As the Columbia River at Bonneville Dam warms to over 71 degrees Fahrenheit and with expectations of the second lowest steelhead run since Bonneville Dam was built, recreational angling for fall chinook, the largest remaining run of chinook salmon on the Columbia River, begins August 1.
Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, co-owners of the Pelton-Round Butte Complex of dams on central Oregon’s Deschutes River, have worked as partners to reintroduce salmon and steelhead upstream of their dams since 2011, with varying degrees of success.
Oxygen-depleted bottom waters occur seasonally along the continental shelf of Washington and Oregon when strong winds blowing along the coast in spring and summer trigger upwellings that bring deep, cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface.
Mike Clark and a team of fisheries professionals watched the weather forecast for late June and knew it meant serious problems for the more than 7 million salmon being reared in the Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatcheries. Each day the weather forecast for the Pacific Northwest brought increasingly dire predictions. What started as 104 degrees soon became a forecast of 108 degrees.
Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced that protection may be warranted for the western ridged mussel, and that it is initiating a status review of the species.
The Center for Biological Diversity is calling on the Biden Administration to engage in Endangered Species Act consultations on the impacts of the America’s Marine Highway Program on protected species, including salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers.
In recent years, wildfires on the West Coast have become larger and more damaging. A combination of almost a century of fire suppression and hotter and drier conditions has created a tinderbox ready to ignite, destroying homes and polluting the air over large areas.
The Bonneville Power Administration will decrease power rates by an average of 2.5% and slashed its proposed transmission rate increase in half to an average of 6.1%. The new rates were announced this week as BPA released the final record of decision for its BP-22 power and transmission rate case as well as the TC-22 tariff proceeding.
The suite of contaminants found in the lower Willamette River’s Portland Harbor is impacting growth rates – resulting in smaller fish – and population viability of the threatened upper Willamette wild subyearling spring chinook salmon that rear there. That could mean the smaller fish would be more susceptible to avian predation and less successful at finding their own prey when they reach the lower Columbia River estuary, says a new study.