their views so that we can have the facts, not only on your side, favoring the dam, but those facts that could be supplied by those on the other side who are opposed.
Mr. HOLMES. I can refer you back to the records built in the past on this Ice Harbor Dam recommendation, in case you are interested. The budget also formerly recommended $12,000,000 for Ice Harbor.
Mr. SCRIVNER. This thing has to be done right away. I am speaking about this bill. We do not have the time at this stage of the session of Congress to go into expensive hearings, which I think a project involving nearly half a billion dollars should be given.
Mr. HOLMES. Mr. Scrivner, I am asking only for $4,000,000 supplementary appropriation for Ice Harbor.
Mr. SCRIVNER. I understand that. That is just $4,000,000 beginning on nearly a half-billion-dollar program. You know that if you get the $4,000,000 you are going to get the rest of it eventually.
Mr. HOLMES. It will not require $350,000,000 for Ice Harbor Dam.
Mr. SCRIVNER. We are not talking about Ice Harbor Dam. We cannot consider it alone. As the engineers told us, this is one of a series of four in a studied program of dam construction along Snake River.
It is apparently their view that the four must go together to accomplish the purpose to bring about the benefits which they say will be brought, which would include some slack river navigation.
Mr. HOLMES. Definitely Ice Harbor could contribute to slack water navigation.
Mr. SCRIVNER. It would not until the four dams were completed, would it?
Mr. Holmes. Yes; it would complete a considerable part of it because it hooks up with the back pool of McNary. The back pool of McNary affects the Columbia 67 miles upstream, and also affects the Snake River, which flows into the Columbia a few miles above the McNary Dam.
Mr. SCRIVNER. The colloquy demonstrates the point I am trying to make. In the speed that is necessary and in the consideration of urgent deficiencies, we are not able to go into all the facts that we should have in order to pass sound and reasonable judgment on an undertaking of this character.
We can admit that all that is requested here is $4,000,000 for the beginning of Ice Harbor ,and we can realize that the potential that we are getting into is nearly half a billion dollars.
Mr. HOLMES. I can assure you, the gentleman from Kansas, that if we could get under way on Ice Harbor Dam, the potential power production which is so badly needed in the Northwest-and I think will be needed definitely in what we may face in the future-would be a tremendous asset to this Nation.
The electrical energy that was produced in the Northwest during World War II was responsible for a tremendous volume of the sheet aluminum that went into our airplane manufacture, and it was all important in the war effort. With that tremendous Boeing plant out there in Seattle, and Witchita, Kans., and with other plants taking sheet aluminum all over the Nation, it was of tremendous importance to the war effort of World War II. The Hanford Engineer Work uses a tremendous amount of power.
Mr. SCRIVNER. Off the record. (Discussion off the record.)
Mr. RABAUT. We have a sheet here on it. The total estimated cost for this particular dam is practically $90,000,000. It is true, as Mr. Scrivner says, this is putting the camel's nose under the tent for $4,000,000. All the money to date is $820,000.
Mr. TABER. When did Bonneville go into the production of power?
Mr. HOLMES. It started production about 1941. I would have to look it up. I would like to have a right to change that on the record if it is not a fact, but I believe it is.
Mr. TABER. There are presently, I understand, three large aluminum plants idle. All those were operated with the power that was available during the war. It would hardly seem that there would be too big a set-up that could not be taken care of at the present time with that situation.
In view of the length of time that it would take to get anything into action here in the way of production of power, if we had any extra money would it not be smarter if we speeded up the operations on McNary and Chief Joseph, rather than embarking on a new project which is not going to produce electricity until 1955 ?
Ought we not try to take a broad view of it, rather than a narrow view? We scatter our fire all over the lot and we slow up automatically the construction of everything.
Mr. HOLMES. I was under the impression that those dams were moving ahead on schedule.
Mr. TABER. They are on schedule, but maybe they could do better.
Mr. Holmes. I would not be opposed to their going ahead faster, but I am definitely urging that we go ahead with the whole program, which is very badly needed, in my estimation. From the findings of the power pool out there, I think you can get substantiating evidence. And Ice Harbor is considered most important.
Mr. TABER. I think we have to get into the question of what the actual situation is. I frankly do not feel that I have it at the present time.
Mr. HOLMES. I can assure you that the Bonneville Power Administration could give you very objective evidence and facts on it.
Mr. TABER. I think that is all I have for now.
ICE HARBOR LOCK AND DAM
HON. THOR C. TOLLEFSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
We will hear now from the gentleman from Washington, Mr. Tollefson.
Mr. TOLLEFSON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate very much the opportunity of presenting a brief statement in opposition to appropriation of funds for the construction of Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River, a tributary of the Columbia River.
Although I have heretofore supported appropriations for the construction of power dams in the Pacific Northwest, I have done so with thought in mind that our great fishery resources should not thereby be destroyed. Congress has recognized the importance of these fishery resources and has taken the precaution to protect them as much as possible in the construction of dams of all kinds. The precautions taken, however, while the best thus far devised, have not been completely effective or satisfactory. A certain percentage of the fish runs were always lost in their passage up or down the stream.
The plan for the development of the Columbia River Basin contemplates the construction of many dams, several of which would be placed on the Snake River. The Snake River is now the greatest remaining salmon-producing tributary of the Columbia River. In the opinion of the best fisheries experts, the construction of a dam at Ice Harbor would be extremely damaging to future runs of salnion. Charts prepared by the Department of Fisheries of the State of Washington and presented to your committe indicate that if certain proposed dams are constructed the fisheries resources loss will amount to approximately 72 percent. With the permission of the committee I should like to furnish additional data supplied by the department of fisheries in the form of a statement by the director, which I include with my own statement. The position of the department of fisheries is supported by all commercial fishermen and by the many thousands of sports fishermen in the Pacific Northwest. Likewise it is supported by many of the great daily newspapers. I trust that the committee will give the statement of the Fisheries Department of the State of Washington its best study and consideration.
(The matter referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT REGARDING PROPOSED DAMS FOR THE LOWER SNAKE RIVER WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR EFFECT UPON THE FISH RUNS BY THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES, MARCH 1950
The salmon runs in the streams constitute one of this State's greatest renew. able natural resources, being exceeded in value only by the timber resources. The Columbia River is one of the four great salmon-producing areas in the world. The Snake River is the greatest remaining salmon-producing tributary of the Columbia River.
Among the fish that enter the Snake River are the most highly prized and valuable of all the salmon and steelhead races. More than 70 to 80 percent of all the Columbia's population of spring chinook salmon and 40 to 50 percent of the fall chinook salmon that pass Bonneville Dam and the Columbia River fishery may be attributed to the Snake River and its tributaries. It has been determined by our studies that the Snake exceeds the main Columbia River in chinook salmon production above their confluence by a ratio of at least 3 to 1. The Columbia River was once the producer of a great many more salmon than it is today. The greatest single factor responsible for the reducing of the annual fisheries production has been the loss or alteration of the original environment of the fish. The vast natural spawning and fresh-water rearing areas of this river are necessary to the salmon for periods ranging up to 1 year of their life before migrating to sea, and once these areas are lost they are gone forever.
PROPOSED LOWER SNAKE RIVER DAMS
The Review Report on the Columbia River and its Tributaries, by the United States Army engineers, also known as the 308 Report, dated October 1, 1948, recommends construction, as a part of their over-all development program for the Columbia River watershed, of four dams on the lower Snake River. These dams include Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite
Dams. Each of these structures will constitute a barrier in the vicinity of 100 feet in height. Individually these dams would not be of great significance as destroyers of fish, but collectively they may well eventually destroy the greater part of the production of the Snake River watershed. With Bonneville and McNary plus these four dams, only about 25 percent of the downstream migrants would survive. Ice Harbor dam would not be a great producer of power but would provide only about 240,000 kilowatts in comparison with other non-fishkilling dams on the Columbia watershed such as Chief Joseph that will have an ultimate capacity of 1,828,000 kilowatts. This is nearly half of the current production of the entire Northwest power pool.
EXTENT OF THE SNAKE RIVER SPAWNING GROUNDS
The concentration and distribution of any species of anadromous fish on the spawning grounds is a very intangible thing which varies to a great extent from year to year. Field investigations conducted by this department in conjunction with the State of Oregon have indicated the great importance of the Snake River above the proposed lower Snake dam sites for the production of fish. It is not definitely known how many fish spawn between the proposed site of Ice Harbor Dam and the upper extent of the Lower Granite Dams reservoir. Although there is a considerable amount of spawning area between these two points, the river is large and at times discolored, making a quantitative analysis of the spawning here impossible. It is known, however, that nearly all of the salmon that spawn in the Snake River do so above the site of the Ice Harbor Dam. It is the opinion of our biologists that many thousands of fall chinook salmon spawn in the area that will be inundated by the four proposed lower Snake dams. It is also known that important fall chinook spawning areas lie above Hell's Canyon in the area below Swan Falls and other parts of the upper watershed.
EFFECT OF THE DAMS ON FISH
Unfortunately, these living creatures have never been able to completely adapt themselves to the mechanical conditions provided by the construction of high dams. Fish losses are caused at these structures in the following manner:
1. Losses of upstream migrant adult salmon at the dam because of adverse hydraulic conditions which they encounter at these structures during certain river flows.
2. Loss of the young salmon on their way to sea, caused either by dropping over the spillway into an area of turbulence, or as a result of passing through turbines where they are subject to radical changes in pressure and mechanical abrasion.
3. Loss of alteration of the spawning grounds by inundation.
4. Reduction in the efficiency of the reproductive processes resulting from retention of eggs in the body cavity of the spawning adults.
In the early days very little concern was felt in the State of Washington over the gradual severence of segments of our rivers from the use of migratory fish. A great number of dams have been built in this State in which have been included provisions for fish protection. Most of these dams have, in spite of these devices, caused same degree of destruction. This process has gradually reduced nature's fish-producing capacity in the Northwest. At Bonneville Dam some loss has occurred to upstream migrants, and a considerable greater loss has occurred to downstream migrant fish. Experiments have indicated that the delays caused by any obstruction will result in the spawning fish retaining some of its eggs which spoil in the body cavity. Conservationists are unanimous in the opinion that each dam, regardless of the provisions made for passing fish, constitutes a hazard to their survival. They use up the energy which is supplied to fish only in a sufficient amount to complete the normal spawning process at a certain time and place. It is expected that the cumulative effect resulting from the construction of several dams will result in the destruction of the greater part of the runs of the Snake River. Experiments by the various fisheries agencies have indicated that a 15-percent mortality occurs to the downstream migrants while passing Bonneville Dam. If this loss were to be projected to the passage over McNary, and four dams on the lower Snake, a loss of about 75 percent of the young salmon could be expected.
Alteration of the spawning grounds is nearly as important as complete loss of it in cases where reservoirs are created. Extensive gravel bars where the fish spawn are flooded and the running water in which these species must spawn becomes deep and still. Each race of fish within the several species that spawn on the Snake River watershed has a tendency to spawn in relatively the same
area in each succeeding generation. If, upon returning from the sea, the fish find these grounds inundated it is quite possible that they will not have enough reserve energy to seek and find proper spawning grounds. In the past the theory has been set forth that it was possible to transplant races of fish from one part of the watershed to another, but experience has indicated that the fish cannot always readily adapt itself to strange conditions, and areas are no longor available in which to transplant runs of this magnitude.
Field studies were made during 1947. The data from this particular year are, therefore, the best available regarding the salmon populations of the Snake. Field surveys made in conjunction with the State of Oregon indicate that the following number of fish utilize the Snake River to spawn: Chinook (spring and fall)
4, 000 Steelheads_
70,000 In order to properly assess the value of the fish produced as a result of the spawning in the Snake River, data have been taken from a scientific paper prepared by the United States Bureau of Fisheries. This bulletin, No. 41, by W. H. Rich, entitled “The Salmon Runs of the Columbia River of 1938," has determined the ratio of catch to escapement of the various races of salmon entering the Columbia River. Utilizing this and the actual counts of fish passing Bonneville Dam in conjunction with stream-survey information, it has been calculated that the upper Snake River produces annually a catch of approximately 400,000 fish in the lower Columbia River, which equals 8,000,000 pounds. Additional information indicates that the sea take of 4,000,000 pounds must be added, making a total of 12,000,000 pounds in all. The wholesale commercial value of the chinook salmon during 1947 amounted to $0.50 per pound, thereby giving a first wholesale value to the production of the Snake River of $6,000,000 per year.
There is a great sport fishery in the Columbia River, from which about onehalf million pounds of Snake River salmon are taken. These are valued at $875,000 a year using a value of $1.75 per pound. Considering these figures and the value of other species entering the Snake, this river produces approximately half of the total annual wholesale value of the Columbia River fishery, or $9,000,000.
The Snake River produces more than half of the total Columbia River fish production above Bonneville, or about $9,000,000 each year. In actual numbers of spawning fish this equals 200,000 spring and fall chinook salmon, 4,000 silver salmon, and 70,000 steelhead. These fish cannot be produced in any other place. If there were no alternative in supplying the needed power there is little doubt that the fisheries conservationists would favor the construction of any dam that was essential to the development of the Pacific Northwest. We do not feel, however, that it is wise governmental economy to destroy one of the greatest remaining salmon fisheries in the world for the purpose of slack-water navigation in an area where other means of transportation are available. This is not a controversy between fish and power, because much greater blocks of power are available elsewhere, where few or no fish will be damaged. Since this dam was first authorized an oil pipe line has been placed under construction from Salt Lake City to the Pacific Northwest. Upon completion this fall this pipeline should remove petroleum from the barge cargo list.
The information collected at existing dams has indicated that a very serious loss of salmon may be expected as a result of the erection of the four lower Snake River dams. The State of Washington Department of Fisheries recommends the following:
1. Complete development of all structures now built or in the process of construction.
2. Completion at the earliest possible date of the Chief Joseph (or Foster Creek) Dam, and all structures above this dam on the main stem of the Columbia River that will supplement the reservoir capacity of Grand Coulee Dam.