The Biden administration this week announced that the Bonneville Power Administration will provide three Upper Columbia River Tribes $200 million over 20 years for ongoing efforts to reintroduce salmon above Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams, which have blocked fish migration since 1942. The Tribes have agreed to a twenty-year pause to existing litigation while these actions are pursued.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture confirmed this week the presence of quagga mussel larvae in the Snake River at Twin Falls. Multiple samples of quagga mussel at larval life stages have been found in the Centennial Waterfront Park area by ISDA’s early detection monitoring program.
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With a higher in-season forecast of Chinook salmon tracking above the 5- and 10-year average, Oregon and Washington reopened all the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam to recreational angling for Chinook and hatchery coho as of Sept. 22. The reopening is for the remainder of this year.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold four virtual listening-only sessions this month and in October to describe how it will operate the Columbia River system of dams after September 2024 if the Columbia River Treaty negotiations fail to reach an agreement.
A long-running annual report that evaluates salmon and steelhead survival in the Columbia and Snake rivers again this year concluded that removal of the lower Snake River dams poses less of a risk to recovery than allowing the four dams to remain in place.
By legislative requirement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District is assessing whether it should continue to produce hydroelectric power at its Willamette Valley project dams.
With an upgraded fall chinook run, fishery managers from Oregon and Washington added more recreational salmon fishing opportunity on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam during a joint Columbia River Compact hearing Wednesday. But the hearing took an unusual turn when Washington and Oregon diverged on how much more commercial gillnetting should be allowed, and where.