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NW Fishletter
NWF.205/November 18, 2005
Lawsuits Target Canadian Interception Of US Chinook

Two lawsuits filed this week in Seattle District Court take aim at the catch of ESA-listed chinook north of the US border. Charging that federal agencies are not following their own regulations, a coalition of two fish conservation groups and Snohomish PUD called the Salmon Spawning and Recovery Alliance, along with the Native Fish Society and the Clark-Skamania Flyfishers, have mounted a two-pronged attack against status quo harvest arrangements. ...more

Mass Marking Threatens Integrity Of Salmon Harvest Analyses, Experts Say

An October report from the Pacific Salmon Commission has highlighted concerns about the unintended effects of legislation that calls for marking all hatchery chinook from federal hatcheries in the Columbia River basin. ...more

BiOp Plaintiffs Ask For Changes To Winter, Spring Dam Operations

Plaintiffs in the ongoing litigation (NWF v. NMFS) over the Columbia Basin hydro BiOp are asking a sympathetic federal judge for more spill and flow augmentation to help boost survival of ESA-listed spring chinook in 2006. ...more

Enviros' Spill And Flow Strategy Could Add Hundreds Of Millions In Power Costs

A preliminary analysis of the costs of a far-reaching proposal by environmental and fishing groups to boost spill and flows next year in the Columbia River would have cost $400 million if it had been implemented this year, according to an analysis released yesterday by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. And it could kill a lot more chinook in the Hanford Reach than current operations by de-watering salmon redds ten times as much. The proposal is now before BiOp judge James Redden as the plaintiffs' recipe for interim dam operations. ...more

Upriver Tribes Want In On BiOp Remand Talks

The Spokane Tribe has filed for amicus status in the ongoing litigation over the hydro BiOp. In an Oct. 26 filing, the tribe says it "possesses long-term interests in the survival/recovery of ESA-listed species, and it offers a unique perspective to these proceedings." The Kootenai Tribe of northern Idaho has already weighed in with federal defendants. ...more

Wash. Extends Agreement To Study 'Modest' Drawdown At Grand Coulee

The Washington State Department of Ecology announced last week that the state has extended an agreement with the Colville Tribes and the Fish and Wildlife Department to allow a task force wrestling with development of a new water policy for the Columbia River more time to complete its work. Participants are trying to forge an agreement that will allow for new water withdrawals for irrigation and municipal needs, while providing adequate flows for ESA-listed fish. ...more

Early Forecast Tool Calls For Near-Average Water Year

While still sounding the alarm for global warming, some Northwest climate researchers are calling for a pretty much average water year in 2006. That was the message from an Oct. 26 meeting in Seattle, a day before some were to take part in a regional get-together on climate change, hosted by King County and billed as, "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be." ...more

Grant PUD's New Turbine Passes Fish Test

Grant County PUD has successfully tested fish passage through its new turbine, an advanced design that produces more electricity while letting nearly 98 percent of juvenile salmon survive the trip through the turbine bay. The PUD says survival rates "generally" exceed those of existing turbines at Wanapum Dam, while generating 14 percent more power and boosting water efficiency by 3 percent. ...more

BPA Says FPC Study Short-Changes Benefits Of Fish Barging

The Bonneville Power Administration said the latest draft of an ongoing study of fish survival in the Columbia Basin by the Fish Passage Center suffers from serious problems. The study has tagged hundreds of thousands of hatchery fish and compared passage routes and survivals from different facilities, both upriver and down, since 1996. ...more

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