Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Importance of the Hanford Reach

On my other blog, Environmental Law in Washington State, I have often linked to matters concerning the Hanford Site cleanup. I am particularly concerned that contaminants from that site not be allowed to migrate to the Columbia River. The free-flowing reach of the river bordering the site is a national treasure that must be preserved. One aspect of its importance is well explained in this AP article from the Seattle Times about the Tribes' sale of fall chinook:
"Charles Hudson of the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission said today the fall run on the Columbia is the only one now that can support a commercial Indian fishery. ... He said the fall chinook run is unusually hardy run with spawning grounds in the Hanford Reach, a rare free-flowing stretch of the river from below Washington's Priest Rapids dam to the Columbia's confluence with the Snake River. Hudson said the conditions of spawning grounds in the Hanford Reach has kept the run robust. It is the most reliable of the Columbia's salmon runs, Hudson said."