By David Welch
Mr. Hawley misconstrues my shock—I am shocked because biologists monitoring survival thought it unimportant to ask why salmon survival reported elsewhere was no better than Snake River populations. Decades ago someone should have asked what was wrong with the accumulating data (and fixed it) or asked why current Columbia Basin policy laser-focused on the dams can really restore salmon populations if survival is the same elsewhere. The answer reported in our paper is that the data really are consistent with a coastwide decline but that the Columbia also has a big problem with what was thought to be the gold standard in survival monitoring—PIT tag data. This too is shocking.