The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the initiation of five-year status reviews for 129 species in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, California, and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act, including threatened Columbia River basin bull trout.
Direct expenses in fiscal year 2019 by the Bonneville Power Administration for costs it incurred by funding the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program amounted to $240.4 million, some $19 million lower than its direct expenses in FY 2018, according to a draft report released this week for public review by the Council.
Conservation groups filed suit in federal court Thursday to stop a process by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allocate the water in its Willamette River basin reservoirs among irrigators, cities and fish, saying such an order is necessary to protect imperiled spring chinook salmon and winter steelhead.
Both a U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have recently ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must set temperature limits for the Columbia and Snake rivers to protect salmon and steelhead, but the agency is returning to the Appeals Court to challenge the latest decision.
Thirteen new Deschutes River basin habitat, water quality and fish passage projects are getting a combined $4.5 million in funding, with individual grants ranging from $51,000 for an Upper Deschutes Watershed Council fish passage project to $1.25 million for a Priday Ranch steelhead conservation project.
“The science is clear that removing the earthen portions of the four lower Snake River dams is the most certain and robust solution to Snake River salmon and steelhead recovery,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in a letter last week to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
NOAA Fisheries is proposing to approve and implement fishery management plans for two overfished stocks of chinook salmon – Klamath River fall-run chinook and Sacramento fall-run chinook. The stocks are large contributors to ocean salmon fisheries off the California and Oregon coasts.
When the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife approved in late January a new permit allowing Cooke Aquaculture to begin growing rainbow trout/steelhead in its Puget Sound net pens, there were a number of groups and tribes that had already lined up in opposition to the permit. And one group may seek legal action to stop it.
Abundance of sub-adult and adult white sturgeon in the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam took a jump this year, but abundance of juvenile sized and one-year-old or younger white sturgeon is lagging, which is indicative of an extended period of low productivity, according to a report by biologists that will be given at the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Feb. 7.