The Environmental Protection Agency is challenging a 2018 lower court decision at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled the agency must complete temperature limits for the Columbia and Snake rivers.
The first endangered sockeye salmon returned to the Redfish Lake Creek trap Aug. 2, later by nearly a week than the first that led the way last year and in 2017, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The economic consulting firm ECONorthwest released a report this week analyzing the tradeoffs associated with removing the four lower Snake River dams in Washington, suggesting the benefits of removal exceed the costs by $8.6 billion, and thus the region would likely be better off without the dams.
The Washington Department of Ecology is now taking comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement that would allow more spill at lower Snake River/ Columbia River dams during juvenile salmon migration by adjusting the water quality standard for total dissolved gas.
It’s been one of the driest years recorded in the Kootenai River Basin, but recent rains have delivered some relief with increased inflows into Lake Koocanusa, helping to maintain minimum bull trout flows on the Kootenai River and maintain the reservoir elevation, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representative informed the Technical Management Team on Wednesday.
Although a “lot” of sockeye salmon are passing Ice Harbor Dam, the first dam the fish encounter when migrating up the Snake River, few are passing upstream dams, according to Claire McGrath of NOAA Fisheries.
Members of the U.S. panel charged with negotiating a modernized Columbia River Treaty heard from a variety of Idaho-centric interests Thursday in Boise, with a contrast between those urging status quo security in hydro operations and those seeking “ecosystem function” provisions in a new treaty.
A system operational request brought to the interagency Technical Management Team this week by fisheries managers and approved by both fisheries and hydro managers helps clarify priorities for the use of cool water from Dworshak Reservoir on the North Fork of the Clearwater River in Idaho.
Some five to 16 million salmon and steelhead had historically returned to the Columbia River basin, but just an average of two million fish return today and only 40 percent of those are naturally produced stocks. If goals in a new Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force report can be met in the next 50 to 100 years, the number of naturally produced fish could increase by eight-fold.