A new report from Washington State’s Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office shows that most salmon populations in the state still are not making progress and some are teetering on the brink of extinction.
The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking comment on what should be considered when preparing an environmental impact statement for a new hydropower project proposed along the Columbia River in Klickitat County.
The state of Idaho’s “Salmon Workgroup” last week released a final report that includes policy recommendations for Gov. Brad Little to consider that aim “to restore abundant, sustainable, and well distributed populations of salmon and steelhead in Idaho for present and future generations, while recognizing diverse interests throughout the State.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s northwest regional office this week released the Columbia River Cold Water Refuges Plan, identifying zones of cooler water important to adult salmon moving upstream, particularly steelhead and fall chinook. However, EPA says fish that use refuges do not have higher survival rates to upstream waters “primarily due to fishing in the refuges.”
Following last month’s British Columbia general election, Premier John Horgan announced the new provincial Cabinet, naming Katrine Conroy as B.C.’s first female Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. She will also return to her role as Minister Responsible for the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and the Columbia River Treaty.
The states of Oregon and Washington, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the Northwest Power and Conservation Council this week that flexible spill in 2020 met all of a flexible spill agreement’s goals in its second year. All were signatories to the 2018 flexible spill agreement.
River operators are holding the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam to 11.5 to 13 feet above sea level, a tailwater depth at the dam designed to ensure chum salmon can spawn and that their redds (nests) will remain underwater near Ives and Pierce islands.
If John Dingell didn't like animals would any sort of fish protection have been included in the 1980 Northwest Power Act signed this month 40 years ago?
While stressing its commitment to regional collaboration, the state of Oregon at the same time has announced its intent to sue the federal government over the new environment impact statement and biological opinion for Columbia River salmon and steelhead, alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act. The state says it is preserving “legal options” in case collaboration falls short.