You've got your spill enthusiasts (USFWS and others) who believe more spill and more time will get us to recovery (they are your compromisers), yet, it (increased spill) hasn't yet actually worked to the level of recovery, but it has worked better than NOAA and the inaction agencies' plan that reduces spill and has only produced 1 percent SARs for decades now. And I might remind you that the NOAA plans have all been illegal.
Either way you go, and one is definitely preferable over the other, but neither is even in the same ballpark as a free flowing river, i.e. (or is it e.g.? Where is Chili Palmer when I need him?) dam breaching. We know that will work. The river will naturally need some time to clean out the sediment our dams have hoarded over the past 35-45 years, but we know wild salmon and steelhead flourish in free flowing water, because we have historical data and not just the 19th century people who said things like "the salmon skeered our horses, they was so thick in the crick." We had SAR rates with only one lower Snake River dam in place in the 1960s that were high enough (if repeated for eight straight years) to be considered recovery.
Here's the thing, the inaction agencies and NOAA are going to produce a second turd of a BiOp after the comments come in and then they are going to be sued and they are going to lose in court, but they don't exactly heed judicial orders.
The drumbeat has to be for breaching of the dams in the lower Snake River, because NOAA and the inaction agencies aren't going to participate in (much less convene) a solutions table, nor will court-mandated spill in perpetuity lead to wild salmon and steelhead recovery. You have to demand what you want and if you want wild salmon recovery, then the only successful route is through breaching. Therefore you must demand dam breaching as the only viable alternative. Those of you fence sitters who think we just need more time, time's up dude. People born after Lonesome Larry's return can legally buy beer now.
It is a shame that there was a RELATIVELY large run of salmon 12 years ago (2001 right? I know I can look it up, but I prefer to use my brain and its resources rather than using that noun and verb search engine). Right as dam breaching was reaching critical mass, the runs improve dramatically. Well, basically it all happened in roughly the same time period. Just enough hope dashed in with national crisis to quell any sort of chance of real, significant change. There it was for every short-sighted pinhead to use as the reason why dams shouldn't be breached (the fish are back and we didn't do a damn thing). Well, that run and any good run since then pales in comparison to historical runs and therefore if you want wild salmon and steelhead to recover and stop being the poster child for law school admission, I'm sorry, the poster child for anti-capitalist greenies, I'm sorry again, the poster child for dividing Pacific Northwesterners into whatever camps pinheads who like to play strawman do, then get on the dam breaching band wagon and stop hedging your bets with levels of spill. OF COURSE, MORE SPILL IS BETTER THAN LESS SPILL! But, and it's a big BUT, A FREE FLOWING RIVER TRUMPS THEM ALL AND IT'S NOT LIKE THOSE DAMS PRODUCE A GREAT AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY OR PROVIDE A GREAT AMOUNT OF SHIPPING COMMERCE OR RECREATION OR IRRIGATION AND THEY AREN'T MORE IMPORTANT THAN WILD SALMON AND STEELHEAD. They simply exist because special interests have more clout than the vast majority of people who wouldn't miss the concrete and rebar, but will miss the wild salmon and steelhead.
So, anyway, go comment on that horrible, illegal BiOp and watch how fast the lawsuits are filed in January.