APNewsBreak: Officials skeptical $57M fish project will work

AP News
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Posted: Aug 10, 2016 12:12 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — State and federal wildlife officials are opposing a $57 million concrete dam and fish bypass that the U.S. government says would help an ancient and endangered fish species in Montana's Yellowstone River.

The wildlife officials are dismissing as "unfounded" the project's alleged benefits for pallid sturgeon.

The objections were detailed in a letter from a pallid sturgeon recovery workgroup that was obtained by The Associated Press. The dam and bypass would be built near the North Dakota border.

The workgroup includes representatives of state and federal wildlife agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation.

The bypass is meant to give sturgeon access to upriver spawning grounds. But the workgroup says it would be better to remove a rock weir on the river that traps fish downstream.