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NW Fishletter
NWF.266/September 17, 2009
Administration Hopes BiOp Tweaks Will Satisfy Judge

Against an almost surreal backdrop of the increasing likelihood of absolutely huge salmon runs next year in the Columbia Basin, the Obama administration said last Tuesday that it will support the 2008 hydro BiOp. But they added some significant tweaks to it before sending it off to BiOp Judge James Redden for his review, hoping to get his final nod of approval.

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BiOp Plaintiffs Turned Down Settlement Talks

Plaintiff groups in the hydro BiOp litigation turned down an Aug. 17 invitation by the federal government to meet with "all parties" to see if a settlement over the 2008 salmon plan could be reached before the Obama administration announced its final position on the BiOp on Sept. 15. The feds suggested a mediator might help, as well.

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Estuary Science Confab In Astoria

Scientists and policymakers from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council met in Astoria last week to hear about the Columbia River estuary and the work being done to improve conditions for fish.

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No Benefit To Snake Springers From Court-Ordered 2007 Spill

A recent draft report from the Fish Passage Center shows both wild and hatchery Snake River spring chinook transported down the Columbia in 2007 did better than fish that migrated inriver.

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Fall Chinook Taper Off; Jack Count Going For Record

In early September, the Columbia River's fall chinook run shifted into high gear, with more than 15,000 counted at Bonneville Dam on Sept. 2 alone, shadowed by a jack return that may set a modern record, and signal a huge return next year.

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Steelhead Numbers Keep On Climbing

Summer steelhead counts at Bonneville Dam are finally tapering off after a huge run in August. More than 547,000 of the fish have passed the dam since July 1, peaking on Aug. 13, when 34,000 were counted.

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Fraser River Runs Pink

This year's Fraser sockeye run was a major disappointment, but the pink run has returned in numbers better than expected.

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Anderson Named New WDFW Director

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has selected Phil Anderson as WDFW's permanent director. Anderson has served as interim director for the past nine months.

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