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NW Fishletter
NWF.335/July 24, 2014
Mother Nature Serves Up Sockeye Surprise
This year's amazing sockeye run got its second wind July 4, when more than 34,000 fish were counted at Bonneville Dam, and another 100,000 showed up over the next few days The second wave made harvest managers rethink their earlier upgrade (425,000 to river mouth) and boost it to 560,000 on July 7. Their preseason estimate was 347,000 fish. ...more
Selective Harvest Methods Still On Trial
Washington and Oregon announced in June that 10 permits for selective fish harvesting would be available for the 2014 fall season to continue testing the viability of using beach seines and purse seines to harvest more hatchery salmon, while releasing more wild fish safely than by traditional gillnetting. The only problem is that research over the past several years suggests that more released Chinook may die from the seine operations than from harvesting them with gillnets. ...more
Aussies Say El Niño's On Hold For Now
The latest El Niño/Southern Oscillation update from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology says most climate models still point to an El Niño event next fall, but if it happens, "it is in-creasingly unlikely to be a strong event." The July 15 report said some cooling has occurred in the tropical Pacific because of a general lack of atmospheric response. ...more
Inslee Proposes New Water Quality Standards
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee proposed new standards on July 9 that he said will improve water quality in the state. Using the same fish consumption standard adopted by Oregon a few years ago will go a long way toward reducing toxic contaminants in the state, he said. But critics, especially Indian tribes, say he has watered down the standards to placate the state's business interests. ...more
Snake River Hatcheries Get Passing Grades
The latest hatchery review by the science panel that judges the merit of F&W projects may have provided some cover for lower Columbia tribes who are defending their fish supplementation efforts, but it still found plenty of room for improvement. ...more
Latest BiOp Litigation Slips Into Gear
On July 9, BiOp plaintiffs filed their seventh supplemental complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon that calls for judicial review of all the hydro BiOps back to 2009. ...more
Conservation Groups Threaten Lawsuit Over Elwha Hatchery Ops
Four conservation groups say Elwha hatchery officials are breaking the law by not using a weir to keep track of fish passing into formerly blocked portions of the river. They say it's one of the conditions that had to be met for approval of the hatchery operations by NOAA Fisheries, which judged impacts to ESA-listed stocks. The hatchery is operated by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. ...more
New Puget Sound Hatchery Management Plans Under Review
NOAA Fisheries is calling for public comment on a draft environmental statement of two draft plans for managing Puget Sound hatcheries submitted by co-managers WDFW and tribes. One deals with chinook, the other with coho steelhead, pink salmon, chum and sockeye. Both deal with managing fish production to satisfy tribal harvest opportunities while reducing adverse impacts to listed salmonid stocks in the Sound. HGMPs are attached to the plans, which include proposed measures reduce impacts on listed salmon and steelhead. ...more

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