March 25, 2011 - During this year's salmon-fishing season, anglers might reel in the benefits of a federal decision announced this week.
The agencies responsible for operating dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers say they will allow the same amount of water to flow over the dams as they have for the last five years. It's one way to help migrating fish get safely past the dams. The higher spill level, which was court-ordered in recent years, is being cited as one reason salmon numbers have increased.
Glen Spain, northwest regional director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations: "I'm hopeful that this does mean that the agencies see that the science is pretty clear - that spill helps fish. The reality is, when the fish are in the river and the river is run like a river, the fish swimming through it do much better than if they go through the turbines… All the way up into southeast Alaska and all the way down to middle California is influenced by the numbers and the health of the salmon runs in the Columbia-Snake River."