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NW Fishletter
NWF.393/May 6, 2019
Idaho Congressman Surprises Crowd With Dam Removal Talk
The idea that an Idaho Republican might be ready to embrace removing the four lower Snake River dams drew a few hundred laughs at the 2019 Environmental Conference at Boise State University on April 23, after Gov. Brad Little proclaimed, "When it comes to salmon and steelhead, I want to state publicly right here this morning, I'm in favor of breaching, (pause), the status quo." ...more
Examination Of Dam Removal Expected To Start This Summer
The Washington State Legislature passed a $52.4 billion operating budget April 28 that includes $750,000 to fund a stakeholder process to look into benefits and impacts of removing or breaching the four lower Snake River dams. ...more
Indegenous Nations In Canada--But Not U.S.--Join Treaty Talks
Three indigenous nations in Canada will join the ongoing Columbia River Treaty negotiations between the U.S. and Canada as "official observers," Global Affairs Canada announced in an April 26 news release. ...more
Oregon, Idaho Sign Deal On Hells Canyon Fish Passage
The governors of Oregon and Idaho have signed an agreement that both states are calling a "monumental step" in Idaho Power's efforts to relicense the Hells Canyon Complex. ...more
EPA Lays Out Columbia-Snake Temperature Appeal Argument
The Environmental Protection Agency says the Clean Water Act does not require it to determine the causes of water temperature issues in the Snake and Columbia rivers, that Washington and Oregon have retained that duty, and that a U.S. District Court judge in Seattle erroneously transferred that task to the EPA. ...more
Flexible Spill: No Surcharge, But Plenty Of Discussion
A week after flexible spill operations began on four Columbia River dams, the Bonneville Power Administration held a workshop to explain how it plans to avoid passing the spill costs on to ratepayers, while hydroelectric dam operators discussed the quirks of a spill program that's never been tried before. ...more
Some BPA Transmission Corridors Double As Wildlife Refuge
Compared with the surrounding countryside, transmission line corridors may seem like unimportant pieces of the larger landscape. But with 15,000 miles of corridor to maintain through ecosystems that range from deserts to wetlands, the Bonneville Power Administration puts a lot of thought and expertise into the effort. ...more
Oregon F&W Says Sea Lion Removal Has Boosted Willamette Steelhead
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the Willamette River is having its best wild winter steelhead return in three years, thanks in part to the lethal removal of California sea lions. ...more
Washington Modifies Dissolved Gas Standard For Flexible Spill
The limits had been restricted to 115 percent in forebays of these dams--a standard that remains in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers when spring spill is not in effect. High levels of supersaturated gas can injure or kill fish and other aquatic life, and is limited to 110 percent in most other rivers of the state. ...more
NOAA Fisheries Finds Jeopardy Unlikely From Operating Federal Dams
A new biological opinion (BiOp) for the Columbia River System concludes that the operation and maintenance of 14 federal dams are unlikely to jeopardize the existence of eight salmon runs and five listed steelhead runs listed as threatened or endangered in the Columbia Basin. ...more
Corps Announces Plan to Develop New EIS for Willamette Projects
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing a new environmental impact statement (EIS) to ensure operations at all 13 Corps' dams and reservoirs in the Willamette Valley meet Endangered Species Act requirements. ...more
Klickitat Hatchery Reform Aims To Help Wild Chinook
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council approved a proposal by the Yakama Nation April 10 to convert a segregated spring Chinook hatchery program in the Klickitat River to an integrated one. ...more
Contract Awarded For Initial Work On Klamath Dam Removal
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation awarded an $18.1-million contract April 24 for preliminary services to remove four Klamath River dams. ...more
Columbia Closes To Chinook, Sockeye Fishing This Summer
The Columbia River will be closed through the summer to sockeye and summer Chinook fishing, including jacks, but there will be more opportunities to fish for coho when they return in the fall. ...more
PacifiCorps Plans Major Restoration Work In Lewis River
After spending the last 10 years developing fish passage facilities to allow adult and juvenile salmon and steelhead to bypass its three dams on the Lewis River, PacifiCorp is planning to spend the next 10 restoring habitat where returning fish can spawn and their juveniles can thrive. ...more
New Scanners Installed At Bonneville Dam To Help Automate Fish Counts
A new scanning system designed to provide real-time data on the species, sizes and markings of anadromous fish traveling upstream has been installed at the Bonneville Dam and will collect data through November. ...more
Groups Sue To Reduce Fishing, Help Orcas
A lawsuit filed April 3 by two environmental groups says federal agencies are relying on old information to authorize coastal fishing rules, and want the National Marine Fisheries Service to take a new look at the impacts of the Pacific Salmon Plan on endangered southern resident killer whales. ...more
April Showers Improve Water Supply, But 'Good Portion' Of Washington Remains Dry
A series of early April storms brought more water than usual to many parts of the Columbia Basin, improving the April-through-September water supply outlook somewhat in the lower Columbia River, and significantly in the Willamette, Rogue and lower Snake rivers. ...more
Brief Mentions: Endangered Rivers, Invasives, Pikeminnow
The Willamette River in Oregon and the South Fork Salmon River in Idaho are on American Rivers' list of America's Most Endangered Rivers for 2019. Released April 16, the annual list identifies 10 rivers that face imminent threats, according to its news release. ...more

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