The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has recently released two reports -- one a report on fish and wildlife expenses incurred by the Bonneville Power Administration in the Columbia/Snake river basins and, more recently, a second report that will be sent to Congress that is currently out for public review until Dec. 12. Both reports are for fiscal year 2022.
More than $25 million was approved last week by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council for non-recurring maintenance at hatcheries and for fish screen maintenance throughout the Columbia River basin in fiscal year 2024. The cost of maintenance projects at 13 hatcheries that totals $23,356,074 will be paid by excess revenue funds from the Bonneville Power Administration’s reserves distribution clause.
In a January letter, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council invited Oregon and Washington transportation agencies to meet jointly to discuss their mutual problem of double-crested cormorants on the Astoria-Megler Bridge that spans the Columbia River estuary at Astoria, OR.
Spending on maintenance of Columbia River basin salmon and steelhead hatcheries, as well as fish screens, could see a significant bump in fiscal year 2024 if the full Northwest Power and Conservation Council approves a plan endorsed this week by the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Committee. That approval could come as early as the body’s June meeting.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has asked the owner of the Astoria-Megler Bridge in Astoria to meet with them to talk about the double-crested cormorant problem in the Columbia River estuary.
At its January meeting, Northwest Power and Conservation Council members elected Idaho’s Jeff Allen to serve as chair and Washington’s KC Golden to serve as vice chair of the four-state agency.
Of the seven species of salmon and steelhead that inhabit Washington state’s waters -- and are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as at risk of extinction-- Hood Canal summer chum salmon and Snake River fall Chinook salmon are approaching their recovery goals, according to a biennial report soon to be released by the Washington Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office.
By anyone’s measure, sockeye salmon runs have skyrocketed since 1997 in the Okanogan River basin when a transboundary workgroup decided to begin efforts to reintroduce the fish into Okanogan Lake in British Columbia, according to tribal biologists speaking at this week’s Northwest Power and Conservation Council meeting.
The Bonneville Power Administration plans to capitalize on its strong 2022 fiscal year by holding its rates for electricity and transmission flat during the next rate case cycle, which is FY2023-25. In the same rate case, it is proposing to increase its Columbia River basin fish and wildlife mitigation expenses by 8 percent, the first time the power marketing agency has increased those costs since FY2018-19 when it vowed to keep fish and wildlife spending below the inflation rate.