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Correction to Original PLoS Biology Press Release on Our Paper

Posted by pbio on 07 May 2009 at 22:27 GMT

Author: David Welch
Position: President
Institution: Kintama Research Corporation
Submitted Date: October 29, 2008
Published Date: October 29, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

This article has been the subject of substantial media coverage, some of which has misinterpreted our conclusions regarding the impact of dams on salmon survival in our study. Unfortunately, these erroneous conclusions were precipitated by the press release issued by PLoS Biology – in particular the misleading title. The original PLoS Biology press release on our paper was not seen by any of the authors until several days after its release. We (the authors) disagreed both with the title and some of the text in the release, and felt it misrepresented the conclusions and relevance of the paper. To PLoS Biology’s credit, when we contacted them they immediately issued a revised press release addressing our concerns. The new version does not state that dams have no effect on salmon survival, which was not what our paper stated—our paper showed that salmon survival in the Snake-Columbia R system was about the same in the Fraser River during the period of our study. We specifically noted in our paper that much work had been done to improve salmon survival at the dams over a 30-yr period. The statement that dams do not affect salmon survival is incorrect and misrepresented the conclusions in our paper.

Competing interests declared: David Welch is architect of the POST acoustic array concept and President and owner of Kintama Research Corporation, the company that developed the design for and operates the POST acoustic telemetry array. He is also the senior author of the PLoS Biology paper "Survival of Migrating Salmon Smolts in Large
Rivers With and Without Dams".