Pacific Aquaculture Inc.
Box 665, Nespelem WA, 99155
May 26, 2011Dear Senators and Representatives:Your leadership is needed immediately to put and end to an environmental andeconomic catastrophe occurring right now on the Columbia River.The decision by the Bureau of Reclamation to increase river flows at GrandCoulee Dam and over-saturate the river with toxic gasses is killing 100,000 fish a
day at Pacific Aquaculture’s sustainable steelhead farm 20 miles south of thedam. If this practice isn’t stopped immediately, it will result in more than $30
million in economic damage to our company alone. There are currently 2.7million fish still living on the fish farm that are being threatened by thisenvironmental and economic catastrophe.But this is about more than the economic survival of one business;
it’s about the
environmental survival of a 51-mile stretch of the Columbia River.These high gas levels are being generated knowingly and are a gross violation of water quality standards. This will have disastrous results on wild fish in the river,including multiple endangered or threatened species. This stretch of river isknown as the home of world-class sport fishing. The last three state records forRainbow Trout were caught here. If the total dissolved gas (TDG) levels are notbrought down immediately to a level of 125%, the outcome will be the completesterilization of this stretch of the Columbia River. If this was a private entitydischarging into the Columbia River system, they could be faced with jail time.In addition, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, which arealready facing an extremely high unemployment rate, depend on healthy fishpopulations in the Columbia River for their business operations and livelihoods.The majority of our employees are affiliated with the Colville Tribe. This area ishome to the endangered bull trout and the Colville T
ribe’s red band trout –
bothwill be driven to extinction unless TDG levels are brought down.
In recent days, we’ve been in contact with the Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corp
of Engineers and the Bonneville Power Administration
they each have ignoredour requests for help or suggestions for a solution that addresses flood control andhealthy fish populations below the dam.