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Feedback: Dworshak Nutrient Supplementation Study
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 (PST)

Feedback: Dworshak Nutrient Supplementation Study


-- Re: “Corps Dworshak Nutrient Supplementation Study Aims To Boost Kokanee, Listed Bull Trout,” Jan. 20, 2012,


-- From Mike Faler, Fisheries Biologist, Orofino, ID


In regards to the article about the Dworshak Nutrient Supplementation Project, I would like to point out just a few of the omissions, discrepancies, and inconsistencies I observed in the narrative:


1. The idea for this project was not generated by public input.


2. The kokanee in Dworshak Reservoir have not been “shrinking in size” in recent years. Their growth, like all kokanee populations, is related to population density. Large populations yield smaller fish, while small populations yield larger fish.


3. The two state record smallmouth bass that Mr. Pence refers to in the article were both caught BEFORE the nutrient supplementation project began: 10/14/1995 and 10/28/2006, respectively.


4. There have been large blue green algae blooms in 4 out of 5 years since the project was initiated.  At a recent public meeting, the Corps was asked about the frequency of blooms prior to project implementation. They claimed they had a record of a blue green bloom in the early 70’s, but apparently none between then and 2008. The Corps still claims that that is there is no evidence that recent additions of nutrients have caused blue-green blooms.  I would offer that there is no evidence that recent additions of nutrients have NOT caused blue-green blooms.


5. Public sentiment toward this project is not pleasant. In a recent online poll from the Lewiston Tribune, 60 percent of the respondents felt this project will result in toxic algae blooms. The poll results can be viewed at:                                                                                                                  


The readers of the Columbia Basin Bulletin should be careful what they choose to believe in regards to this project.


Mike Faler, fisheries biologist

Orofino, ID


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