Since at least 2011, biologists have trapped chinook and sockeye salmon and summer steelhead at Pelton Dam on the Deschutes River and transported the fish upstream to Lake Billy Chinook for spawning in an effort to reintroduce the fish upstream of the dam.
The global abundance of salmon in the Pacific Ocean in 2020 based on commercial catch was the lowest since 1982 and in North America the catch was the lowest since 1977, despite a record number of hatchery releases the year before, according to a report released in May 2021 by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission of Vancouver B.C.
The Canadian government last week announced a $647 million strategy to save Pacific salmon, aiming to stop the declines now while helping rebuild populations over the longer term.
At the second public workshop of the Columbia Basin Collaborative, the four Northwest states laid out a way forward to achieve regional consensus on how to rebuild threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead stocks and advance the goals developed by the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force.
Chum salmon, now listed as threatened, once returned to the Columbia River in huge numbers, with half a million to a million fish every year spawning in tributaries from near the river’s mouth and as far up the river as Celilo Falls, which was inundated when The Dalles Dam was built just downstream.
Forecasts for Columbia River basin water supply at the basin’s major storage dams dropped again this month after much of the region experienced the driest spring on record (March through May).
British Columbia’s Columbia River Treaty Team recently issued a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of building a new dam/weir across the Koocanusa Reservoir to maintain higher water levels on the Canadian side of the border, concluding that increased coordination with the United States is a better option for now. The reservoir is created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Libby Dam in Montana.
The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have released a plan the agencies say will “improve and strengthen implementation of the Endangered Species Act.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army announced this week their intent to remand the Trump Administration’s 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule and revise the definition of “waters of the United States.”