LETTER: The problem with returning salmon to the Columbia

From Marilyn Burgoon of the Perry Ridge Water Users Association

Our association works on watershed issues. Slocan River is of particular importance to the residents who live in the Slocan Valley.

The Columbia River is filled with contaminants and these contaminants are in the fish including the salmon. The life cycle of the salmon would bring the salmon back to the cleaner waters of the upper Columbia where they would die, leaving their toxic carcasses on the shores of the rivers we use recreationally as well as many farmers and residents have water licenses into the river and shallow wells along the shores. In addition the osprey, river otters and other wildlife that feed on fish would ingest these toxins.

Therefore, it is our position that, although our association supports the Sinixt relationship to the salmon, that environmentally it is an injustice to introduce these contaminated fish into the local waters. This position is supported by local Sinixt elder Marilyn James.

Due to the damage done to the Columbia by humans we cannot go back in time but must consider the future and protect the existing wildlife and fisheries from introducing contaminants from the Columbia River. The salmon also are exposed to the Pacific Ocean pollution and the state of our oceans is of great concern.

Marilyn Burgoon

Perry Ridge Water Users Association

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