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NW Fishletter
NWF.388/Dec. 3, 2018
Climate Change Study To Help BPA Prepare For Warmer, Wetter Columbia Basin
Imagine a Columbia Basin where February's biggest storm brings rain to the Cascade Mountains instead of snow, prompting the winter snowpack to begin melting, causing peak runoff three months earlier than usual. ...more
Orca Task Force Recommends More Spill But Punts On Dam Removal
A final report by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's Southern Resident Orca Task Force does not call for removal of lower Snake River dams, and instead recommends establishing a stakeholder group to discuss whether removing the dams would benefit orcas in Puget Sound. ...more
Columbia Basin Research 'Among Best In The World,' Independent Scientists Say
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC) should be proud of the scientific research they're funding in the Columbia Basin, which is creating a legacy that will allow policymakers to prioritize funding for the most effective methods to recover salmon runs, according to Independent Scientific Review Panel Chair Steve Schroder. ...more
Oregon Gets Go-Ahead To Kill Sea Lions At Willamette Falls
The National Marine Fisheries Service has authorized lethal removal of California sea lions at Willamette Falls to benefit adult winter steelhead and spring Chinook populations returning to spawn. The Nov. 14 approval comes more than a year after the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife applied for permission to kill sea lions preying on migrating salmon and steelhead. ...more
Council Seeks Review Of Region's Salmon-Predator Control Efforts
Scientists and economists will be evaluating the impacts and costs of birds, mammals and other fish that prey on listed salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin and the programs designed to control them, focusing on the region's most emergent threat: northern pike. ...more
Washington, Oregon Eye 'Concurrent' Columbia River Fishing Policy
A five-year review of Washington state's policy for managing recreational and commercial fishing in the Columbia River found that while some of its goals are being met, the policy is falling short of several expectations, including finding new ways to reduce numbers of hatchery fish that escape to spawn with wild fish, and efforts to develop and implement alternative fishing gear to replace gillnets. ...more
Idaho Power, EPA Seek To Resolve Water Temperature Issue
Idaho Power and the EPA have asked a federal court to delay all proceedings in Idaho Power Company v. United States Environmental Protection Agency et al. to provide time for the agency to "take certain steps toward resolving the issues in this litigation." ...more
Lawsuit Prompts Suspension Of Idaho's Steelhead Fishing
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted Nov. 14 to suspend steelhead fishing season on Dec. 7 after six groups filed a notice they intend to sue the state for opening a season on hatchery steelhead without a federal Endangered Species Act permit allowing incidental take of wild steelhead. ...more
Group Appeals Dismissal Of Lawsuit Against PGE
The Deschutes River Alliance has filed an appeal in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, hoping to revive its lawsuit that claims Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon are violating a water quality permit for the Pelton Round Butte hydroelectric project. ...more
Columbia River Spill Could Cost Coleman Oil More Than $1 Million
Coleman Oil could face more than $1 million in penalties, clean-up costs and damage assessments due to a 3,840-gallon biodiesel spill from one of its underground pipes, which leaked into the Columbia River over a period of years, the Washington Department of Ecology says. ...more
EPA Preserves Appeal Option On Water Temperature Ruling
The EPA on Nov. 23 appealed a U.S. District Court order requiring the agency to issue standards for water temperature in the Snake and Columbia rivers in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But the agency revealed in a different motion that it is still deciding whether to pursue the appeal, called its notice of appeal "protective," and later states, "At this time, the United States Department of Justice's Office of the Solicitor General is determining whether to pursue an appeal in this case." ...more
Siskiyou County, Water Users Ask FERC To Deny Klamath Dam Removal
Siskiyou County, Calif., and the nonprofit Siskiyou County Water Users Association have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny a plan to remove four dams in the Klamath River. ...more
Chum Are Spawning, Despite Low Precipitation
A dry November didn't stop the chum from spawning in the lower Columbia River, where federal agencies are operating dams to provide additional flow for the late-spawning fish. ...more

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