Barges loaded with grain and pushed by tugboats, as well as a river cruise liner, were again able to pass downstream through the Bonneville Dam lock beginning Friday, after the lock was closed in early September and they were stranded upstream of the dam. The opening was at least 48 hours earlier than that originally planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Bonneville Power Administration last week took steps that position it to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market, a move aimed at enhancing the value of the federal power and transmission systems in the Northwest.
Survival estimates for juvenile salmon and steelhead during the 2019 spring migration through Snake and Columbia river dams – Lower Granite Dam to Bonneville Dam – varied: Snake River sockeye survival was above average, while Snake River yearling chinook survival was near average, and Snake River steelhead survival fell below average, according to a recently released NOAA Fisheries memorandum.
The navigation lock that allows commercial and recreational vessels to pass upstream and downstream through Bonneville Dam will be out of service for the remainder of this month. River traffic through the dam can return to normal Sept. 30, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In a Sept. 3 article with the headline “Hydropower Giant Bonneville Power is Going Broke” the national E&E News said the Bonneville Power Administration is “careening toward a financial cliff.”
Attorneys general from a dozen western states want the Trump administration to halt a proposal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that they say usurps states' authority over their own water.
The elevation of the pool level at Dworshak Dam will be more than 3 feet higher beginning the month of September than had been expected, giving river managers additional water to keep the Clearwater River and tailwater at Lower Granite on the Snake River cooler throughout the month.
Opposing sides argued before a three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should complete regulations for temperature, known as Total Maximum Daily Load, for the Snake and Columbia rivers, or whether completing the TMDL is the responsibility of Oregon and Washington.
American shad, a silvery bullet of a fish whose home waters are on the East Coast of the U.S., migrated into the Columbia River basin this year in record numbers. Nearly 7.5 million of the 18-inch, 3 to 8 pound fish crossed Bonneville Dam, more than four times the number of salmon and steelhead that have crossed the dam this year.