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Colonel FERINGA. It is 1.9 to 1. Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. That is a considerably heavier ratio than in most projects?
Colonel FERINGA. It is a very favorable ratio.
(The hearing on the Calumet-Sag Channel, Ill. and Ind., project held this day is printed separately.)
SMALL-BOAT MOORING BASIN AT ASTORIA, OREG.
Mr. ANGELL. Mr. Norblad, if you would prefer, Colonel Feringa will make a brief statement on the project.
Mr. NORBLAD. Yes.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Colonel Feringa, what is the ratio of cost to benefit?
Colonel FERINGA. It is 1 as to 2.22.
Colonel FERINGA. The cost to the United States for new work is $1,044,000, and the Governor of the State is heartily in favor of it, as well as the SenatorsMr. PETERSON of Georgia. Is there any opposition ?
Colonel FERINGA. There is no opposition to it all all, sir. It went to Interior on March 18, and we have not heard from them yet.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Colonel, you may extend your remarks in the record and proceed to explain the project.
Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, the report on Columbia and Lower Willamette Rivers between Portland, Oreg., and the sea-small-boat mooring basin at Astoria, Oreg.—is in response to a resolution adopted on April 27, 1944, by the Rivers and Harbors Committee. It is also in response to an item in the River and Harbor Act approved March 2, 1945.
Astoria, Oreg., county seat of Clatsop County, is located on a peninsula on the south side of Columbia River, approximately 10 miles from the ocean, and is bounded on the west and south by Youngs Bay and Youngs River. The Astoria Harbor is adjacent to the Columbia River channel for a distance of 5 miles.
There is no existing Federal project for improvement of Astoria Harbor.
Federal improvement of the Columbia River has been completed to provide a navigable channel for ocean-going vessels to Vancouver, Wash., 105 miles above its mouth and in Willamette River from its mouth at mile 99 on the Columbia to Portland, Oreg., 14 miles upstream.
Landing of sea-food products at Astoria varied from 19,000 tons in 1940 to 34,000 tons in 1944 and averaged 27,300 tons with an average annual cash value of $13,640,000 during the 5-year period. Oregon Fish Commission records show that more than 900 oceangoing fishing craft delivered their catches to Astoria in 1944. Approximately 1,300 small motorboats operate in the Columbia River fisheries of which 800 operate in the lower river and 500 are based at Astoria. About 50 large launches and motorboats also based at Astoria are used to collect fish catches and transport them to canneries and packing plants.
An annual average of 1,680 calls to Astoria Harbor were made by motor vessels with drafts of 18 feet or less during the years 1935 to 1941, inclusive. Present facilities for berthing small craft consist of a mooring basin, with a capacity for 400 small boats, owned by port of Astoria; and 18 wharves used for the receipt of fresh fish, together with several. private wharves and docks. These facilities are overcrowded, compelling many boat operators to expose their craft to damage from ground swells, storm, wind and wave action, and collision.
Astoria Harbor has a tributary area of 820 square miles in Clatsop County with an estimated population of 30,000. Astoria, the principal city, had a population of 10,389 in 1940. Natural resources of the area consist primarily of timber and farm lands and the principal related industries are logging, lumbering, and dairy farming: The area is serviced by branch-line railway and a modern system of Federal and State highways. Fishing in the Columbia River, in its tributary waters, and in the Pacific Ocean offshore from its mouth is the most important industry in the Astoria region which is the center of 90 percent of the State of Oregon's fishing industry.
Local interests at Astoria request Federal participation in the construction of a mooring basin for fishing boats, small craft and commercial vessels, to provide sheltered berthing facilities for approximately 1,000 small boats of draft up to 18 feet.
They estimate that 3,000 small craft would benefit initially from the improvement through eliminations of boat damage or extra travel cost to protected areas in event of storms and through increased catch of fish due to time saved in handling boats in an improved basin.
Construction of a mooring basin at Astoria, Oreg., would be of great benefit to the fishing industry and to small craft basing or calling at Astoria. Prospective general benefits to the fishing industry and to other craft are sufficient to warrant Federal participation in the cost of the project.
The Board recommends modification of the project for improvement of Columbia and lower Willamette Rivers below Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Oreg., to include provision of a small-boat mooring basin at Astoria, Oreg., and that the Federal Government participate to the extent of constructing a steel-pile, sand-filled breakwater about 2,400 feet long with a 20-foot roadway along its full length for maintenance of the breakwater and steel-pile shore wings totaling about 1,460 feet in length.
The Chief of Engineers concurs in the views and recommendations of the Board.
The improvement is recommended subject to the condition that responsible local interests furnish assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will: Furnish free of cost to the United States all necessary lands, easements, and rights-of-way for the new work and subsequent maintenance when and as required; provide all necessary dredging in the basin; and construct, maintain, and operate mooring facilities within the basin, sewers, water and electric supply lines, and a public landing with suitable supply facilities open to all on equal terms.
The district engineer estimates that expenditures by local interests for compliance with these conditions will total $705,000.
Cost to United States for new work, $1,044,000; annual cost of maintenance, $10,000; interest and amortization, $59,816; total Federal annual carrying charges, $69,816.
The annual benefits from the proposed mooring basin are estimated at $155,000 consisting of $40,000 from elimination of damage to boats, $3,000 from elimination of lost time and expense, $100,000 from increased catch of fish, and $12,000 from certain intangible benefits such as increased property values, increase in the size of the fishing fleet and increase in business activity therefrom, better police and fire protection and easier servicing.
The ratio of estimated benefits to Federal annual charges is 2.22 to 1.
This is an important but small harbor practically at the mouth of the Columbia River. Columbia River, as you know, is an important source of fish that are furnished to the whole United States, from both out in the ocean and in the river itself. There is a tremendous number of fishing boats which presently have no safe anchorage or servicing facilities at the mouth of the river.
The project we propose, after due authority from the Congress to make this study, is protection by a small-boat basin created by the construction of a breakwater [indicating] riverward at the mouth of this river, which incidentally is a tremendous body of water, and also both east and west, so that small boats can be berthed within that space. The local interests would pay a considerable amount in order to take care of the interior facilities. The Federal Government would only pay for so much of the work as would actually provide protection.
Mr. RANKIN. There are no fish traps at the mouth of that stream, are there?
Colonel FERINGA. There are no fish traps; no, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. That is what I am driving at. Then, with these small boats, the people who live in that area are able to fish for a living ?
Colonel FERINGA. That is right.
Mr. RANKIN. Of course, they are shut out from Alaska, and the Alaskan waters are taken over by the canning industry.
Mr. ANGELL. I might say that one of the heaviest industries up there is fishing
Mr. RANKIN. I would like to see the same policy followed in Washington and Oregon that is followed on the Columbia River.
Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, the cost of the local interests for developing their own facilities would be $705,000, whereas the cost to the United States in addition to that would be $1,044,000. The annual benefits from the proposed mooring basin are estimated at $155,000 consisting of $40,000 from elimination of damage to boatsthat is actual damage to the boats engaged in fishing-$3,000 from elimination of lost time and expense, $100,000 for increased catch of fish, and $12,000 from certain intangible benefits such as increased property values, increase in the size of fishing fleet, and increase in business activities therefrom, better police and fire protection, and easier servicing.
Mr. RANKIN. What is the value of the fish taken out of there?
Colonel FERINGA. In Oregon, the annual cash value of the fish is $13,640,000.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER NORBLAD, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OREGON
Mr. NORBLAD. I might merely give the committee the background for this. Colonel Feringa has explained the project and the purpose; I will give the background of the industry.
I might say for the benefit of the gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Rankin, that traps on the river have been abolished. There were some traps on the Washington side and some traps on the Oregon side, and in 1933 I was author of the bill in the legislature to abolish traps and it became a law and traps have been taken out.
I might say, too, I agree with Mr. Rankin with reference to the Alaska situation.
The reason for this project is that the industry, practically from the time fishing started, back in 1875, down to 1925, was carried on with small boats—boats approximately 25 to 28 feet in length, and there was sufficient moorage for these boats. They were all fishing in the river then and did not go out in the ocean.
In 1925 it was discovered they could catch fish by hook and line in the ocean and, accordingly, larger boats were built that maybe would take care of two or three men in them, and they started to catch fish in the ocean and, of course, had to build larger boats for that purpose.
Subsequently, in 1940, they discovered for some strange reason that the tuna which previously had been caught off the coast of California had moved north and that now it could be caught off the coast of Oregon and Washington. I do not know what the reason was for that, but that has developed into a tremendous industry since 1940. I will give you very briefly the grand total of the figures there.
Prior to 1940 it was negligible and the amount is not known. In 1940 it amounted to $8,000,000 and, 4 years later, it had gone up to $30,000,000.
Mr. RANKIN. You mean the tuna fishery?
Mr. NORBLAD. The tuna fishery alone. As I say, they had always been caught off the coast of California, around San Pedro and San Diego, and then moved into the northern waters, and the tuna fishers started going up off the Columbia River off Astoria, which, incidentally is not only in my district, but is the town in which I was raised, born, and lived for all my life.
Mr. RANKIN. But these tuna fish do not live in the Columbia River ? Mr. NORBLAD. No; they are caught out in the ocean.
We also find this situation in connection with shark livers. They have found that shark livers are very high in vitamin content, and shark livers which used to be thrown away have now developed into a tremendous industry, and the shark livers are sent to the various drug houses, and there are other things that have developed.
We find at present there were last season more than 800 sea-going vessels operated by people fishing on shares, whereas in 1926 everything was largely individual operations.
This tuna fishing has become a tremendous industry. All of the canneries have made additions and there is no place in the Columbia River where boats may be moored. As a result they are being placed in a small mooring basin and want more space than they had to have for the river fishing boats, and they have suffered very severe damage from ground swells and other water damage. And it has grown into an industry which now brings a fleet from California, all owned by individuals and where the crews run from four to five and on up, where they operate on a share basis.
The boats come to San Diego and San Pedro and that area and fish in the winter and go north in the summertime and then come into the Columbia River to make repairs to the boats, and, whereas they were not heavy in the case of the smaller boats, now with the larger boats, where they do suffer loss and damage, there is no place to provide repairs for them.
Also, we have the situation where, when a storm arises in the Pacific Ocean, the boats come inside of the river until it abates, and they have no place to tie up to make repairs, and it means tremendous damage to a fishing industry composed of small individual boats, and which boats are all owned and operated by individuals, not by the canneries: or large fishing corporations in that territory.
Mr. RANKIN. What can you say about salmon spawning in the Columbia River ?
Mr. NORBLAD. You mean on account of the dams?
Mr. NORBLAD. That, I understand, is steadily improving. That is a development that took place about 1941 and 1942, and I left shortly thereafter and went overseas and did not return until last September when I got interested in the campaign and subsequently got elected in November and came to Congress in January, and I do not actually know, because I have not been in the country the last 4 years. There has been some detriment; I recognize that, and there will be a continuing detriment in the building of dams on rivers, but what it is I do not know, because
I have not had an opportunity to go into these figures. I might ask Mr. Angell if he has any exact figures on the Bonneville Dam.
Mr. ANGELL. No; I have not. They are making a study on it now. I took it up with the Fish and Wildlife Service last week and they said it would perhaps be 3 months before it was completed.
Mr. NORBLAD. This has to do with ocean fisheries and there is nothing there for them at the present time, and they want a place for mooring boats and tying up temporarily, and today they are withoupt any adequate place.
Mr. RANKIN. I understand that the fish ladders at Bonneville are operating satisfactorily, but that the small fish are being killed by the turbines as they go down. I understand that is the main trouble now.
Mr. ANGELL. The Fish and Wildlife Service say they are not able yet to give an accurate report as to just what damage is being done to the fingerlings on their return. There is some damage there, and some damage is done to the fish going upstreams. Whether it'is of serious consequence, I doubt; that is, the report seems to indicate that the fish ladders are working satisfactorily.
Mr. RANKIN. I was out there a few years ago and went down to Bonneville and went into that proposition as thoroughly as I could, and the information I gathered was that those fish ladders were operating satisfactorily. But I have understood lately one of the