The Bonneville Power Administration reports that in 2020, for the 23rd consecutive season, the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program met its annual goal to remove 10% to 20% of pikeminnow, 9 inches or longer, in the Columbia and Snake rivers that prey on juvenile salmon and steelhead. Due to Covid-19, however, catch numbers were far below average.
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. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued the final rule and final environmental impact statement to “responsibly manage conflicts associated with double-crested cormorants” in the United States.
A new University of Washington and NOAA Fisheries study found that sea lions have the largest negative effect on early-arriving endangered chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River.
Confronted with trapping and euthanizing salmon-eating sea lions that are sometimes twice the size of California sea lions, states and tribes are upgrading equipment and procedures to begin capturing the larger Steller sea lions in the Bonneville Dam tailrace and at Willamette Falls, and eventually in Columbia River tributaries.
Scientists at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center have developed an unusually rich picture of who is eating whom off the Northeastern United States.
Sea lion removal at Bonneville Dam and Willamette Falls will restart in October, but with a twist that allows tribes and states to capture and euthanize far more sea lions, including both California and Steller sea lions, and to target sea lions in the lower Willamette River and from the I-205 bridge on the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam, as well as the river’s tributaries.
Likely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and recent smokey skies, the number of anglers this year participating in the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program is down 28 percent from this time last year. Currently, the 2020 harvest of northern pikeminnow on the Columbia and Snake rivers is on track to be the lowest on record.
The fish-eating sea birds on East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary have been the target of management actions to reduce the number of double-crested cormorants and Caspian terns since the middle of the last decade.