An important population of listed steelhead in Idaho’s Snake River basin has been getting the help it needs to boost its numbers – removal of barriers, increasing habitat complexity, fewer scouring spring flows and higher and more consistent summer streamflows.
Commitments to restore Columbia River basin salmon and steelhead populations made by the federal government and “six sovereigns” will intersect or overlap with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s responsibilities under the Northwest Power Act, according to a presentation at last week’s Council meeting.
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.