Excerpt from:Sucking Up Riverbeds–Is suction dredging ruining your favorite trout stream?


Excerpt from: 

Sucking Up Riverbeds–Is suction dredging ruining your favorite trout stream?
By Ted Williams Fly Rod and Reel Magazine Spring 2013
“Part of the [suction dredgers’] pitch seems to be that mucking up rivers flowing through public lands is an honest-to-goodness, Don’t-Tread-On-Me, all-American right,” submits Cascadia Wildlands director Bob Ferris. “Poppycock . . . . Suction dredging is not a ‘right’ nor is mucking up the water for the rest of us—particularly in streams and rivers that run though public lands or hold imperiled species such as coho and Chinook salmon or bull trout.”
Feeding the flow of what Ferris calls “poppycock” are retired EPA scientists Joe Greene and Claudia Wise, both officers in the mining support group Millennium Diggers and both self-proclaimed experts on the effects of suction dredging. According to Ferris, they don’t initially disclose their passion for dredging or their mining affiliations. He chides the more loquacious Greene for quoting “laughable” conclusions from a nearly 75-year-old water-chemistry study and making public statements that are “deceptive, unprofessional in nature, and politically and personally motivated.”
Nothing I have read by Greene and Wise has led me to disagree with Ferris’s assessment of their credibility. Still, they were the spokespeople the dredgers turned to after the Karuk tribe filed a 2005 complaint in Superior Court of Alameda County against the California Department of Fish and Game, for allowing suction dredgers to damage the habitat of listed fish in the Klamath, Scott and Salmon rivers and specified tributaries.

5 thoughts on “Excerpt from:Sucking Up Riverbeds–Is suction dredging ruining your favorite trout stream?

  1. mark stoffer says:

    It's gonna be ok the same tactics you people use to stop dredgers will be used against your grand and great grand children in the future to stop them from stepping foot in a forests and public lands, your tactics lies and agenda's will slap your right back in the faces, good luck with all that.

  2. mark stoffer says:


  3. jim says:

    First off the supreme court has already ruled that murking up the water is not pollution by definition of the Clean Water Act.  Second chemistry has not changed nor can it..protons, neutrons and elections will always behave the same.  Mining is a right which allows for the most economical extraction of the minerals we OWN and suction dredging removes lead, Hg and other metals you fisherman are allowed to sling into our rivers, streams and lakes!  These are all lies developed by the environmental groups.  If it was so bad why are they trying to suction dredge at Combie Lake in CA and sell the gold, sand and gravels while trying to get a grant from CA for $9,000,000?  The dredge your "green friends want to use has a cutter head on it which destroys the environment and slices up anything in its way.  As a bio major I say do your own research!  Oh and look up silenium.  

  4. bob says:

    Chemistry changes all the time. I think that you misinterpret the Supreme Court ruling (see below). There are certain rights to mining under that 1872 Mining Law but suction dredging is not a right but a process nor is it something anticipated by the 1872 law. And I would say that this Supreme Court Ruling is more relevant: http://yubanet.com/california/Supreme-Court-ESA-Trumps-1872-Mining-Act.php#.UWrLQbVqmGc


    And this from a suction dredging site about the Supreme Court ruling you reference.  “This opinion, though forceful, is not dispositive regarding the operation of a suction dredge because the technical issue before the Supreme Court was narrow; specifically it involved a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Such permits apply to municipalities and are different from a suction dredge permit. However, the logic appears applicable to a suction dredge analysis.”

    My sense is that the first part of the above is accurate but the latter is overly optimistic.  But this is illutrative of what we have come to expect from suction dredgers: strong declaritave statements based on weak or misleading information.  I don't know whether this comes directly from people like you or the leadership in your movement, but it does not reflect well on either.  


    Bob Ferris

  5. bob says:

    Mark,  Over  the course of this debate, suction dredgers have rolled out unqualified and ethically challenged scientists, have carried out campaigns using false names to make it appear that their numbers are large than they are, and physically threatened those who oppose them.  Eactly what tactic are you objecting to.

    Bob Ferris

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