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THE MELODRAMA OF THE HORSEFLY RIVER
Robert Cantwell
October 23, 1961
Milling swarms of desperate fish, frantic scientists working in the heat and smoke of a forest fire, waters that would not run cold and waterfalls that could not be jumped—these things combined to produce the exciting climax to an eight-year experiment intended to restore an almost extinct race of salmon to this remote river that for untold centuries counted them in millions
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October 23, 1961

The Melodrama Of The Horsefly River

Milling swarms of desperate fish, frantic scientists working in the heat and smoke of a forest fire, waters that would not run cold and waterfalls that could not be jumped—these things combined to produce the exciting climax to an eight-year experiment intended to restore an almost extinct race of salmon to this remote river that for untold centuries counted them in millions

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But the margin of time had come down to hours, and the narrow escape pointed up the old paradox that nature can always frustrate man's most careful calculation based upon his closest observation of her ways. In the deepest sense, of course, there would have been no real defeat even had the whole run been lost. The fact that it had been restored from almost nothing in 1941 to nearly half a million fish in 20 years was in itself an epic achievement. But now what did this triumph ant conclusion really mean? Clarence Pautzke summed it up: "It has a terrific impact on today's thoughts with regard to bringing back runs of fish.... It points the way to the restoration of all species."

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