Letters to the Editor

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FLOODING: Fish protected before people

Letter by Antonio P. Marino, Orting on May 20, 2010 at 11:20 am with No Comments »
June 7, 2010 9:20 am

Re: “New hatchery would be flood-free” (TNT 5-13).

The plan to relocate the Voights Creek Fish Hatchery begs many questions.

The fact that the hatchery has been flooded several times in the past 10 years is directly related to the lack of dike maintenance on the Carbon and Puyallup rivers. The last time these rivers were dredged between Orting and McMillan was summer of 1993. Since then, the gravel and debris washing down from Mount Rainier have built up gravel dams throughout the river bottom.

Ignoring that the river bottom is now much higher than prior to 1993 results in flooding. There would have been no flooding of the hatchery if the Carbon/Puyallup dike system had been maintained as it was prior to 1993.

The flooding of the hatchery is analogous to the canary in the coal mines. It should be a wake-up call to Pierce County Public Works. It is a warning of events to come for hundreds of homes that have been permitted by Pierce County since 1993 in the valley bounded by the Carbon and Puyallup rivers, Voights Creek to McMillan.

One has to question why the state Fisheries Commission has embarked on moving the fish hatchery. The $15 million planned to be spent moving the hatchery could be better spent protecting all of the citizens of this valley as well as the fish. The rivers need to be dredged this summer.

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