July 5, 2012 | Volume 42, No.27

Connelly poor choice for fish, power

Alaska Power and Telephone does not seem to know or care about the valuable salmon runs that feed the people, wildlife and forests of Haines.

At the public meeting held June 27 in Haines, AP&T acknowledged it did not know the effect of pouring water with varying water temperatures drawn from the bottom of Connelly Lake, run through the turbines, and deposited on the surface of Chilkoot Lake. This could adversely affect phytoplankton, fry and returning salmon habitat. That is why they need agency input to help them fully realize the impact they will have on the ecosystem of the Chilkoot River and lake if they develop Connelly Lake for hydro. I think studies of this kind will take many years. The possible and likely chance that AP&T is wrong about the effects of their proposed development is not worth the risk of losing such important fisheries that Chilkoot River and lake now supply.

Alaska Power and Telephone should choose another site for hydro development or use wind, tidal or natural gas to provide power to cruise ships.

Terry Jacobson