Regarding the editorial “Salmon release holds promise,” (The Daily News, Aug. 18) — thank you. It’s a start, overdue by 81 years, since the time of the erection of the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams. When the dam builders were asked about the welfare of the salmon in 1930s, when the dams were being built, the builder said, “Damn the fish — I’m building a dam here!” And a great river and all its bounty were lost. There used to be 15 million adult breeding salmon and steelhead natives running upriver every year to their native breeding grounds, all the way up the Columbia and Snake rivers to Idaho and British Columbia, 1,100 miles of pristine rivers and tributaries. Now, 30 adult salmon were reintroduced above the dams into the Columbia River by the Coleville Confederated Tribes, as a beginning of the salmon fishery’s renewal. Symbolically and religiously for the tribes, it is a heart aching but significant beginning. Imagine how excited the tribes will be when the Grand Coulee and its sibling dams are removed, and when they see the salmon and other species returning in great numbers upriver to spawn? Let’s hope that day comes soon. To return the salmon to the Columbia and Snake rivers, we must remove the Grand Coulee, Chief Joseph and all other dams. Let’s do it now. Let the Columbia and Snake rivers run free.

Joe Paliani

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