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NW Fishletter
NWF.207/December 23, 2005
Judge OKs Summer Spill, Balks At More Flows

After an attorney for upriver Columbia Basin tribes painted a grisly picture of the possibility of human remains being uncovered along the shores of Lake Roosevelt and passing through hydro turbines on their way to the sea, BiOp judge James Redden balked at a proposal by environmental and fishing groups to augment flows by drawing down the huge reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam an extra seven feet. ...more

Feds Announce Appeal Of 2004 Hydro BiOp

The Justice Department announced Dec. 21 that it will appeal Judge James Redden's ruling earlier this year that threw out NOAA Fisheries' latest plan for operating federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The state of Idaho has also indicated it will take part in an appeal. ...more

New Lawsuits Over Feds' ESA Listing Policy

The Pacific Legal Foundation announced earlier this month that it will contest the new federal policy for determining the listing status of West Coast salmon and steelhead. The policy was revised after the foundation sued the government over its original policy (Alsea Valley Alliance v. NMFS) and won, when Oregon federal judge Michael Hogan agreed with plaintiffs that the hatchery component of a listed fish population deserved the same protections that the wild component if it was genetically similar. ...more

2006 Fish Forecasts Reflect Changes In Ocean Conditions

Columbia Basin fish prognosticators have warmed up their crystal ball for the coming season and are calling for more of the same moderately successful chinook runs as appeared in 2005. Only this time, they don't expect to be blind-sided by the 2005 spring run that came in at about 107,000 fish, 42 percent of what they expected to show. For the coming year, they expect about 88,000 springers. ...more

Grant PUD Finishes Settlement Talks Over Fish Issues

Grant PUD announced settlement talks have been completed with state agencies and tribes over salmon and steelhead issues relating to the utility's existing and new license for the Priest Rapids Project. ...more

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