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NW Fishletter
NWF.273/April 13, 2010
Feds Prepare For Low-Flow Operations

Federal attorneys filed a proposed order on March 31 in U.S. District Court for spring dam operations that is still in flux. They haven't yet decided whether to maximize barging for spring smolts this year because of expected low flows in the lower Snake River. ...more

Science Panel Pans Feds' Low-Flow Transport Proposal

After reviewing a federal proposal to shut spill and maximize barging for fish at collector dams this spring, the region's independent science panel has recommended sticking with the current spill and barge scenario that spreads the risks among different salmon species. ...more

Corps Announces Plan For Possible Breaching Studies

The Corps of Engineers finished mapping out how it will evaluate the benefits from breaching the lower Snake River dams if ESA-listed fish runs suffer significant declines in the near future. ...more

Spring Chinook Beginning To Show

Commercial gillnetters in the lower Columbia River were allowed to get their nets wet last week, chasing the beginnings of this year's expected blockbuster upriver spring chinook run--a return that is expected to top out around half a million fish. ...more

Despite More Precip, Water Supply Drops 2 Percent

The latest January-through-July water supply forecast for the Columbia at The Dalles has declined to 65 percent of average, despite some serious late March precipitation and colder temperatures. The April final forecast released April 7 was down 2 percent from the March final forecast of 67 percent. ...more

Corps Alters Spill Plan To Accommodate 10 Million Hatchery Fish

With 10 million hatchery chinook scheduled to be released from Columbia River hatcheries this week, some basin fish managers asked the Corps of Engineers to crank up the spill at Bonneville to help get them past the dam. ...more

El Niño Slowly Subsiding

The El Niño weather pattern that has been responsible for the Northwest's extra-mild winter and low precipitation is expected to last through the spring, but climate scientists say it's finally on its way out. ...more

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