I might hate dworshak dam more than anything. I hate dworshak as much as I hate open cage fish farming, and arguably more than sport harvest of wild steelhead. That's saying something. Reading about it today, and it really started sinking in. In 1972, in the supposed age of reason, the industrial revolution, as modern medicine and science were advancing at record speed the Army Corp knowingly chose to extirpate the greatest race of summer steelhead in the continuous USA for fucking pennies on the dollar. Classic example of government subsidizing the senseless destruction of our natural resources. If I could go back in time I'd go George Hayduke on that construction site until they carted me off to prison goddammit.
They sold it like it was the best thing since sliced bread. We'll make a world class fishery with the hatchery production, yeah right. We'll have this beautiful lake, bogus. Shits probably full of walleye, bass and other trash from the midwest. Meanwhile that sweet little river that was once home to 30 lb summer runs with an appetite for dryflies sits under 200 feet of impounded water.
The Dalles is a whole 'nother box of rocks and is a striking reminder of the long standing policy of cultural genocide directed at Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. In 1957 water rising behind the dam covered Celilo Falls, a place where Native American tribes from all over the region had been fishing, gathering and trading for thousands of years. The falls were holy grounds, destroryed by our country's insatiable industrial appetite and our unwillingness to consider the spiritual, and natural values that made Celilo special. We should've been celebrating Celilo, the magnificent fish annually passed through its heavy rapids, and the rich cultural traditions they supported. Instead we entombed it behind an monolithic industrial hydrodamn. If there is a real-life death star, its The Dalles, and Richard Nixon is Vader (for alot of reasons).
All that is to say, both are fucking wastes, of some of the most magnificent fish, culture and natural history in our region. I hope we've learned our lessons from that wasteful era when the Bureau of Rec The Nation, and the Army Corpse of Engineers ran amok on every wild river this side of the mississippi. Sometimes I worry though. In all likelihood we'll never see those dams removed but on the off chance we do I plan to make pilgrimage to those hallowed grounds, where I will get down on my hands and knees and beg the river gods to forgive my people for our foolishness. The next century is uncertain for wild salmon and our culture but one thing is certain, there is only one right path for both, and it doesnt involve any more dams nor the mentality that led to their justification.