Poll Results – 2017

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A new poll shows continued strong public support for the federal hydropower system that keeps the lights on and the economy running across the Northwest.

  • Hydropower is the single-largest source of renewable energy in the Northwest. More residents (43%) also consider it our most practical source of energy, compared to any other energy source.
  • A large majority (83%) of residents agree that both our dams and our region’s iconic salmon are critical to the Northwest way of life.
  • For the first time, a majority of Northwest residents (78%) recognize the enormous impact that ocean conditions have on salmon survival.

What are the most important factors for improving the future of salmon runs?

Salmon & dams must coexist


agree that we need to focus on protecting and improving habitats where salmon spend the beginning of their lives and return to spawn as adults.


agree that it is critical to the Northwest for dams and salmon to coexist.


agree that conditions in the ocean, where salmon spend most of their lives, have an enormous impact on salmon runs.

Majority view removing the Snake River dams as an “extreme” solution

What is the most practical source of energy for the Pacific Northwest?

  • 17% Other (coal, energy efficiency, natural gas)
  • 12% Don’t know
  • 12% Solar
  • 15% Wind
  • 43% Hydro Power

What is the most important use of the Columbia and Snake rivers?

  • 14% Other (flood control, barging good, recreational fishing)
  • 15% Don’t know
  • 22% Power Generation
  • 22% Irrigation / Growing Crops
  • 43% Habitat for Salmon & Wildlife

A strong majority see the Snake River dams as crucial for the future:

Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall Research is based in Portland, Oregon and has over 30 years of experience in public opinion research and polling throughout the Pacific Northwest and United States. Their independent survey of 1,500 residents was conducted in April 2017 in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Western Montana.