It’s no secret that actor, and all-around badass, Jasper Pääkkönen loves to fly fish. He’s a Patagonia ambassador, but most importantly, he is using his influence to bring light to water issues facing our globe, especially where dams are concerned. His latest dam issue, the construction of a “mega-dam” threatening a river that is home to some of the world’s largest wild-reproducing Chinook Salmon in Argentina. Jasper recently tangled with one of these beasts who weighed in at 85 lbs (38 kg), an absolute tank if you ask us. But according to Jasper and The Guardian, these salmon are under direct threat from a new Chinese hydropower dam and are likely facing some of their last runs as a population.
“Glacier King!! Thank you Solid Adventures. Quite certainly the biggest salmonid fish I will catch during my lifetime. 85lbs / 38kg of pure madness – look at the size of that adipose fin. This Chinook was caught in Estancia Cristina in El Calafate, Argentina in the headwaters of Rio Santa Cruz.
And then some bad news about the Santa Cruz: the river and its fishery will most likely soon be demolished by a Chinese mega-dam & hydropower project. The construction of the dam has already begun – without any significant environmental impact studies on the dam’s effects on nature having been done. The few studies on the dam’s impact on birds and wildlife and questions on its impact on the nearby glaciers have simply been brushed off.
For a few more years, fishermen will be able to enjoy the free-flowing river system and it’s become an incredible king salmon fishery.
What’s mindblowing is that the El Calafate region in Patagonia must be one of the windiest places on the planet. Why destroy free rivers and the beautiful landscape when the same electricity (and more) could be harnessed with wind turbines on the vast high desert of Patagonia?”
Read more about the impending dam construction and the work against its construction in this article from the Guardian.com.