Corps Asked to Terminate Managed Spring Pulses

Corps Asked to Terminate Managed Spring Pulses

Newly released report from Missouri River Recovery Program Independent Science advisers indicates spring pulses are unnecessary as a spawning cue for pallid sturgeon.

The Missouri River Recovery Program Independent Science Advisory Panel (ISAP) Final Report on Spring Pulses and Adaptive Management was publicly released on Nov. 30. The report confirmed the longstanding assertions of economic stakeholders by concluding the managed spring pulse mandated by the Missouri River Biological Opinions (BiOp) is unnecessary as a cue for pallid sturgeon spawning activities.

"Stakeholders were not surprised to learn the independent science panel charged with the managed spring pulse review upon considering thousands of pages of peer-reviewed literature and agency reports confirmed spring pulses are not needed," said Randy Asbury, executive director of the Coalition to Protect the Missouri River.

"Because this report is based on the consensus views of the panelists and the best available science, Lower Basin economic interests call on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately and permanently terminate managed spring pulse operations. Farmers and municipalities have for too long been exposed to unwarranted flood risks and economic harm as a result of an ineffective and unjustified BiOp mandate."

The ISAP report stated, "Pallid sturgeon have spawned in the lower Missouri River in all years for which data are available, with and without managed spring pulses. Based on that information, the ISAP concludes that the spring pulse management action, as currently designed, is unnecessary to serve as a cue for spawning in pallid sturgeon."

The ISAP was tasked with this review by the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC). MRRIC is a 70-member committee comprised of stakeholders, tribal representatives and state and federal agencies throughout the Missouri River basin and provides recommendations to federal agencies on Missouri River recovery efforts.

The Coalition to Protect the Missouri River represents the diverse interests of agricultural, navigational, industrial, utility and business-related entities. CPR supports responsible management of Missouri River resources and the maintenance of congressionally authorized purposes of the river including flood control and navigation. CPR also supports responsible habitat restoration for endangered or threatened species.

Source: Coalition to Protect the Missouri River

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