Dropping Water Supply Forecast Signals Drought Conditions Over Much Of Columbia Basin; Grand Coulee Sixth Lowest On Record

May 17th, 2024

Water supply forecasts across the Columbia River basin dropped again this month with very low forecasts in the upper basins of Idaho, Montana and British Columbia, signaling drought conditions in those areas. That could impact summer flow augmentation out of Idaho’s Dworshak Dam which aids migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead. Dry conditions could also result in low water levels at Flathead Lake in Montana, where recreational boating was impacted last year.

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Plan Approved For Pulses Out Of Libby Dam To Encourage ESA-Listed Kootenai River Sturgeon To Move Upstream, Spawn

May 17th, 2024

Due to a low May water supply forecast that is 5.129 million-acre feet (April – August), 84 percent of average, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s biological opinion for Kootenai River sturgeon allows a volume of 0.8 MAF to be used for augmenting spring sturgeon flows. Volume forecasts of 4.8 to 6 MAF puts this year’s operations into a Tier 2 category. A water supply forecast of less than 4.8 MAF would be Tier 1 and would allow no augmentation for sturgeon.

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Lower Snake Dam Breaching: NW House Republicans Introduce Package Of Bills To ‘Protect These Critical Pieces Of Infrastructure’

May 17th, 2024

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-WA, and other Northwest House Republicans have introduced a package of seven bills that, if signed into law, would make breaching of the four Lower Snake River Dams nearly impossible, develop alternatives to fish and wildlife funding to mitigate costs to Bonneville Power Administration ratepayers, and order the Army Corps of Engineers to acquire acoustic sound technology to deter pinniped salmon predators above and below the Bonneville Dam.

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Funding Package For Removing Dams, Culverts Includes $5 Million For Removing NE Washington’s Enloe Dam, Could Open 1,500 Miles Of Salmon Habitat

May 3rd, 2024

Nearly $5 million to move forward on the removal of northeast Washington’s Enloe Dam is included in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announcement that 29 states will receive just over $70 million to support 43 projects that will address outdated or obsolete dams, culverts, levees and other barriers fragmenting the nation’s rivers and streams. Another $8 million will go to projects in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

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Fish-Blocking Dam On Willamette River Tributary Built In 1858 Being Removed; New Habitat For Salmon, Steelhead

May 3rd, 2024

American Rivers is leading a project team to remove the Kellogg Dam at the mouth of the Kellogg Creek, a tributary of the Lower Willamette River. The work will help threatened Upper Willamette River Chinook and steelhead, Lower Columbia River coho, and Pacific lamprey to access upstream spawning and rearing habitat for juveniles.

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Status Report: Though Some SW Washington Steelhead, Salmon Populations Under ESA Show Improved Numbers Since Listing, None Anywhere Near Recovery

April 18th, 2024

The status of southwest Washington salmon and steelhead listed under the federal Endangered Species Act is generally stable, although none of these fish populations are close to meeting recovery goals, says a recent report by the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Imperiled Steelhead Migrating Up Columbia/Snake River Show Lowest Survival Bonneville Dam To McNary Dam, Miss Survival Targets

April 18th, 2024

Asotin Creek adult summer steelhead survival is at its lowest in the Bonneville Dam pool as the fish migrate upstream to the Snake River tributary, according to a presentation last week that focused on survival of steelhead listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Temperature and harvest (catch and release mortalities) are cited as the main reasons for steelhead struggles in the Bonneville Pool.

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With A Forecasted Lower Water Year For Lower Columbia River During Juvenile Fish Migration, Additional Flow Aug From Lake Roosevelt Approved

April 18th, 2024

With lower-than-average water flow in the lower Columbia River expected during the spring juvenile salmon and steelhead outmigration, fishery managers at the interagency Technical Management Team last week asked for additional flow augmentation from Lake Roosevelt, the reservoir backed up behind Grand Coulee Dam on the upper river, to aid fish migration.

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Sea Lion Trapping Begins; 2023 Pinniped Report Notes Predation Impacts To ESA Steelhead Twice As Severe Compared To Spring Chinook

April 5th, 2024

As states and tribes begin trapping and euthanizing sea lions in the Columbia River near Bonneville Dam this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its 2023 report on last year’s pinniped abundance and predation of salmon and steelhead. The report covers the period July 2022 through May 2023 and shows that the 104 sea lions observed during the 2023 reporting period is the highest since 2018, when the number was 134.

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