TU is still worried about Tintina’s amount of data on fishery populations, groundwater recharge and arsenic levels. The DEQ addressed these aspects little or not at all in their deficiency report. The 90-day review period stresses the DEQ’s staff of six, especially because they are also reviewing other permits simultaneously, [Montana TU Executive Director, Bruce] Farling said.
The DEQ did not flag fisheries as needing more data, which worries Trout Unlimited.
On Tuesday April 19, Colin Cooney, with Montana Trout Unlimited will present a program on the proposed Black Butte Mine on Sheep Creek in the headwaters of the famous Smith River. If you haven’t heard, the Smith is currently at risk from a proposed copper mine in one of the primary and most productive tributaries of the Smith. Now anglers and recreationists are waging an all out battle to keep the Smith from harm. Colin will present information you will need if we are to stop this dangerous and unneeded mine. If you’re interested, you can contact Colin at firstname.lastname@example.org
The waste and secrecy inherent in this process is bad enough, but the environmental consequences of this decision are potentially enormous. The FDA has failed to fully examine the risks this new species of salmon may present to wild salmon—and the environment—should it escape into the wild, which even some supporters of the FDA decision acknowledge is inevitable
We are deeply worried that state regulatory agencies will be unable to catch problems before they turn into disasters. Usually, environmental disasters can be traced back to a government agency that has done too little too late. This has been the recent track record of both the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation when it comes to protecting our river resources. Does DEQ have the financial resources and the technological expertise to closely monitor and regulate this mine? How much manpower can they devote to this mine? And what would they do when the mine either pollutes or diminishes the groundwater in an area that is already water-limited?
Dams thwart salmon migration, degrade water quality, alter water flows, and contribute to fish diseases and algae bloom problems. Three tribes depend on the fish for subsistence and ceremonial needs, and a fourth hopes fish will return once the dams are removed.
BC Hydro declined to comment on fish mitigation plans for Site C.
In the U.S., where hydro dams are owned and operated by private companies, officials readily provide information to the public about dams and fish mitigation strategies.
Avista Utilities plans to build what it says will be the second bull trout ladder in North America, at the Cabinet Gorge dam on the Clark Fork River. The only existing bull trout ladder is at the Thompson Falls dam, owned by NorthWestern Energy, further upstream on the Clark Fork.
At just over four metres, Avisa’s bull trout ladder will be less than one-half the length of the proposed Site C bull trout ladder. After ascending the ladder at the Cabinet Gorge dam through six different entrances, “fish will be collected in a hopper and hoisted to the top of the dam where they will be transferred into a fish truck,” explains Tim Swart, Avista’s Clark Fork License Manager.
Both boats had been decontaminated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department prior to heading north, but Erik Hanson, a consultant for the Flathead Aquatic Invasive Species Work Group, noted that “decontamination is not always 100 percent. It is critical for boats to be held after decontamination to ensure that they are actually mussel-free.”
Arizona authorities had notified Montana officials that mussels still might be present on the hulls or engines of the boats.
A total of fifteen thousand eight hundred sixty five lake trout have been turned in over the first three weeks of the Flathead Lake Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Anglers are competing for Up To $225,000 in Cash and Prizes in the eight week long competition.
Our outdoor economy and treasured heritage are at risk. A recent study prepared for the Montana Wildlife Federation projects that the changing climate will cause the loss of 10,922 Montana outdoor recreation and tourism jobs and $281,000,000 in labor earnings. It’s hard to sell the amenities of our “Big Sky” to tourists and new businesses when it is frequently obscured by unhealthy amounts of smoke from Western wildfires.