Although the run of spring chinook into the Deschutes River is one of the lowest in years, as it has been throughout the Columbia River basin, the proportion of the Deschutes run that originated as reintroduced fish upstream of the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project near Madras, Oregon is one of the best in years, according to Portland General Electric.
There is plenty of habitat available for reintroduction of spawning and rearing anadromous salmon and steelhead upstream of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams, according to a recently completed report by upper Columbia River tribes.
The Columbia River Basin is in the midst of a robust runoff period that will level out with near-average flows on the lower Columbia through September, according to the last water supply briefing of the year from the Northwest River Forecast Center in Portland.
The number of adult spring chinook passing Little Goose Dam on the lower Snake River has picked up, largely due to a continuous 8-hour reduced spill regime requested last week by salmon managers of the interagency Technical Management Team.
An advanced-design hydroelectric turbine, built to improve fish passage at federal dams in the Columbia River Basin, has been installed at Ice Harbor Dam on the Lower Snake River.
Northwest U.S. Senators are making their opposition known to a provision in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget that would have the Department of Energy auction off the transmission assets of the Bonneville Power Administration.
Responding to the reasonable and prudent alternative outlined in NOAA Fisheries’ 2008 biological opinion for federal Willamette Valley dams, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week proposed to build a selective withdrawal structure at Detroit Dam at a cost of about $100 to $200 million.The SWS would provide water temperature control downstream of Detroit and Big Cliff dams on the North Santiam River and it would provide downstream juvenile fish passage. The Corps would continue to transport adult chinook salmon and steelhead upstream of both dams where they can spawn naturally.
In a second step to encourage passage of adult spring chinook salmon at Little Goose Dam on the lower Snake River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to reduce spill at the dam for a continuous eight hours. That operation began Wednesday, May 29, at 4 am and will continue through June 5.
Idaho Power has taken a significant step toward a new federal license for its largest hydroelectric project with the states of Idaho and Oregon certifying the company’s plan for meeting water quality standards in the Snake River as part of its operation of three dams in Hells Canyon.