National Geographic : 1972 Jun
September, three fairly dry ones," Wayne said. "Spring chinook get the breaks. They migrate from April to June, when the flow is cool and constant, then spend the summer and spawn high up on feeder streams, where the same favorable conditions prevail." "No such luck for the fall chinook," Henry added. "Arriving this time of year, they'd meet sluggish, overheated waters heavily bur dened with waste, if the Corps of Engineers didn't increase reservoir outflow to raise the river level and lower its temperature." Decisions-for fish, farms, navigation, and recreation-are made in Portland. There the division engineer, Maj. Gen. Kenneth T. Saw yer, and his staff weigh water-release re quests against weather predictions and river conditions and arrive, through the use of computers, at a daily rate of flow that satis fies the maximum number of valley needs. Model Plant Steps Back From River One of the Willamette's best customers, the American Can Company, completed its mod el pulp and paper plant three miles east of the river near Halsey in 1969. Four million dol lars-10 percent of all construction costs were spent on pollution controls (page 832). I asked why the mill, which uses 18 million gallons of river water a day, was so far re moved from the source. "We intended to locate much closer," plant manager Thomas W. Orr told me. "But when state officials explained their long-range plans for a park along both banks, their need for the site seemed greater than ours." In this way, American Can has already shown its support for the highly ambitious Greenway program, which proposes even tually to edge the river with a nearly contin uous strip of recreational land for public use. Below Halsey, our jet boat passed shovels scooping away bars and islands, satisfying a growing need for gravel to make concrete. To prevent destruction of spawning areas and silting that kills fish eggs, the law insists that a berm-a protective strip-be left around all excavations. As a further precau tion, stone crushing and washing operations ashore must return only unclouded water to the Willamette. A brown streak off our starboard side hinted at another infraction. How well do citizen complaints really work? When I tele phoned from Corvallis, I learned that ten other river-watchers had already reported the matter and remedial action had begun. 828 RICHARDTIPTON "Warm ice" may save fruit buds from frost damage. Hot waste water from the Weyerhaeuser pulp and paper plant at Springfield has been experimentally sprayed on trees in nearby orchards. Sheathing the branches with a coating of ice, the technique keeps delicate buds in sulated at about 30.5° F., even when the air temperature plummets as low as 15° F. Lazy-looping river meanders through lush farm country near Eugene. Fertile bottomlands, saved from flooding by up stream dams, make the Willamette Valley one of the most productive in the United States. The ambitious Greenway plan calls for eventually bordering the river with an almost continuous belt of park land for recreational use.