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NW Fishletter
NWF.216/June 27, 2006
Science Panel Questions Big-Ticket Items In BPA's Next F&W Budget

An independent science panel has raised some very big questions about the merits of many of the big-ticket items--mainly hatchery and fish supplementation programs--proposed for the next three-year funding cycle in the Bonneville Power Administration's fish and wildlife program. ...more

Ocean Conditions Improve For This Year's Outmigration, So Far

Ocean conditions off the mouth of the Columbia River have improved significantly over last year, and that should mean better spring chinook returns two years from now, two NMFS scientists told the Northwest Power and Conservation Council last week. ...more

New Cracks Show In Collaborative BiOp Effort

Federal agencies released a glowing report last week on their progress toward recovering salmon populations in the Columbia River. It included an upbeat rendition of the collaborative effort now underway between tribes, states and feds to develop a new hydro BiOp under the orders of U.S. District Court judge James Redden. ...more

Summer Chinook Season Begins Right On Schedule

A couple thousand chinook have been pouring over Bonneville Dam every day to signal the start of a decent summer run. And right on schedule, not like the spring run, which turned out to be much better than anticipated, but showed up later than any other spring run on record. ...more

Enviros Want Judge To Reconsider Upper Snake BiOp Decision

Plaintiffs in the Upper Snake BiOp litigation (American Rivers v. NOAA Fisheries) have asked Oregon District Court Judge James Redden to reconsider part of his May opinion that threw out the Upper Snake BiOp and ordered the feds to look at the Bureau of Reclamation' water storage operations in the context of other federal actions in the lower Snake to help ESA-listed salmonids. ...more

103 House Members Ask Feds To Look At Dam Breaching

A congressman from Wisconsin was sounding off last week about the failure of federal salmon plans on the West Coast. Rep. Tom Petri (R) said the plans had failed local communities, taxpayers and salmon. "It's time for all options to be put on the table," he said in a June 22 press release from the Save Our Wild Salmon coalition Petri, a lead sponsor of the Salmon Planning Act that has yet to get out of committee, along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-OR) have solicited the signatures of more than a hundred fellow House members in a letter to the federal government that asks the feds to look at all options for recovering salmon in the Columbia Basin as it writes its next salmon plan, including breaching lower Snake dams. That's also the gist of the Salmon Planning Act, which calls for looking at both biological effects and economic effects of breaching. ...more

Pit-Tag Results Puncture Conventional Wisdom Of Dam Effects On Returning Salmon

Researchers in the Columbia Basin who have been analyzing adult fish survival through the hydro system say it is even better than they previously thought. By keeping track of pit-tagged fish between mainstem dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, they have found that spring fish losses only amount to two or three percent over the eight-dam route between the lower river and Idaho, according to NOAA Fisheries spokesman Ritchie Graves, who presented the information at this month's meeting of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council in Boise. ...more

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