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NW Fishletter
NWF.390/February 4, 2019
Seattle Company Awaits Permits To Send Chinook Over Chief Joseph
Whooshh Innovations, a Seattle company that developed a new fish passage system, is making plans to use its so-called "salmon cannon" to send returning adult Chinook over Chief Joseph Dam this summer. ...more
New Baby Orca, New Study Offer Hope For Survival
As whale watchers were celebrating sightings of a new baby orca in Puget Sound on Jan. 10, fisheries scientist Gregory Ruggerone took comfort knowing that--despite the loss of a baby orca last year--this newest member of the endangered southern resident killer whales has a better chance of surviving its first year. ...more
WDFW Seeks $6.4 Million For New Hatchery Salmon For Orcas
With the goal of producing more fish for endangered orcas, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife raised 7 million additional hatchery salmon in 2018 to release this year in the Columbia River, Puget Sound and tributaries to Washington's coast. ...more
States, Tribes Gear Up To Remove Nuisance Steller Sea Lions
States and tribes preparing a joint application for the lethal removal of California and Steller sea lions that prey on salmon below Bonneville Dam were given funds to by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to build barges needed in the effort. ...more
Appeals Court Rules Against FERC In Klamath Project Clean Water Act Delays
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down a common practice in hydroelectric dam relicensing--the annual submitting and withdrawing of water quality certification applications in order to avoid a Clean Water Act rule that gives states one year to complete the process, or waive their authority. ...more
FERC Agrees 'Plan B' Needed For More Klamath Dam Removal Funds
A top Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) official approved Klamath River Renewal Corp.'s request to develop a "Plan B" for additional funding in case the cost of removing four dams and restoring the lower Klamath River exceeds the $450 million committed to the project. ...more
Washington's 'State of Salmon' Report Finds Much Work Is Still Needed
A new report on the status of Endangered Species Act-listed salmon throughout Washington state finds that Snake River fall Chinook and Hood Canal summer chum are approaching recovery goals, while populations of upper Columbia River spring Chinook and Puget Sound Chinook have lost ground. ...more
Action Agencies Expedite Release Of Columbia Basin Federal Dam EIS To 2020
An environmental impact statement assessing the impacts of 14 federal dams in the Columbia Basin will be completed a year early, in 2020, the action agencies said in a Jan. 9 news release. ...more
Columbia Riverkeeper Appeals Court Decision That Allowed Another EPA Delay
Columbia Riverkeeper and other conservation groups filed an appeal Jan. 14 in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to overturn a federal court ruling that allows the EPA to delay developing plans to deal with temperature issues in the Snake and Columbia rivers. ...more
Fishermen Earn $1.4M Catching 180,271 Northern Pikeminnows
It's far from a sure bet, but fishermen who know the secrets of catching northern pikeminnow in the Columbia River can actually quit their day jobs, go fishing and still earn a decent living. ...more
BPA Offers Final Update On 2019 Fish And Wildlife Program Cuts
After getting monthly reports on reductions to the Bonneville Power Administration's Fish and Wildlife Program, a committee of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council got a final update from the agency on Jan. 15 outlining a total of nearly $6.4 million in cuts to the program in 2019, affecting 35 projects. ...more
Douglas County PUD Denies Lawsuit Claims
Douglas County PUD has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit, where an environmental group claims it is allowing unpermitted pollutants to be discharged into the Columbia River from Wells Dam. ...more
Washington, Oregon Initiate Temporary Total Dissolved Gas Changes
Washington Department of Ecology has issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to increase total dissolved gas (TDG) limits in the lower Snake and lower Columbia rivers to 125 percent, while Oregon Department of Environmental Quality officials are preparing to present the same adjustments to the state's Environmental Quality Commission. ...more
Vancouver Fined For Raw Sewage Spill Into Columbia
The Washington Department of Ecology fined the city of Vancouver $60,000 for spilling almost 600,000 gallons of raw or partly treated sewage into the Columbia River in 2017, the agency reported in a Jan. 4 news release. ...more
Bill To Reclassify Bass, Walleye To Help Orcas Considered By Washington House Committee
The Washington State House Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing Jan. 29 on a bill that would allow unlimited fishing for certain fish that prey on salmon, and encourage state agencies to enforce the state's hydraulic codes that protect salmon habitat. ...more
Washington, Oregon Meet To Develop Joint Fishing Policies
A workgroup of fish and wildlife commissioners from Oregon and Washington hopes to resolve differences between the two states' fishing policies in the Columbia River. ...more
Group Seeks Expedited Hearing On Willamette Spill And Drawdowns
A U.S. District Court in Oregon agreed Jan. 24 to lift a stay on court-imposed deadlines in Northwest Environmental Defense Center et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers et al., where environmental groups have asked for operational changes at the Willamette Project to benefit fish. ...more

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