I can think of a carp or two I wanted to strangle — at this very location, in fact — but apparently it’s the trout who are having trouble breathing:
Cold water pouring through power-generating turbines at Table Rock Dam frequently lacks enough oxygen in late summer and fall to keep the trout healthy in downstream Lake Taneycomo.
Because of the low oxygen levels, Lake Taneycomo has been declared an “impaired waterway” since 2008. The problem threatens Taneycomo’s multimillion dollar trout fishery, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency now wants Missouri to do something about it.
Last week, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources began seeking public comment on ways to get more oxygen into the trout habitat.
To me, this seems pretty obvious: redesign the turbines to mix more air, hence more oxygen, into the water. It will cost a ton of money up front, but it’s a more-or-less permanent solution, until the fish evolve to such an extent that they start phoning the surface and asking for snorkels.
What they’ll propose, however, is probably something suboptimal, tinged with enough government-inflicted green to incur the wrath of Brian J. Noggle:
Please, someone tell me how the needs of the trout outweigh the needs of the people who use power. For example, how many trout balance against the need of a single ventilator for a human? That’s determining balance, brothers and sisters. On one side of the scale, some number of fish and on the other side of the scale, people.
Don’t be silly. Fish have scales of their own.
I suspect that this can be solved without jeopardizing either the power plant or the hatchery, but first we can expect to hear some Really Bad Proposals. It’s simply the way these things work.