In 2009, the Columbia Basin Bulletin produced the 77-page e-book “SALMON AND HYDRO: An Account of Litigation over Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinions for Salmon and Steelhead, 1991-2009.” We are making the book available to CBB members.
The states of Oregon and California, the Yurok Tribe, the Karuk Tribe, PacifiCorp and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation signed a memorandum of agreement this week that describes how the parties will implement the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement as negotiated and signed in 2016. The KHSA sets the terms for the removal of four Klamath River dams.
The Bonneville Power Administration’s fiscal year 2020 annual report says the agency exceeded projected net revenues by $233 million.
Last July, National Geographic reported that global populations of migratory fish have declined by 76 percent over the past half-century. Habitat loss was cited as one of the main culprits, and dams as a major cause of habitat loss. This type of cause and effect in worldwide decline holds true in the Pacific Northwest. It doesn’t take a degree in marine biology to see that dams are bad for fish. But it might take someone with a PhD to convince you that salmon don’t need rivers.
A recent study shows that all stocks of chinook salmon are declining along the West Coast at about the same rate and concludes that habitat and dams are not the likely culprits. It’s something far more out of our control: The ocean.
Every year about this time, NOAA Fisheries releases a memo detailing preliminary survival estimates for passage of spring-migrating juvenile salmonids through Snake and Columbia River dams – key data for assessing the impact of federal hydropower operations on 13 species of salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. This year, however, due to Covid-19 impacts and more spill for fish, that data took a hit.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is modifying operations at the Willamette Valley’s Detroit Dam to improve juvenile salmon downstream passage survival by releasing water exclusively through the upper regulating outlets when downstream passage rates are high.
The Fish Passage Center’s annual Comparative Survival Study, providing smolt-to-adult return data and analysis for Columbia/Snake River salmon and steelhead for 25 years, should include an “impact report” to communicate “the most critical take-home messages” for policymakers.
The Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force released late this afternoon its final report saying there is “a strong sense of urgency that immediate action is needed to address salmon and steelhead declines in the Columbia River Basin.”