Project aims to save salmon in Värmland

People from Värmland Country in western Sweden caught 300,000 salmon per year in the Clear River during the 1800's. Today, only 600 salmon are born there each year. But a new project between Sweden and Norway hopes to change all of that by attempting to save the threatened salmon that are unique to the river.

The villains of this story are the power plants that disrupt the salmon's natural breeding grounds and kill the fish. There are nine power plants in the Clear River alone, stretching from Forshaga to Höljes near the Norwegian border.

"There's not a lot of salmon that can manage to get by all the power plants towards Lake Vänern," says Mikael Hedenskog, a Värmland County board member, to news agency TT.

Right now is the time for the little schools of wild salmon to work their way back to Lake Vänern after playing around in the surrounding rivers. But it is difficult to navigate past the power plants.

The project aims to set up traps upstream, to catch the salmon, and transport them downstream, so that they can pass the gauntlet of power plants and make their way to Lake Vänern.

The project will last until 2013. Agencies, municipalities, power companies, and non-profit organizations are working together on the multi-million dollar initiative.

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