To help salmon migrate, state looks to spill more over dams
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- While federal officials consider breaching one or more dams in Washington to increase salmon survival, state officials are considering increasing spill over the dams to help more smolts survive in the meantime. If there is too little spill at hydrodams, more young, vulnerable salmon are sent down more dangerous turbines to get past them. If there is too much spill, they can die from the pressure, with gas bubbles suffocating their gills. It's similar to "the bends," a decompression illness that happens to scuba divers who come to the surface too fast.