It survived the asteroid that killed all the dinosaurs, but if we don’t act quickly, it won’t survive us.
The pallid sturgeon has plied Earth’s waterways for 78 million years. But a century of dam building has led to habitat changes that may mean the end for this amazing fish. Biologists estimate that only 125 wild-born pallid sturgeon remain in the Upper Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. What’s worse, none have successfully reproduced in decades because too many dams now block their path and destroy their habitat.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation have the chance to change that, but they have recently released a plan that, far from helping these fish, will likely doom them.
The clear way to save the pallid sturgeon and spend taxpayer dollars wisely is to restore the Yellowstone River by removing the irrigation dam that blocks the path of these fish and to deliver water to irrigators via pumps or other means.
But current government agency plans promote a different solution that Montana fish biologists – and even the government’s own scientists – say won’t work: an even larger concrete dam and two-mile long artificial fish bypass channel. This flawed alternative may have profound effects on the entire fishery of the lower Yellowstone River, not just the pallid sturgeon.
Your voice can make a difference. Tell the agencies involved that you oppose the construction of a new, more permanent dam and that you believe that federal funding for the project should be spent on restoring the Yellowstone River, not on building a bigger dam.
These fish cannot wait. They need our help now.
Thank you for all you do.