ECOLOGY: Spawning a Controversy

ECOLOGY: Spawning a Controversy

People in the Pacific Northwest may love the Snake River sockeye salmon, but they are also fond of the cheap hydroelectric power that makes utility rates in their region among the lowest in the nation. Soon they may have to decide which they love more. Eight power-generating dams built along the Columbia River since the late 1930s have fatally disrupted the path by which thousands of the salmon once swam 900 miles eastward from the Pacific Ocean to spawning grounds in the Snake River basin. Last year fishery-service counters there spotted just one lonesome sockeye.

In an attempt to save the...

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